Speech Language Pathologist Job Profile and Description
Also called speech therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists diagnose and treat people with language, speech, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency problems. They help people who cannot vocalize speech sounds or cannot enunciate them properly or clearly as well as those with speech fluency problems, like stuttering. They also coach people who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying their accent
Speech Language Pathologist Duties and Responsibilities
- Develop individualized plan of care, tailored to each patient’s needs.
- Determine and recommend augmentative alternative communication means like automated devices and sign language, and teach their use in individuals with little or no speech capability.
- Teach patients how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their oral or written language skills to communicate more effectively.
- Teach individuals how to strengthen muscles or use compensatory strategies to swallow without choking or inhaling food or liquid.
- Maintain and update records on initial evaluation and progress of clients in an effort to justify treatment cost for insurance purposes.
- Conduct research on the physiological and psychological drivers of speech
- Design and develop methods or devices for diagnosing and treating speech problems.
Speech Language Pathologist Skills and Specifications
- Should have adequate knowledge of the speech skills
- Should have excellent interpersonal and people management skills
- Has high computer literacy
Speech Language Pathologist Education and Qualifications
- A master’s degree is the most common level of education considered necessary.
- Compliance with state licensing requirements from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association through the Council on Academic Accreditation.
- A 400-hours post graduate course with a 36-week clinical practicum and passing the Praxis Series test in speech pathology.
- 2-3 years experience is an added advantage.
Speech Language Pathologist Salary
The average annual salary of Speech-Language Pathologists is $65,000 with the middle 50% earning between $55,000 and $80,000. The bottom 10% earned around $45,000 while the top 10% earned around $100,000.