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Being a speech pathologist is quite an exciting career. They work with various patient populations in multiple areas such as administration, direct care, research education, and advocacy. They are mainly responsible for preventing, diagnosing, assessing, and treating language, speech, social, or cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in adults and children. Often called speech-language pathologists or SLPs, they work on semantics, vocalization, phonics, syntax, stuttering, and swallowing. Although it is quite an enticing career path, one should know more about what it takes to be a speech pathologist.Becoming a speech-language pathologist is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a successful SLP. It is important to know a few things before you decide on becoming an SLPClick To Tweet
The work of a speech pathologist
A speech pathologist can work on a variety of skills with different populations. They deal with a variety of speech issues related to fluency, voice, and articulation. Fluency disorders can include stuttering in children as well. They also deal with slurring of speech and teach various oral motor facial exercises to improve articulation.
Besides this, they also deal with language problems such as aphasia, which results in the inability to produce or understand speech due to brain trauma. They also help people who have difficulty in understanding various communication rules and social cues.
They design individual treatment plans for each patient, help them develop speech skills, and provide psychoeducation about the patient’s condition to them and their family members.
The education needed for being a speech pathologist
One needs first to obtain a Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology is needed to meet the minimum requirements for an entry-level position.
The Council on Academic Accreditation should accredit this degree in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Even a lot of online speech pathology programs have been accredited by the CAA. These programs include supervised clinical experiences designed to provide a professional experience to future speech-language pathologists. ASHA has also given out certain requirements of the minimum number of hours of supervised clinical practice (350 hours) followed by the state of Washington and Arizona.
Various employment settings available
Speech and language pathologists can work in a variety of settings, in health care, education, or even research. There are various opportunities available for people in this discipline. There is a high demand for these services, be it full-time or part-time. Speech and language pathologists can work as a part of a collaborative team that includes physicians, teachers, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and even rehabilitation counselors.
Salary and job potential
Depending on their qualifications and the highest degree they have obtained, their salary can range from $70,000 to $100,000. Speech and language therapists working in hospitals can earn an average annual salary of $90,000. Those who get into the field of education can earn anywhere between $60,000 to $75,000. Those who choose to work in the administration can very easily earn more than $100,000 per year.
Becoming a speech-language pathologist is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a successful SLP. It is important to know a few things before you decide on becoming an SLP. This list will help you navigate your way through the pathway of becoming a speech-language pathologist.