Speech Pathologist Career Overview

Definition of Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists examine, make a diagnosis of and provide treatment for speech disorders. They also work with clients that have language and communication problems. They work in clinical and school settings with clients of various ages. They often collaborate with a team to provide services, including teachers, doctors and school administration officials. The individual also has to prepare various reports on and keep documentation of each client’s progress as they are treated.

Educational Requirements to Become a Speech Pathologist

This position requires a master’s degree in the field. During their course of study, the student studies courses such as anatomy, speech and principles of acoustics. Once graduated, the individual has to be licensed in order to work in 47 of 50 states, which is given through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In this case, the individual must graduate from an accredited school in order to receive licensure.

Skills Necessary to Become a Speech Pathologist

A speech pathologist has to be able to objectively assess a client’s speech needs and to design appropriate treatment to correct the issue. This individual must also be able to clearly communicate the details of a diagnosis to others, explaining technical terms and methods of treatment. The professional must also be able to pay close attention to detail and concentrate for long periods of time while working with a speech client..

Job and Career Outlook for a Speech Pathologist

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth in this area will increase by 19% by the year 2018. Job openings will increase with an more individuals are in need of their services and to fill positions for those who retire from the field. There will be many openings for those who can speak a second language, such as Spanish. The average salary for a speech pathologist is $70,810.

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