If you are looking for a career that is both rewarding and challenging, then consider becoming a speech-language pathologist. SLPs work with individuals of all ages who have difficulty communicating due to speech or language disorders. They assess, diagnose, and treat patients with communication problems as well as provide support to patients and their families.
SLP Job Responsibilities
The job responsibilities of a speech-language pathologist include evaluating a patient’s current level of communication skills, then developing treatment plans tailored to the individual’s needs. They also provide speech therapy sessions, monitor progress, and write reports. To become an SLP, you will need at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited program. You may also need to pass a licensing exam depending on the state you live in.
Where Do SLPs Work?
Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. There, they work with people that have various communication disorders such as stuttering, hearing loss, cognitive communication disorders, and more.
A speech-language pathologist working in a school setting is responsible for providing speech and language services to students who have communication difficulties. They would assess students’ communication skills, develop individualized treatment plans, and provide therapy to improve their communication abilities.
In schools, SLPs collaborate with teachers, parents, and other professionals. They work to ensure that students receive the necessary support to succeed academically and socially. School SLPs also provide information and resources about communication disorders to staff and families. Overall, working as an SLP in a school setting can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
A speech-language pathologist working in a hospital setting is responsible for evaluating and treating patients with voice, speech, language, and swallowing disorders. They often work with patients who suffer from neurological conditions or patients who have undergone treatments that affect their ability to communicate or swallow.
SLPs in hospitals collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients. They may also provide education to patients and their families about communication strategies, swallowing exercises, and treatment options. SLPs can help patients regain their ability to communicate and improve their quality of life in a hospital or acute setting.
In rehabilitation, a speech-language pathologist is responsible for providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other neurological condition. SLPs would assess patients’ communication and swallowing abilities and develop individualized treatment plans to address their specific needs.
SLPs working in rehabilitation settings partner with patients to improve their speech and language skills, as well as their cognitive and social communication abilities. They also provide education and training to patients and their families to aid in the recovery process. Assisting patients in a rehab facility can be an incredibly rewarding career, helping individuals regain their independence and quality of life.
Long-term care facilities also need speech-language pathologists. They work with elderly or disabled individuals who have communication and swallowing difficulties. SLPs in LTAC settings collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients can effectively communicate with their care team as well as their families and loved ones.
Providing education and training to staff as well as family members is another responsibility of SLPs in long-term care. They enable families and staff to develop effective communication skills with the residents and comprehend their distinctive requirements.
Demand for SLP Jobs
Speech-language pathologists are in high demand in the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects SLP positions to grow by 21% between 2021 and 2031.
The median annual wage for speech-language pathologists was $79,060 in May 2021. Those in the top 25% earned an average of $100,200 while those in the bottom 25% earned an average of $61,970. ZipRecruiter lists the current 2023 average pay for SLPs at $40/hour or $83,821 yearly.
Additionally, US News and World Report rank Speech-Language Pathology as one of the best allied healthcare careers every year. With such a strong demand for SLPs, salaries have increased and unemployment has decreased to just 0.8%. From young children to seniors, everyone benefits from speech-language pathology.
How To Become an SLP
Becoming an SLP in the United States requires dedication and hard work. The first step is to pursue a bachelor’s degree and take college courses that relate to speech-language pathology like communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, language development, or education. After completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to obtain a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited university.
During your master’s program, you must complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience, known as Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY). Once you have completed your CF, you must pass the Praxis Examination for Speech-Language Pathology and obtain your Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). With these credentials, you will be eligible to practice as a speech-language pathologist in the United States.
SLPs have various specialties, and they can work with different populations, from young children to older adults. They can also specialize in areas such as voice disorders, fluency disorders, and accent modification. Working as an SLP can be very rewarding as it allows you to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them improve their communication skills.
SLP Jobs at SHC
If you are looking to complete your CFY or are already a CCC-SLP, Supplemental Health Care has local and travel SLP jobs across the country in a variety of settings. Reach out to SHC’s recruiting team today to learn more and get started!
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