Research Summary. Some key points about hiring a speech language pathologists in the United States include:

  • HR departments typically spend 15% of their expenses on recruitment.
  • It usually takes about 12 weeks for a new employee to reach full productivity levels.
  • It typically takes 36-42 days to fill a job opening.
  • The median cost to hire a speech language pathologist is $1,633.
  • Small businesses spend an average of $1,105 per speech language pathologist on training each year, while large companies spend $658.
  • There are currently 155,035 speech language pathologists in the US and 25,617 job openings.
  • Houston, TX, has the highest demand for speech language pathologists, with 128 job openings.
  • New York, NY has the highest concentration of speech language pathologists.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Speech Language Pathologist

Recruiting speech language pathologists involves both the one-time costs of hiring and the ongoing costs of adding a new employee to your team. Your spending during the hiring process will mostly be on things like promoting the job on job boards, reviewing and interviewing candidates, and onboarding the new hire. Ongoing costs will obviously involve the employee's salary, but also may include things like benefits.

You can expect to pay around $62,340 per year for a speech language pathologist, as this is the median yearly salary nationally. This can vary depending on what state or city you're hiring in. If you're hiring for contract work or on a per-project basis, hourly rates for speech language pathologists in the US typically range between $20 and $42 an hour.

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How to hire a Speech Language Pathologist, step by step

To hire a speech language pathologist, you should create an ideal candidate profile, determine a budget, and post and promote your job. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to hire a speech language pathologist:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a speech language pathologist job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new speech language pathologist
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

The first step to find speech language pathologists for hire is determining what type of worker you actually need. Certain roles might require a full-time employee, whereas others can be done by part-time workers or contractors.

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Hiring the perfect speech language pathologist also involves considering the ideal background you'd like them to have. Depending on what industry or field they have experience in, they'll bring different skills to the job. It's also important to consider what levels of seniority and education the job requires, and what kind of salary such a candidate would likely demand.

The list breaks down common speech language pathologist roles and compares their salaries.

Type Of Speech Language PathologistDescriptionHourly Rate
Speech Language PathologistSpeech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, a cleft palate or autism.$20-42
Graduate Student ClinicianGraduate student clinicians can be a nurse practitioner, pharmacist, or doctor whose primary job is to work with patients and assist patients in managing their medical condition or illness. They perform varied duties and responsibilities that include maintaining a good relationship with patients, discussing the treatment progress to patients, and documenting patients' medical history... Show More$19-40
Student ClinicianA Student Clinician is a healthcare practitioner who works as caregiver of a patient in a hospital or clinic. They integrate knowledge obtained in courses into the clinical practicum assignments.$19-40

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Ideally, you should have the perfect candidate profile in mind before you write a speech language pathologist job description. This means you should have a clear idea of the skill set they need to be proficient in, what their main responsibilities will be, and what kind of background they'll have.

Speech language pathologists typically have the following skills:

Common Skills:
  • Patients
  • SLP
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home Health
  • Patient Care
  • SNF
  • Communication Disorders
  • Acute Care
  • CFY
  • Medicare
  • Autism
  • Dysphagia
  • Language Services
Check All Skills

Here are the responsibilities that most speech language pathologists perform:

  • Plan and provide speech therapy services to preschool and elementary school children with autism, communication disorders and developmental disabilities.
  • Offer speech therapy services in schools k-12 grade.
  • Perform tasks prescribe, direct, and supervise by ASHA certify speech language pathologist.
  • Diagnose, assess and provide treatment in private practice for kids of all ages presenting a language delays.
  • Act as primary liaison between administrative staff, rehabilitation managers, multidisciplinary team members and SLP staff.
  • Provide formal evaluation of communication, cognitive-linguistic, and swallowing deficits for both short term rehabilitation patients and long term residents.
Check all Duties

Beyond the basics, you should also consider how well a candidate fits into your company culture. In other words, you should think about how your ideal speech language pathologist will live by the company's mission statement and contribute to the team dynamic you already have in place.

Most Common States For Speech Language Pathologists In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in the job description is a good way to get more applicants. A speech language pathologist salary can be affected by several factors, such as the location of the job, their level of experience, education and certifications, and the prestige of the employer. For example, the average salary for a speech language pathologist in Minnesota may be lower than in California, and an entry-level engineer typically earns less than a senior-level speech language pathologist. Additionally, a speech language pathologist with lots of experience in the field may command a higher salary as a result.

Updated March 16, 2023

Speech Language Pathologist Salary Estimate


$29.97 hourly

Entry level Salary
$43,000 yearly

Speech Language Pathologist Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
3District of Columbia$76,504$3759
5New York$73,009$35158

Speech Language Pathologist Average Salary By Company

Writing a Speech Language Pathologist Job Description

A job description for a speech language pathologist role includes a summary of the job's main responsibilities, required skills, and preferred background experience. Including a salary range can also go a long way in attracting more candidates to apply, and showing the first name of the hiring manager can also make applicants more comfortable. As an example, here's a speech language pathologist job description:

Example of Full Job Description

Therapy Team Leader, PT, OT, SLP(2232077) Description The Therapy Team leader assists the Director of Therapy Operations in day to day operations of a therapy team or discipline. The position requires effective supervisory skills along with good communication skills for interdepartmental relationships; and competency in licensed discipline evaluation, assessment, care planning and treatment. The Therapy Team Leader must delegate and supervise tasks of therapist assistants and technicians; assist with staffing, scheduling, orientation, training and communications to provide adequate coverage for patient treatments; and maintain open and on-going communication with hospital departments to ensure patient, staff, and hospital needs are met. This position typically provides patient care in licensed discipline 80% - 90% of work hours.

