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Career profile Speech And Language Pathologist

Also known as Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Communication Specialist, Educational Speech-Language Clinician, Speech and Language Clinician, Speech and Language Specialist, Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Speech/Language Therapist, Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped

Speech And Language Pathologist

Also known as Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Communication Specialist, Educational Speech-Language Clinician

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$50,370 - $122,790 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.
  • Write reports and maintain proper documentation of information, such as client Medicaid or billing records or caseload activities, including the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of clients.
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What does a Speech And Language Pathologist do?

Speech And Language Pathologists assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders.

In addition, Speech And Language Pathologists

  • may select alternative communication systems and teach their use,
  • may perform research related to speech and language problems.

What kind of tasks does a Speech And Language Pathologist perform regularly?

Speech And Language Pathologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.
  • Write reports and maintain proper documentation of information, such as client Medicaid or billing records or caseload activities, including the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of clients.
  • Participate in and write reports for meetings regarding patients' progress, such as individualized educational planning (IEP) meetings, in-service meetings, or intervention assistance team meetings.
  • Evaluate hearing or speech and language test results, barium swallow results, or medical or background information to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice, or swallowing disorders.
  • Complete administrative responsibilities, such as coordinating paperwork, scheduling case management activities, or writing lesson plans.
  • Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.
  • Instruct clients in techniques for more effective communication, such as sign language, lip reading, or voice improvement.
  • Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.
  • Educate patients and family members about various topics, such as communication techniques or strategies to cope with or to avoid personal misunderstandings.
  • Supervise or collaborate with therapy team.
  • Teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing mechanisms.
  • Participate in conferences, training, continuing education courses, or publish research results to share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies.
  • Consult with and refer clients to additional medical or educational services.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.
  • Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.
  • Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.
  • Use computer applications to identify or assist with communication disabilities.

The above responsibilities are specific to Speech And Language Pathologists. More generally, Speech And Language Pathologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Developing Objectives and Strategies
Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

What is a Speech And Language Pathologist salary?

The median salary for a Speech And Language Pathologist is $80,480, and the average salary is $83,240. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Speech And Language Pathologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Speech And Language Pathologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Speech And Language Pathologists earn less than $50,370 per year, 25% earn less than $62,790, 75% earn less than $101,110, and 90% earn less than $122,790.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Speech And Language Pathologists is expected to change by 28.7%, and there should be roughly 15,200 open positions for Speech And Language Pathologists every year.

Median annual salary
$80,480
Typical salary range
$50,370 - $122,790
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
28.7%

What personality traits are common among Speech And Language Pathologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Speech And Language Pathologist are usually higher in their Social, Investigative, and Artistic interests.

Speech And Language Pathologists typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Speech And Language Pathologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Speech And Language Pathologists typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Speech And Language Pathologist tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Speech And Language Pathologists very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Speech And Language Pathologists strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Speech And Language Pathologists strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Speech And Language Pathologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, concern for others, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Speech And Language Pathologists, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Speech And Language Pathologists need?

Many Speech And Language Pathologists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Speech And Language Pathologists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Speech And Language Pathologists

  • 0.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 0.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 0.8% completed some college coursework
  • 1.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 9.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 83.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Speech And Language Pathologists

Speech And Language Pathologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as psychology, customer and personal service, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Speech And Language Pathologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Important Abilities needed by Speech And Language Pathologists

Speech And Language Pathologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Speech And Language Pathologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, speech recognition, and written expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Speech And Language Pathologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Speech And Language Pathologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Speech And Language Pathologists frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Speech And Language Pathologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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