Careers in Speech Pathology


With a rise in speech-related problems in people, speech pathologists are in great demand nowadays. Let’s learn more on careers in speech pathology.

The professionals who carry out speech pathology are known as speech-language pathologists or speech therapists. They evaluate, examine, treat and assist to preclude complications that relate to speech, voice, logical reasoning and fluency in verbal communications. They are responsible for working with individuals, who are unable to produce speech sounds or can’t produce the sounds in a apprehensible manner; have speech rhythm or fluency issues, like stammering; voice problems; and complications regarding understanding or producing language. People who want to meliorate their verbal communication skills by altering a dialect; and those who have cognitive communication problems that relate to attention, memory, and problem-solving capabilities, also benefit from speech pathology programs. They also are beneficial to individuals who suffer from swallowing disorders. Speech pathologists utilize peculiar tools and qualitative and quantifiable assessment methods including specific tests to examine and diagnose the nature and levels of disabilities.

Speech therapists introduce personalized plans for treating and curing disorders, which are customized according to the patient’s requirements. For patients who have little or no speech ability, they choose enhanceable and alternative communication therapies which may include automated equipments and sign language. They assist individuals to produce and meliorate sounds and voices; and also help in improving oral and written communicative skills, to pass ideas more efficaciously. They may recommend some therapies and procedures which would enable, patients with swallowing problems, to swallow without choking. They guide individuals to generate dependable communication and swallowing techniques, so as to enable the patients to live a normal life, and also complete educational or social functions.

Speech therapists maintain records of patient’s initial conditions, level of advancements, treatments, cures and discharge. This enables them to exactly identify the disorders, track the patient’s level of improvement progress, and analyze the price of treatment when the patient applies for reimbursement. They also play an important role in advising patients and their families in regards to communication problems and the methods of managing stress and misunderstanding that comes along. They educate the patient’s families regarding several techniques, that can be used at home, which are suitable to enhance the patients communication level.

A majority of speech therapists render direct medical services to people who have complications in communication. In clinical facilities, they carry out their responsibilities after consulting with doctors, welfare workers, psychologists, and many other therapy professionals. If they happen to work in schools and educational institutions; they cooperate with instructors, special pedagogues, student’s guardians, and other education professionals to introduce and incorporate personal or team speech pathology programs, counseling, and developing new classroom activities. Few of them also carry out a research on different ways in which people can communicate efficiently. Some may participate in designing and developing of devices or techniques, for analyzing and treating speech and vocal disorders.

Approximately 109,000 positions were held by speech therapists in 2006 with around 50% working in educational sectors like preschools and secondary schools. The rest were working in medical facilities, health practitioners’ clinics, nursing houses, health care institutions, etc. Some started their own speech therapy centers and were self-employed.

Speech therapists earn good amount of money from the speech pathology training they offer in schools and educational institutions. They may also design some speech pathology courses for students who have speech problems. Their per annum income may differ depending on the sectors they work in. Those who work in nursing facilities may earn somewhere around $70,000, professionals in health practitioners’ office may earn around $62,000, and those in hospitals may earn about $60,000.

If one needs to choose a career in speech pathology, he obligatorily needs to be a good communicator, who can deeply understand the speech and communication gaps of people. It’s an added advantage, if he is adept in a second language such as Spanish or French.

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