The Therapy Team Leader helps create an environment and culture that enables the hospital to fulfill its mission by meeting or exceeding its goals, conveying the hospital mission to all staff, holding staff accountable for performance, motivating staff to improve performance, and being responsible for the operation of the department, to include measurement, assessment, and continuous improvement. The Team Leader helps staff improve their clinical skills, and overall performance, through staff development and mentoring.
Qualifications License or Certification:
- Current State license as a Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Speech Language Pathologist.
- CPR certification preferred unless otherwise required by hospital policy.
Minimum Qualifications:
- Successful completion of a Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited therapy program, required. Additional training with a Master's or Doctorate's degree in either professional or management area is preferred.
- A minimum of three year's discipline-specific or leadership experience required, with no less than 2 years being clinical.
- Active on Therapy Clinical Ladder (when eligible) or specialty professional certification, preferred.
Machines, Equipment Used:
- General office equipment such as computer/laptop, telephone, copy/fax machine, calculator, scanner, etc.
- Microsoft Office software, to include Outlook, Word, and Excel.
Physical Requirements:
- Visual acuity, speech recognition, speech clarity.
- Ability to lift, lower, push, pull, and retrieve objects weighing a minimum of 30 pounds including medical supplies and equipment and the transferring and repositioning of patients. Reasonable assistance may be requested when lifting, pushing, and/or pulling are undertaken which exceeds these minimum requirements.
Skills and Abilities:
- Oral communication, written communication, fluency in English, active listening.
- Information ordering, deductive reasoning, social perceptiveness, time management, critical thinking.
- Ability to coordinate, analyze, observe, make decisions, and meet deadlines in a detail-oriented manner.
- Ability to work independently without continuous supervision.
Environmental Conditions:
- Indoor, temperature controlled, smoke-free environment. Occasional outdoor exposure.
- Exposure or potential exposure to blood and body fluids may be required.
- Handicapped accessible.
- May work under stressful circumstances at times.
Proficiency or Productivity Standards:
- Has regular, reliable, and predictable attendance and punctuality.
- Adheres to dress code including wearing ID badge.
- Adheres to Standards of Business Conduct.
- Maintains current licensure and/or certifications, if applicable.
- May be required to work weekdays and/or weekends, evenings and/or night shifts if needed to meet deadlines.
- May be required to work on religious and/or legal holidays on scheduled days/shifts.
- Will be required to work as necessary during disaster situations, i.e., before, during or after a disaster.
- May be required to stay after workday to assist after a disaster situation until relief arrives.
- May be required to perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
- This position will support cultural diversity by promoting and maintaining an inclusive work environment and culture that is respectful and accepting of diversity.
Primary Location: Arkansas-Hot Springs-Hot SpringsJob: TherapyEmployee Status: Regular

Post A Job

There are various strategies that you can use to find the right speech language pathologist for your business:

  • Consider promoting from within or recruiting from your existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, and current employees.
  • Attend job fairs at local colleges to find candidates who meet your education requirements.
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to reach potential job candidates.

Post your job online:

  • Post your speech language pathologist job on Zippia to find and recruit speech language pathologist candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites such as healthcarejobsite, health jobs nationwide, hospitalcareers,
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

During your first interview to recruit speech language pathologists, engage with candidates to learn about their interest in the role and their experience in the field. During the next interview, you can go into more detail about the company, the role, and the responsibilities.

Don't forget to include a few questions that give a candidate chance to expand on their strengths in their own words. Asking about their special skills might reveal things you'd miss otherwise. At this point, candidates who are good enough can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Speech Language Pathologist

Once you've selected the best speech language pathologist candidate for the job, it's time to write an offer letter. In addition to salary, this letter should include details about the benefits and perks that you're offering the candidate. It's essential to ensure that your offer is competitive, as qualified candidates may be considering other job opportunities. The candidate may wish to negotiate the terms of the offer, and it's important to be open to discussion. After you reach an agreement, the final step is formalizing the agreement with a contract.

It's equally important to follow up with applicants who don't get the job with an email letting them know that the position has been filled.

Once that's done, you can draft an onboarding schedule for the new speech language pathologist. Human Resources should complete Employee Action Forms and ensure that onboarding paperwork is completed, including I-9s, benefits enrollment, federal and state tax forms, etc. They should also ensure that new employee files are created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Speech Language Pathologists FAQs

How Much Does A Good Speech Language Pathologist Cost?

A good speech language pathologist costs $29.97 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the speech language pathologist experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Speech Language Pathologist?

The duties of a speech language pathologist are:
  • Plan and provide speech therapy services to preschool and elementary school children with autism, communication disorders and developmental disabilities.
  • Offer speech therapy services in schools k-12 grade.
  • Perform tasks prescribe, direct, and supervise by ASHA certify speech language pathologist.

Should I Hire A Speech Language Pathologist With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a speech language pathologist with no experience. Hiring an entry-level speech language pathologist with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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