As a career that is expected to grow 27% from now until 2028, Speech Language Pathology is a promising direction to take.
However, there are two things you need to know before getting started: what the career opportunities are and where to apply.
Understanding Speech Language Pathology Career Opportunities
SLPs are highly-educated professionals who, typically, have a minimum of a master’s degree in their field. This qualifies them to work in a variety of healthcare professions and with a variety of issues.
Job requirements for a Speech Language Pathologists includes evaluating and diagnosing communication and swallowing disorders in patients as well as devising treatment plans.
For example, as a Speech Language Pathologist, you can help with:
- Speech delays and disorders: These include issues such as articulation, phonology and motor speech disorders.
- Language delays and disorders: These include helping with expression and comprehension in oral and non-verbal contexts.
- Fluency disorders: Typically related to stuttering.
- Voice and resonance disorders: These include issues such as vocal cord nodules and polyps, vocal cord paralysis, and spasmodic dysphonia.
- Swallowing and feeding disorders: These include difficulties feeding for both children and adults.
- Cognitive-communicative disorders: These include social communication skills, reasoning, problem solving, and executive functions.
- Pre-literacy and literacy skills: These include phonological awareness, decoding, reading comprehension, and writing.
- Other disorders: These include hearing impairments, traumatic brain injury, dementia, developmental, intellectual or genetic disorders, and neurological impairments.
It’s critical to know as much as possible about the position that interests you before applying for the job so you can determine what the expectations will be.
Now that you know what’s involved with the job, take a look at where to apply.
Where to Apply for Speech Language Pathology Jobs
Speech Language Pathologists can work in a wide range of settings:
- Nursing facilities
- Federal government
- Regulatory agencies
- Private practices
- In-home health care
As for where to apply, there are typically two main career settings: schools and hospitals/clinics.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately eight percent of children between the ages of three and 17 have a disorder related to speech, voice, language, or swallowing.
In educational settings, Speech Therapists follow the same schedule as the school, with summers and holidays off. They collaborate with teachers to optimize student success and may meet with other educators or parents as well.
Speech Language Pathologists working in schools should expect high caseloads, as school systems do not always have enough therapists to meet the demands of their student population.
Clinicians who enjoy working with adults might consider a hospital or nursing facility setting.
Speech Language Therapists in hospitals and clinics help patients to progress and meet goals after suffering from a medical condition, such as a stroke. This presents some unique challenges.
The hospital setting lends itself to technological advances. Therefore, hospital-based Speech Language Pathologists must be trained and knowledgeable in a range of areas including:
- Fiberoptic endoscopy examination of swallowing\
- Trach/vent care
- And more
Having the proper training, certifications, and experience can propel you forward as an amazing Speech Language Pathologist in any environment.
Nailing That Interview
Now that you’ve found the job that you want and applied for it, the next step is to secure an interview and leave a lasting impression.
To best prepare for your interview as a Speech Language Pathologist, read our blog post on 19 questions you may be asked.