Career Spotlight

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-Language Pathologists help people with communication skills, specifically parts of speech (saying the “r” sound is difficult for many), or even helping people who have had a stroke re-learn to speak. It is part of the medical field, but many SLP’s also work in schools with students. Bilingual SLP’s help people with communication issues in more than one language!

Speech-Language Pathologist

Quick Facts

2017 Median Pay: $76,610/year; $36.83/hour

Typical Entry-Level Education: Master’s Degree

On-the-job Training: Internship/Residency required

Number of Jobs, 2016: 145,100

Job Outlook 2016-26: 18% (much faster than average)

Employment Change 2016-26: 25,900

What They Do

Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, a cleft palate, or autism.

About 2 out of 5 speech-language pathologists worked in schools in 2016. Most others worked in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals.

Speech-Language Pathologists who are bilingual can help people with communication issues in more than one language! For example, sometimes learning certain sounds in a second language is hard, so SLP’s can help with that transition.

How To Become One

Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree. This is around 6 years of college. Most states require that speech-language pathologists be licensed. Requirements vary by state.

Do you like working with people? Click here for Similar Occupations!

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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