How To Become A Speech Pathologist
Career Video: Speech Pathologist
If you love language and you are looking for a field where you can help others in a medical or school setting, you may be interested in becoming a speech pathologist. It is the job of a speech pathologist to help clients who are struggling with language to learn how to communicate. Speech pathologists work with patients, children, old people, and ESL speakers who have difficulty with communication disorders, accents, morphology, phonology, and other aspects of speech production.
Why Become A Speech Pathologist
If you are fascinated by speech production and communication, you may enjoy the field of speech pathology. It is a field where right now there is a lot of demand, which means that you may have many opportunities open to you, especially if you are interested in working in a school or healthcare setting. Speech pathology offers diverse opportunities for helping others to get by in their day-to-day lives. As a speech pathologist, you have a real chance to make a difference for your clients.
Speech Pathologist Work Environment
There are several different work environments for speech pathologists. Most of the jobs for speech pathologists are in public school systems. There are also jobs in hospitals and clinics. Other jobs exist in rehabilitation centers. Where you work will depend on the types of patients you work with and the types of problems you are there to correct. For example, if you work with children who have autism, nerve damage, hearing loss, language delay, ADD or other developmental problems, you may work in a public school system. If you work with adults who have had strokes or head injuries, you may work in a neurological hospital wing. You should think about both the types of patients you want to work with and the work environment you would prefer when you select your focus.
Speech Pathologist Salary
How much you earn as a speech pathologist will depend partly on your work environment and the patients you work with, and partly on what point you’ve at in your career. The median pay in 2010 for speech pathologists was $66,920 per year, or $32.17 per hour.
Speech Pathologist Career Outlook
Speech pathology is a swiftly growing field, with an expected change in employment of 23% between 2010 and 2020. That will represent 28,800 new job openings. Speech pathologists are needed all over the country, in rural and urban areas. Most opportunities in hospitals and medical clinics are located in urban areas, but opportunities to work in schools and rehab clinics may be more common in smaller towns.
Speech Pathologist Degree
To work as a speech pathologist, you generally need a master’s degree in the field. There are also licensing requirements, which vary depending on which state you wish to work in.