Career Detail


Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency.
The Job
Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language;
Work Environment
Speech-language pathologists usually work at a desk or table in clean comfortable surroundings. In medical settings, they may work at the patient's bedside and assist in positioning the patient.
College Majors
master's degree
Minimum Qualifications
A master's degree is the most common level of education among speech-language pathologists. Licensure or certification requirements also exist, but vary by State.
Personality traits helpful for this career
They must be able to approach problems objectively and be supportive. Because a patient's progress may be slow, patience, compassion, and good listening skills are necessary.
Quick Facts
  • About half worked in educational services; most others were employed by health care and social assistance facilities.
  • A master's degree in speech-language pathology is the standard credential required for licensing in most States.
  • Excellent job opportunities are expected.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of speech-language pathologists were $62,930 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,330 and $79,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,220.
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