Speech-Language Pathologist Job Description

SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults. They treat many types of communication and swallowing problems. 

man speaking in front of crowd

They help people with speech, language, fluency/swallowing disorders, voice problems (such as vocal cord paralysis), stuttering and autism. They help people who have had strokes or brain injuries to recover the ability to speak, read, write and understand what other people say. SLPs also help with swallowing problems caused by medical conditions like cancer, or by surgery to the mouth, throat and esophagus.


SLPs go to college for four years to earn a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) or communication science and disorders. Then SLPs complete graduate school, which involves clinical training and at least one year of full-time work experience in speech pathology.  SLPs may go on to earn a doctorate in communication sciences and disorders (doctor of philosophy, or PhD) or in speech-language pathology (doctor of science).


SLPs work on many types of projects, including studies that involve children, teens and adults; research on new drugs or treatments; and programs that focus on helping people prepare for a job, learn English or overcome a disability.


SLPs also help people who have trouble understanding what others say: for example, when a person with hearing loss is having trouble in social situations. SLPs can work with family members to make sure messages are clear to everyone, and not just the person with hearing loss.


SLPs also teach people strategies to overcome reading and writing problems like dyslexia or stuttering, and treat voice disorders that affect speaking ability.

Statistics on Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Median Pay $80,480 per year $38.69 per hour Typical Entry-Level Education Work Experience in a Related Occupation On-the-job Training Number of Jobs, 2019 Job Outlook, 2019-29 25% (Much faster than average) Employment Change, 2019-29 (bls.gov)
  • Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. (bls.gov)
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $122,790. (bls.gov)
  • projected 2019-29 Speech-language pathologists Total, all occupations Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. (bls.gov)
  • The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029. (bls.gov)
  • The average growth rate for all occupations is 4 percent. (bls.gov)
  • Growth Rate (Projected) The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2019 to 2029. (bls.gov)
  • The projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029. (bls.gov)


Articles On Speech-Language Pathologists

Who Are Speech-Language Pathologists, and What Do They Do?

 Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs, are experts in communication. (asha.org)


Speech-Language Pathologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. (bls.gov)


The Profession of Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-Language Pathology - Job description and information about salary, educational and licensing requirements, and job outlook. (asha.org)


Speech-Language Pathologists (onetonline.org)


Speech-Language Pathologist - Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews

Speech-language pathologists evaluate, diagnose and treat people with speech, language or swallowing difficulties. They work with many types of patients, ... (money.usnews.com)


What Is a Speech Language Pathologist & What Do They Do?

Interested in speech-language pathology? Find out what a speech pathologist is—and learn how to begin your career in speech-pathology. (usa.edu)


How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

If you’re thinking of becoming a speech-language pathologist, the essential steps highlighted in this article can help you get there. (speech.emerson.edu)


Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists work with the full range of human communication to treat speech, language and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages. (explorehealthcareers.org)


Speech–language pathology - Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)


Best Speech-Language Pathology Programs - Top Health Schools (usnews.com)


Speech-Language Pathologist

Information on licenses, renewals, scope of practice, fees, rules and regulations for speech-language pathologists. (doh.wa.gov)

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