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Speech Language Pathologist Career Summary

Speech language pathologists typically will work with patients who struggle with certain speech impairments.  They will also work with all ages and all levels of complications, which could result from developmental, medical issues or congenital.  Speech language pathologists will help their patients learn how to make sounds properly, techniques for strengthening muscles and learn how to overcome shortcomings.  They may also work in education, rehabilitative or private practice offices or health care environments.  Speech language pathologists will put together a plan of action and track progress along with working with families, teachers, doctors, audiologists or counselors to increase communications skills.  They may also teach sign language or use devices when appropriate.

Speech Language Pathologist Employment Forecast

Speech language pathologists are looking at a fairly good growth in this profession and the long-term employment outlook is excellent.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the excellent growth rate due to a greater awareness of the need of speech language pathologists, early detection and interventions and increasing school enrollments along with the aging population.  There will also be a greater need and an advantage for those speech pathologists that are bilingual.  The average annual salary for a Speech Language Pathologist was around $65,000 in 2007, as reported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).  While educational environments were typically on the lower end of the pay scale, more than half of speech language pathologists are employed in educational settings. Speech Language pathologists that work with skilled nursing facilities usually were on the higher end of the salary scale.

Speech Language Pathologists Education and Training

You are interested in a career as a Speech language pathologist, now what? First of all it is highly suggested that you obtain a Master of Science Degree in Speech Pathology from an accredited college or degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  This will equip you for not only your career, but also for the licensure you may have to obtain in your state.  Licensures vary depending on state and specializations.  Speech Pathologist, who sometimes are referred to as Speech Therapists, will work with individuals who have problems or struggles with certain sounds, finding and expressing words, speaking fluently or overcoming cognitive impairments.

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