SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS identify, assess, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, and other related disorders resulting from hearing loss, brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, cleft palate, or other problems. Problems can be congenital, developmental, or acquired. They work with people who cannot make speech sounds and have speech fluency problems, such as stuttering. They help people with voice quality problems, such as harsh voice. They also work with people who have oral motor problems causing eating and swallowing difficulties. Some conduct research on how people communicate. Others design equipment for diagnosing and treating problems.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $67,000 average per year ($32.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (112,500 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.9% per year)
Most states require SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS to be licensed, and almost all require a master's degree. A passing score on a national exam on speech-language pathology offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service is also needed. Other requirements include 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience. College courses cover anatomy and physiology of areas of the body involved in speech, language, swallowing, and hearing, and their normal development.