Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

speech pathologist

A speech pathologist is a professional who helps people with communication problems. This career path involves fulfilling continuing education requirements and maintaining membership in a professional organization such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. A speech pathologist can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to rehab facilities, to treat patients suffering from various problems with speech, diet, and swallowing. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing this path.

Career outlook

A career as a speech pathologist typically requires a master’s degree and a state license. The job outlook for this field is generally positive, with solid opportunities for advancement, upward mobility, and higher salary. Many speech pathologists work in the health care field and are in demand in both the public and private sectors. The career outlook for speech pathologists is better than that of most other occupations. A master’s degree is required to become a speech pathologist, although some states allow certification as a speech-language pathologist.

Employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow 29% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. The growth in demand is attributed to the aging baby boomer population, increased awareness of speech-language disorders, and a growing U.S. population. In addition, an increase in special education programs will increase the need for speech-language pathologists in schools. Overall, the career outlook for speech pathologists is very promising.


The salary for a speech pathologist may vary significantly based on where you live. Some states pay more than others, but Massachusetts, for example, pays 14.6% more than the national average. While the salary range is generally the same, a speech pathologist’s location can have a substantial impact on the salary and job prospects of a speech therapist. Listed below are the states that offer the best job opportunities for speech pathologists.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, speech-language pathologists earn an average salary of $77,510 annually. Those earning more than $77,000 annually can expect a salary of $97,000 or more. But it is important to note that the salaries listed here do not include signing bonuses, relocation bonuses, or student loan repayment. Instead, speech pathologists may earn a salary of between $77,000 and $105,000 a year, depending on their experience and location.

Education requirements

An education in speech-language pathology may include courses in related undergraduate majors. The majority of speech-language pathologists choose to pursue certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at the same time as state licensure. Many states model their licensing requirements after these qualifications, and some may have additional requirements. If you’re considering becoming a speech-language pathologist, you need to meet the ASHA’s minimum standards.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology, linguistics, or education may prepare you for graduate study in speech-language pathology. The same goes for a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Students may also want to earn a doctorate to add credential value to their resume. There are several types of doctorate degrees in speech-language pathology. CScD degrees provide clinical emphasis, while PhD and Ed.D degrees tend to focus more on teaching.

Job duties

The main job duties of a speech-language pathologist include assessing and treating clients who suffer from speech disorders. They may also be responsible for teaching clients alternative communication systems, such as sign language, or they may research speech-language problems. As a speech-language pathologist, you will have to complete graduate studies in this field. Typically, it takes between five and seven years of training to become an SLP, although there are certain prerequisites.

The job duties of a speech-language pathologist vary depending on the state in which you practice. They often work in schools, where they will be supervised by other professionals. However, they may also be employed in nursing homes or hospitals. In a school-based setting, they will typically have a caseload of 50 patients, which may include a range of communication disorders. In these cases, a speech-language pathologist will consult with parents, teachers, and doctors.