Speech-language pathologists assess and treat patients who have speech, language, voice, fluency, or oral motor disorders. They also assist people who wish to improve their communication skills through changes in vocal pitch, quality, or accent. Speech-language pathologists utilize special instruments and tests to develop individualized treatment plans for patients
- Schools, K-12
- Universities and colleges
- Physicians' offices
- Speech, language, and hearing centers
- Home healthcare offices
- Nursing homes
- Residential facilities
- Federal agencies including Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Armed services
- Health maintenance organizations
- Private individual or group practice
- Public health departments
- Rehabilitation centers
Information & Strategies
- A master's degree from an accredited speech-language pathology program is required to enter the field.
- 45 states require licensure or certification of speech pathologists.
- Obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- A passing score on the national examination and post-graduate supervised clinical experience are required for certification.
- Some states may require additional certification to work with special education populations in public schools.
- Approximately 1/2 of speech language pathologists work in schools and another half are employed in healthcare institutions.
- A doctorate is required for university teaching and research positions.
- Speech pathologists may work closely with physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other therapists in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
- Supplement coursework with classes in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and personal communication.