Speech-Language Pathologist Career

speech-language-500Speech-language pathologists work with people who have difficulty producing speech. Their patients may include children with developmental delays and adults who have suffered from strokes or other forms of brain damage. Speech-language pathologists are responsible for creating treatment plans for their patients and working with them one-on-one over an extended period of time to ensure that adequate progress is being made.

As a speech-language pathologist, you will most likely choose to focus on either a specific type of patient or a specific type of speech difficulty. For example, some pathologists choose to focus on patients who have suffered strokes, while others choose to work with either children or the elderly.

Speech-Language Pathologist Career Snapshot

As a speech-language pathologist, you may work in a hospital, school, nursing home, or for a private practice; there are a wide variety of institutes with a need for speech language pathologists. In most cases, you will work a 40 hour work week. Those working in private practice generally have more flexibility and control over their own hours.

Further details on a career as an speech-language pathologist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for speech-language pathologists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 19% have a post-Master’s certificate.

Speech-Language Pathologist Education

In order to become a speech language pathologist, you will need to have a master’s degree. You will also need to become licensed; licensing procedures vary by state. Many speech language pathologists also work to earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, which is required by some employers.

Speech-Language Pathologist Job Outlook

The demand for speech-language pathologists is growing much faster than average. In 2014, there were 135,400 speech-language pathologists in the United States; that number is expected to grow 21 percent by 2024.

Speech-Language Pathologist Salaries

Speech-language pathologists are typically well-paid; according to the BLS.gov, their median salary was $73,410 in May 2015. At the high end of the spectrum, the top 10 percent of earners made $114,840 or more. The bottom 10 percent made $46,000 or less.

Speech-Language Pathologist Job Duties

As a speech-language pathologist, you will work with patients to create individual treatment plans to help them with their speech, language, or swallowing difficulty. You will also be a teacher of sorts, as it will be your responsibility to teach patients exercises that they can use to improve their speech and swallowing. You may also teach family members communication strategies that they can use with their loved ones.

Speech-Language Pathologist Skills & Traits

Speech-Language Pathologist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Speech-Language Pathologists:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Learning Strategies
• Reading Comprehension
• Social Perceptiveness
• Oral Comprehension
• Speech Recognition
• Deductive Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Speech Clarity
• Adaptive communication switches
• Sound measuring apparatus
• Stroboscopes
• Tablet computers
• Voice synthesizers
• Developing Objectives
• Getting Information
• Documenting information
• Using relevant knowledge
• Caring for others

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