Career Profile: Why Pursue A Language Speech Pathologist Career?

Nurse Anesthesiologist

Also Called: Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist

Job Description:

A language speech pathologist is a skilled professional that help patients with communication impairments particularly those with:

  • voice quality problems
  • cognitive-communicative difficulties
  • speech rhythm and fluency problems
  • swallowing and language disorders

In general, language speech pathologist professionals assess, diagnose, and treat individuals who have difficulty in producing specific sounds, speaking fluently, and expressing words. In addition to that, language speech pathologist professionals also help patients who are struggling to overcome cognitive impairments.

The main responsibilities and functions of a professional language speech pathologist include the following:

  • Assess the extent of the patient's speech difficulty
  • Teach patients how to strengthen their vocal muscles to improve speech clarity and compensate for their shortcomings
  • Keep track of the patients' speech progress
  • Collaborate closely with teachers, audiologists, counselors, and doctors to ensure effective treatment results
  • Use written and oral tests to diagnose nature of impairment
  • Teach sign language for patients with no speech capability, and those with impaired hearing
Work Environment:

Language speech pathologist professionals are typically employed in a pleasant, clean, and comfortable work setting. Since they interact with a wide variety of people on a regular basis, it is critical that they possess a cheerful and friendly personality. Full-time language speech pathologist professionals may need to work more than 40 hours a week. Those working part-time have more flexible work hours, while those working in public schools usually follow the work schedule of classroom teachers.

Education and Training Requirements:

Language speech pathologist aspirants should enroll in course programs related to Communication Sciences and Languages. Aspirants must earn a master's degree, which is a standard requirement before they can legally practice the profession. Teaching certificates may also be required for those who want to work in public schools, while a state license is a must for those who want to work in healthcare settings. Licensing and certification requirements vary greatly from state-to-state.

Language speech pathologist professionals who want to advance in their career must pass the certification exam issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Getting relevant field experiences are also advised.

Salary Range:

Income rates of language speech pathologist professionals are usually based on their years of experience, educational background, practice setting, and geographical location. Majority of language speech pathologist professionals receive annual earnings of around $39,925 - $70,566. Meanwhile, those who have acquired additional trainings and gained more relevant experiences typically earn more than $76,429 annually. They also enjoy benefits including retirement plans, paid vacations, and medical insurance.

Job Outlook:

Work demand for language speech pathologist professionals is expected to increase until 2014. The continuous advancements in medical technology and the growing number of the aging population will prompt the creation of more job opportunities for certified language speech pathologist professionals.

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