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Life As a Speech-Language Pathologist

Example of a Speech-Language Pathologist Job Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

What do Speech-Language Pathologists do On a Daily Basis?

  • Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.
  • Conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics and report findings for use in developing procedures, technologies, or treatments.
  • Monitor patients’ progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Educate patients and family members about various topics, such as communication techniques or strategies to cope with or to avoid personal misunderstandings.
  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Below is a list of the skills most Speech-Language Pathologists say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

  • Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped
  • Oral Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
  • Speech and Language Clinician

Is There Job Demand for Speech-Language Pathologists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 145,100 jobs in the United States for Speech-Language Pathologists.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,900 new jobs for Speech-Language Pathologists by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Speech-Language Pathologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Speech-Language Pathologists are Texas, New York, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Wyoming, or Rhode Island. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-Language Pathologists Make between $48,690 and $120,060 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $77,510.

Salary Ranges for Speech-Language Pathologists

How much do Speech-Language Pathologists make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New Jersey

$95,000

District of Columbia

$93,570

California

$93,510

Connecticut

$92,280

Colorado

$90,980

New York

$90,820

Oregon

$87,610

Virginia

$86,090

Massachusetts

$85,720

Maryland

$84,960

Alaska

$83,620

Oklahoma

$81,700

Delaware

$81,440

Wyoming

$80,470

Rhode Island

$80,450

Pennsylvania

$79,530

Utah

$78,840

Michigan

$78,220

Ohio

$78,200

Missouri

$77,790

Georgia

$77,730

Nevada

$77,620

Tennessee

$77,140

Illinois

$77,120

Florida

$76,820

Hawaii

$76,330

Iowa

$76,020

Texas

$75,800

Minnesota

$75,590

North Carolina

$75,310

New Mexico

$74,800

Idaho

$74,740

Arizona

$74,710

Indiana

$73,780

Arkansas

$73,660

New Hampshire

$73,630

Vermont

$73,550

Washington

$73,220

Kentucky

$72,440

South Carolina

$71,600

Louisiana

$71,270

Alabama

$71,240

Wisconsin

$70,560

Kansas

$70,280

Nebraska

$69,110

North Dakota

$67,340

Maine

$65,540

Montana

$64,580

Mississippi

$64,560

West Virginia

$61,070

South Dakota

$58,860

What Tools do Speech-Language Pathologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Speech-Language Pathologists:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel

Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist

Individuals working as Speech-Language Pathologists have obtained the following education levels:

Speech-Language Pathologist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech-Language Pathologist Work Experience

Where Speech-Language Pathologists Are Employed

Speech-Language Pathologist Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Speech-Language Pathologist may also be interested in:

  • Recreational Therapists
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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