Speech-Language Pathologist Jobs
Speech-language pathologists, more commonly known as speech therapists diagnose and treat communication disorders. These include issues with speech, voice, language, swallowing, and fluency - anything that could impede an individual's abilities to verbally communicate with other people.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Speech-Language Pathologist
The majority of speech-language pathologists work in educational services, health care facilities, and social assistance institutions. Speech-language pathologist work with patients, usually on a regular on-going basis, to correct communication problems such as the ones listed above.
For example, if an individual has a lisp or a problem with stuttering, he may work with a speech-language pathologist to help correct this problem. In some cases, a person may choose to work with a speech-language pathologist to correct an issue like a foreign accent that impairs communication with others. Speech-language pathologists may also work with individuals who have cognitive communication disorders, like attention deficit disorders.
General Requirements and Training
In most states, a master's degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited program is required to become a licensed speech-language pathologist.
Being a speech-language pathologist requires an immense amount of patience, compassion, as well as excellent communication and listening skills. Speech-language pathologists must be able to effectively communicate information to both their patients and patients' families. The job also requires a lot of dedication, as it can often take a long time for a patient to make significant progress.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage of speech-language pathologists to be $62,930 as of May 2008. According to Salary.com, the mid-50% earnings range of a speech-language pathologist is $57,171 to $70,177.
Payscale.com reports that a speech-language pathologist with one to four years experience earns, on average, $40,419 to $57,525, while a speech-language pathologist with twenty or more years experience earns $53,615 to $76,864.