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.
- 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
- 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
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.
Years of Experience Distribution
Speech Language Pathologist Insights
“It's nice to have autonomy and to have someone in your corner if there are any issues with schools/parents.”
“This was my first job as an SLPA and I learned and grew SO much as an individual and professional.”
“Action was a great place to work and provided a supportive leadership that you don't find everywhere.”
“Forced to work extra hours to do all job duties is expected and has been phrased as such.”
“I didn't get home until 7 and I did not have a good work/life balance.”
“1) Flexible schedule and telecommute: You probably won't find anything more flexible in our field.”
“I'm on a great team of therapists and we always try to consult one another if we share patients.”
“You will be stuck with the same pay and there is little opportunity for growth with this company.”
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.
The national average salary for speech pathologists is approximately $95,295 per year. Clinical expertise makes a huge difference, and experts could see their salaries enter the six-figure range. If you earn a doctorate in addition to the required bachelor's and master's degrees, you could see your salary increase.
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.