Becoming a Speech Language Pathologist

A Speech Language Pathologist, also known as Speech Therapist, helps people who find it difficult communicating with others. They diagnose and treat all types of speech disorders and provide effective treatment to overcome the problems. The Speech Therapists use vocal exercises and cognitive therapies to improve the communication skills among the patients.

Educational Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree – A Bachelor’s Degree is the entry-level qualification to become a Speech Language Pathologist. The duration of the course is four years. And, the students study physics, chemistry, biology etc. during the degree program.
  2. Master’s Degree – Apart from these regular undergraduate subjects, the aspirants should go for a Master’s Degree in an accredited speech and language program. Coursework in linguistics, behavioral science, anatomy, psychology and general science are heavily recommended.
  3. Certification Program – After acquiring the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, the Speech Language Therapist need to obtain certificates from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The certification, known as CCC (Council for Clinical Certification) includes a clinical fellowship training period and a certification exam.

Salary & Wages: According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for Speech Language Pathologists is between $53,000 and $65,000 per annum. In some cases, they earn up to $80,000.

The Speech Language Pathologists get employment at hospitals, schools, nursing facilities and private clinics. The career outlook for this profession is bright, but it’s very demanding and requires specialized knowledge and skills apart from high concentration at workplace.