What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Healthcare is a growing field that provides a seemingly endless number of careers to choose from. While all are rewarding, speech-language pathology is one of the most interesting. If you choose this healthcare field, you’ll be working with some of our most basic instincts, language and communication.

What Is A Speech-Language Pathologist?

A speech-language pathologist creates treatment plans revolving around:

  • Voice
  • Language
  • Speech
  • Fluency
  • Swallowing Disorders
  • and other relevant aspects of speech as it pertains to living a full, happy, and happy life.

Speech-language pathologists are well-trained to complete many in-depth and often complicated tasks in their work environment. Read on to learn about a few of the most important jobs in their daily repertoire!

What Does A Speech-Language Pathologist Do?

Performs Patient Examinations

Using both written and oral testing methods, and a variety of special examination instruments and techniques, speech-language pathologists perform the evaluations and tests used to collect data from patients.

Completes Necessary Tests and Evaluations

Speech-language pathologists must evaluate the information these tests provide and come up with a treatment plan. A patient’s medical history, environment/background, and other information must be studied in tandem with the test results so diagnosis can be made and treatment can be implemented.

Uses Proven Research To Improve Health and Well Being

Speech-language pathologists use the recommendations of trusted peers within their field to work with stuttering, voice pitch issue, language delays, and other speech/language related disorders. Pathologists can help patients learn to control the muscles that assist with speech, swallowing, and breathing with a variety of exercise programs to reduce the impact a disability has on daily life.

Speech-language pathologists must also:

  • Keep detailed records for patient charts and medical history
  • Develop comprehensive programs for individuals and groups
  • Teach patients struggling to communicate with traditional methods alternative ways to communicate in daily life through sign language, lip reading, and other communication methods.

How Do You Become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Most speech-language pathologists possess a master’s degree. Licensing requirements vary from state-to-state, but most candidates for licensure have successfully completed courses in the areas of speech, language, development, alternative communication methods, and other pertinent areas of study.

Are There Many Jobs In Speech-Language Pathology?

Through 2024, this field is expected to grow by 21%, much faster than the average career. The health industry is preparing for the baby boomer generation to become of the age where hearing loss, strokes, language impairments, and other health issues that will require the assistance of talented, dedicated, and properly licensed professionals to work in the growing field of speech-language pathology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the 2015 median annual salary of a speech language pathologist to be $73,410 per year or $35.29 per hour

Is A Career In Speech-Language Pathology The Right Path For Me?

If you are interested in helping people work through their limitations to be able to communicate with others, speech-language pathology could be the field for you!

Other similar career paths to consider or work towards include: physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, recreational therapy, or even earning a doctoral degree as a psychologist.

Related Resource: Become an Early Interventionist

Start your journey to becoming a highly sought after speech-language pathologist with a degree from an accredited university. If you’ve been looking for the right time to improve your career and your life, the time is now. Don’t wait another minute to start looking for a speech-language pathology program near you.