Have you been considering speech language pathology as a career? Have questions about what a speech therapist does each and every day?
By the time you read this, many of those questions will be answered, along with a list of helpful resources to help guide your career choices and get you started toward speech language pathologist licensure.
Aspects of Speech Disorders
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are 5 broad areas that speech language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat.
Speech disorders – difficulties with sounds, fluency, voice or resonance.
Language disorders – difficulty understanding others or expressing oneself in functional or socially acceptable ways – either in written or verbal form.
Social communication – difficulties in social use of verbal or written communication. For example, greeting, commenting, asking questions, following rules and so forth.
Cognitive communication disorders – difficulties paying attention, organizing thoughts, memory, and problem solving.
Swallowing disorders – dealing with feeding and swallowing difficulties that often follow surgery, stroke or injury.
Speech language pathologists also work with people who have hearing difficulties.
What Do Speech Language Pathologists Do?
Though some tasks fall outside of this spectrum, in general speech language pathologists:
- Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders.
- Treat speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders.
- Provide training and education to family/caregivers and other professionals.
- Work collaboratively with professionals from many other disciplines.
Where Do Speech Language Pathologists Work?
Speech language pathologists work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals or skilled nursing facilities, schools and educational facilities, private practices, and research facilities.
Who Do Speech Language Pathologists Work With?
Speech language pathologists often work closely with physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and specialists.
What’s a Typical Salary for a Speech Language Pathologist?
The 2015, AHSA Health Care Survey showed the annual salary range for speech language pathologists working in healthcare settings as $70,000 to $93,000. The salary you earn is often based on your level of education and experience.
Videos of Speech Language Pathologist Experiences
Working in Stroke Rehabilitation
“I’d highly recommend SLP as my job is really rewarding and you have the ability to work with Kids, adults, in a school, hospital setting or private practice and there is really something for everyone and a lot of job security.”~ Mackenzie Fama.
Working in a Rehabilitation Hospital
“One thing I really enjoy about my day is it’s definitely not routine.” ~Davetrina Gadson
Working in Schools
“The things that’s most rewarding as a speech language pathologist is working with the adolescents I work with everyday.” ~James Brinton
From watching these videos you will see that most SLPs love their career, saying it is very rewarding. The job offers flexibility, creativity, engagement, and ample opportunity. Best of all, you get to be involved in improving people’s lives.