Career Advice on How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

General Career Information

Speech-language pathologists are also commonly referred to as speech therapists. In general, speech-language pathologists work to help treat as well as diagnose those with speech and language problems. The complexities of speech and language acquisition make this a challenging profession. Those who are in the middle of a job search or career planning should realize that it is a career that can require patience.
Those interested in a medical career that will allow them to help patients recover from injuries might wish to consider speech-language pathology. Speech-language pathologists work hands on with patients to help them either improve or regain their speaking ability. Often successfully treating these problems helps patients regain confidence and self-esteem.

Career Facts:

Speech-language pathologists spend their days working with people that for a variety of reasons are having difficulty producing the normal sounds of speech. There are a wide variety of reasons that speech problems can occur, ranging from brain injuries and hearing loss to developmental disorders. On occasion, people do work with speech pathologist to modify particularly thick accents.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

As of 2006, there were approximately 110,000 speech-language pathologists in the United States. This number is expected to grow by eleven percent to 121,000 by 2016. However, because of the large number of retirees entering retirement, it is possible that this number is somewhat conservative. Most other medical careers are seeing somewhat higher rates of job growth. It would not be shocking to see this eleven percent figure of job growth jump considerably. 
Job Outlook is Fair  

A Day in The Life:

Working as a speech-language pathologist means hands on, deliberate and often slow progress with patients as they learn to speak clearly after such illnesses as stroke. To this end, speech-language pathologists develop programs that are individualized based around the specific and potentially unique problems of the individual in question. Often their works centers on helping patients relearn how to make sounds or to make those sounds in a clearer manner. Another aspect of the career centers on diagnosis and determining the extent of the speech problem, and thus, the course of action that should be taken.
There can be no doubt that the profession has the reward of knowing that one is helping those with a disability can that cause varying degrees of embarrassment and self-esteem issues. As a result, many will find the work of a speech-language pathologists rewarding.
For speech-language pathologists working in hospitals, the work environment tends to be somewhat clinical. However, speech-language pathologists often work in patient’s homes or other facilities as well.

Average Salary:

The average salary for speech-language pathologists is about $56,000 a year, with the highest ten percent earning as much as $90,000.

$56k - $90k


Career Training and Qualifications:

The majority of speech-language pathologist jobs now require a Master’s Degree in the field. Most states also require speech-language pathologists to be licensed.
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