Speech-Language Pathologists

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About the Job

Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

It is also Called

  • Voice Pathologist
  • Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped
  • Speech/Language Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
  • Speech Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Speech Correction Consultant
  • Speech and Language Specialist
  • Speech and Language Clinician
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic Director
View All

What They Do

  • Conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics and report findings for use in developing procedures, technologies, or treatments.
  • Provide communication instruction to dialect speakers or students with limited English proficiency.
  • Use computer applications to identify or assist with communication disabilities.
  • Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.
  • Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.
  • Consult with and refer clients to additional medical or educational services.
  • Participate in conferences, training, continuing education courses, or publish research results to share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SIA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative and Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $77,030 with most people making between $50,870 and $115,820

Outlook

1.79%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,980 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 5,870 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 89 openings due to growth and about 131 replacement openings for approximately 220 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education