Are you considering a change in careers to one that would allow you to help others? Put your own communication and language skills to use as a speech pathologist. Sure, it isn’t all about the money, but going into it, you should know what to expect your speech-language pathologist salary to look like. So, here are the details.
What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist is someone who works with people of all ages (from newborns to senior citizens) to treat different voices, language, speech, and swallowing conditions.
Someone who practices as a pathologist can, for example, help a flustered parent determine why their child’s language is underdeveloped for their age. They can also suggest how to take action and explain how and why conditions like dysphagia occur and impede speaking and swallowing.
Where do Speech Pathologists work?
Speech pathologists can work in just about any setting. Many schools rely on speech pathologists to help students get up to speed with their peers. You might also find them working in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient rehabilitation offices, in public clinics, in government-funded facilities, and in their own private practices.
Most offer in-person services, but some are now finding success in branching off with online sessions.
How Much Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Make?
The median income for speech-language pathologists sits at $85,090. At the higher end of that bell curve is an income of about $99,000, while the lower end of it sits at just over $71,000.
All things considered, the speech language pathologist salary hits a high annual range compared to some other jobs in similar fields. Those who are starting out tend to make less but will work their way up over time. The higher the graduate degree they hold, the more likely a speech pathologist is to inch closer to that $99,000 mark. And, to become certified or licensed in your state, you will need at least a Master’s degree.
Career Outlook for Speech-Language Pathologists
A degree in speech pathology gives students the skills employers in this field are looking for. Employers want common skills (like multilingualism, teaching, time management, and interpersonal communication) as well as more advanced ones, such as communication disorders knowledge and pathology itself.
With those skills and a license to accompany them, speech pathologists can find work in the public school systems, doing an early intervention, in nursing homes, or even working in research facilities.
How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist?
To be a speech-language pathologist, you need to get a degree. You will need a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant program, and some entry-level job experience does not hurt either.
You will need to proceed with your Master’s degree, and a doctoral degree is a strong conclusion (although not exactly a necessary one for licensing). When you are sure about creating your career path in speech-language pathology, opt for reliable places like SpeechPathologyGraduatePrograms.org to begin your journey.
Licensure laws will vary a little by state and by what you want to do with your degree. For example, in Michigan, a Speech-Language Pathologist needs to hold either a Master’s or doctoral degree through an accredited program, have 1,260 hours of supervised postgrad clinical experience logged, and pass the Board of Speech-Language Pathology’s exam.
A career in the field can result in a sizable speech-language pathologist salary. But don’t get it twisted; most practitioners aren’t in it for the money. They, too, are propelled by the drive to help people overcome troubling voice, speech, language, and swallowing disorders.