Health Career Center

Speech Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat people with fluency, swallowing, voice, communication, cognitive, and speech and language problems.

Speech-language pathologists frequently assist people who stutter, struggle with fluency problems, experience cognitive communication disorders, including problem solving, memory, and attention-deficit disorders, and other speech related problems. In addition to treating problems, they work with people interested in altering an accent or overcoming mumbling problems.

Working Conditions
Speech-language pathologists are employed at assisted living facilities, schools, hospitals, and private clinics. They must be detail-oriented, have the ability to concentrate intensely, and work well with others. Additionally, they must be prepared to assist demanding clients. Speech-language pathologists typically work 40 hours every week, but some are employed part-time. Those working as contractors travel frequently.

Career Training and Education
If speech-language pathology interests you, earn a graduate degree from a school recognized by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

Every state mandates that speech-language pathologists hold a master's degree at a minimum. To become licensed, you'll also be more than likely required to pass a test, complete over 300 hours of clinical experience, and treat patients for 9 months in supervised settings. After meeting these requirements, you'll qualify to become certified with the Council for Clinical Certification. Insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid reimburse certified speech-language pathologists. 42 states require licensed speech-language pathologists to periodically complete continuing education.

Contact the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) to learn more about speech-language pathology training.
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