Pathologists examine, diagnose, and treat patients who have or are
suspected of having speech, language, voice, or fluency disorders. These
problems occur because of problems including brain injury or
deterioration, stroke, hearing loss, mental retardation, voice pathology,
cleft palate, or emotional problems. Speech-language pathologists identify
these disorders by examining and evaluating each patient with written and
oral tests as well as other special instruments. Once certain factors are
identified, they implement a therapy plan that is individually tailored
for the patient. They help direct and evaluate the progress of the therapy
and make corrections if improvement is not being made. For individuals
with little or no speech capability, they may select alternative
communication methods, such as automated devices and sign language.
Speech-language pathologists keep extensive records on each patient’s
progress, which allows them to consult with other professional that might
be able to help with treatments. They also counsel individuals and their
families concerning communication disorders and how to best cope with the
stress and complications that may accompany them. These professionals
often conduct research on new equipment and techniques that can be
beneficial to patients with communication disorders. Individuals
interested in this field should have strong communication skills and be
able to accept a great deal of responsibility.
pathologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, colleges
and universities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, physicians’ offices,
industry, governmental agencies, speech and hearing centers, nursing
homes, and research laboratories.
High School Preparation:
interested in a career as a speech-language pathologist should take high
school courses in biology, physics, chemistry, geometry, algebra, English,
health occupations/medical professions education, sociology, psychology,
computer skills, social studies, and speech.
pathologists are required to have a minimum of a master’s level education.
Individuals must obtain a bachelor’s degree in an acceptable major with a
broad liberal arts curriculum. They must them gain admission into a
speech-language program, which is usually very competitive.
Speech-language pathologist must complete an internship and pass a
national certification examination given by the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Successful completion of these
requirements results in the Certificate of Clinical Competence in
Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).
interested in speech-language pathology should contact schools for
information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study click here.
opportunities for speech-language pathologists are expected to grow much
faster than the average for all occupations though the year 2012. There is
expected growth in the job market of over 21% - 35% over this period of
time. The growing elderly population, the segment of the population that
has the majority hearing disorders associated with severe medical
problems, will cause a sharp rise in employment. Medical advances that
help trauma and stoke victims survive longer will also increase the demand
for speech and hearing professionals. New federal laws affecting schools
and children with disabilities will also have a positive affect on
employment in this health-related field.
$42,100 - $58,300
PO Box 22664