What does a Speech Language Pathologist do?

A speech-language pathologist is a position in the health field and is practiced by a certified clinician. A speech language pathologist usually works in a medical setting or in private practice. They use specialized training in speech pathology to Assess, diagnose and treat language and speech disorders. Through continual speech therapy sessions, a speech-language pathologist can provide techniques and exercises to diminish and improve linguistic challenges.

Advanced education is required to be employed in the position of a speech-language pathologist. A master's degree from an accredited university in speech-language pathology is required. Additionally, many states require professional certification in the area of specialty and state licensing. Individuals who enjoy encouraging and supporting those with challenges and have a positive outlook tend to excel in this position.

What responsibilities are common for Speech Language Pathologist jobs?
  • Prepare engaging exercises and activities to use during speech sessions with patients
  • Provide counseling and consultations for new patients
  • Create goals and objectives for patients to work toward and identify areas of progress and challenges
  • Oversee speech-language pathologist assistants and support their full-scope understanding of how to manage an office
  • Prepare speech pathology equipment and exam room ensuring proper sterilization and safety procedures are followed
  • Review the patient's file prior to their appointment and have a clear understanding of the challenge to be addressed
  • Attend continuing education courses and work to advance personal knowledge and experience within the field
  • Request and organize written authorization from patients involving specific follow up instructions and goals for improvement
What are the typical qualifications for Speech Language Pathologist jobs?
  • Depending upon the state, a state-issued license may be required, Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) is generally required
  • Proficiency in computer software commonly used for documentation and report preparation
  • Master's degree in speech-language pathology is required
  • Demonstrated knowledge and adherence to HIPAA legislation and other patient privacy laws
  • Experience working with sensitive and personal patient records and information
  • Proficient in troubleshooting common software and hardware challenges in relation to the regular use of speech pathology tools
  • Physical endurance and the ability to work primarily in a standing position
  • A friendly and professional demeanor is required when explaining procedures and processes to patients
  • Accountability and attention to detail is essential when handling and documenting important medical information
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Speech Language Pathologist make?

Speech Language Pathologist Career Path

Learn how to become a Speech Language Pathologist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Speech Language Pathologist
$90,353/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
28%
2 - 4
21%
5 - 7
0%
8+
51%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Speech Language Pathologist Insights

Read what Speech Language Pathologist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Kara Dodds and AssociatesKara Dodds and Associates
Speech Language Pathologist Assistant
Jul 28, 2021

“This was my first job as an SLPA and I learned and grew SO much as an individual and professional.”

City Sounds of New YorkCity Sounds of New York
Speech Language Pathologist
May 14, 2021

“It's nice to have autonomy and to have someone in your corner if there are any issues with schools/parents.”

KidsCare Home HealthKidsCare Home Health
SLP
Feb 2, 2022

“I'm on a great team of therapists and we always try to consult one another if we share patients.”

Speakeasy Therapy ServicesSpeakeasy Therapy Services
Speech Language Pathologist
Aug 13, 2021

“I didn't get home until 7 and I did not have a good work/life balance.”

Action Therapy Services
Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)
Nov 9, 2021

“Action was a great place to work and provided a supportive leadership that you don't find everywhere.”

Carolina Pediatric TherapyCarolina Pediatric Therapy
Speech Language Pathologist
Nov 23, 2019

“The owners truly want the best for everyone and act with a high level of integrity.”

Sidekick Therapy PartnersSidekick Therapy Partners
Speech Language Pathologist, M S, CCC-SLP
Feb 17, 2022

“I enjoy working with our diverse clients who have a variety of speech and language disorders.”

The Reading and Language Learning CenterThe Reading and Language Learning Center
SLPA
Aug 3, 2021

“It was awesome to get experience in such a niche area as a new SLP!”

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Speech Language Pathologist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of speech language pathologists

Speech language pathologists are specialized clinicians who diagnose and treat problems with speech and language. On a typical day for a speech language pathologist, they may recommend exercises for patients to improve their speech patterns or determine whether the speech issue has a physical or mental underlying cause.

Speech language pathology is a good career for individuals who want to dedicate their lives to assisting others. Starting salaries are above average, and the career outlook is positive. Bilingual speech pathologists are in high demand because some languages have sounds that don't exist in English.

There are some difficult aspects to being a speech language pathologist. If patients become impatient or feel self-conscious with slow progress or, they may take their feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment out on you. When you are working as a speech language pathologist, it's your job to maintain a sense of calm and objectivity while being compassionate to the patient.

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Speech Language Pathologist Jobs