Speech-Language Pathologists

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.

Median Annual Wage: $71,550

Education: Master's degree (81%); Post-master's certificate (19%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP); Speech Pathologist; Speech and Language Specialist; Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped; Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist; Speech and Language Clinician; Speech Therapist; Communication Specialist; Educational Speech-Language Clinician; Speech/Language Therapist

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Speech-Language Pathologists.

More Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Careers

  • 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.
  • Write reports and maintain proper documentation of information, such as client Medicaid or billing records or caseload activities, including the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of clients.
  • Participate in and write reports for meetings regarding patients' progress, such as individualized educational planning (IEP) meetings, in-service meetings, or intervention assistance team meetings.
  • Evaluate hearing or speech and language test results, barium swallow results, or medical or background information to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice, or swallowing disorders.
  • Complete administrative responsibilities, such as coordinating paperwork, scheduling case management activities, or writing lesson plans.
  • Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.
  • Instruct clients in techniques for more effective communication, such as sign language, lip reading, or voice improvement.
  • Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.
  • Educate patients and family members about various topics, such as communication techniques or strategies to cope with or to avoid personal misunderstandings.
  • Supervise or collaborate with therapy team.
  • Teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing mechanisms.
  • Participate in conferences, training, continuing education courses, or publish research results to share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies.
  • Consult with and refer clients to additional medical or educational services.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.
  • Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.
  • Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.
  • Use computer applications to identify or assist with communication disabilities.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Speech-Language Pathologists.

  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Speech-Language Pathologists.

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