Speech Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists, or speech therapists, evaluate and diagnose those with disorders and challenges in these areas, and help them improve their communication skills.
Sample of Reported Job Titles
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Speech Pathologist, Speech and Language Specialist, Speech-Language Therapist, Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped, Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech and Language Clinician, Speech Therapist, Communication Specialist
Communicating effectively involves enunciating sounds correctly, using proper intonation and tone of voice, and comprehending what's heard in order to respond in kind. Speech-language pathologists, or speech therapists, evaluate and diagnose those with disorders and challenges in these areas, and help them improve their communication skills. Clients could include stroke victims, people with dyslexia, cancer patients, and even public figures—George VI of the United Kingdom famously spoke with a stutter, as noted in the 2010 film The King's Speech.
In this country, more than 117,000 employed therapists work in hospitals, schools, private offices, and nursing homes, devising treatment plans that might involve vocal lessons, muscle and swallowing exercises, or possibly coaching on how to communicate using alternative methods. This is often a collaborative profession that requires input from school teachers, counselors, and physicians to determine the best treatment plan for a patient.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a hiring boom for speech-language pathologists before the decade's close to accommodate the aging population. Instances of speech and language impairments increase with age, and the BLS expects approximately 28,800 new openings in this field before 2020.
The standard level of education for speech-language pathologists is a master’s degree. Although most master’s programs do not specify a particular undergraduate degree for admission, certain courses must be taken before entering the program. Required courses vary by institution. Find accredited speech-language pathology programs and explore their undergraduate coursework and GPS requirements.
Median Salary 2022
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Speech Language Pathologist in 2022 was $84,140.
Want to know more?
- U.S. News: Best Social Services Jobs
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Speech-Language Pathologist
- American Speech-Language: Hearing Association
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