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Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree. They must be licensed in most states; requirements vary by state.Education
Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree. Although master’s programs do not require a particular undergraduate degree for admission, certain courses must be taken before entering a program. Required courses vary by institution.
Graduate programs often include courses in speech and language development, age-specific speech disorders, alternative communication methods, and swallowing disorders. These programs also include supervised clinical experience.
The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, accredits education programs in speech-language pathology. Graduation from an accredited program is required for certification and, often, for state licensure.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Almost all states require speech-language pathologists to be licensed. A license requires at least a master’s degree and supervised clinical experience. Many states require graduation from an accredited master’s program to get a license. For specific requirements, contact your state’s medical or health licensure board.
Speech-language pathologists can earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Certification satisfies some or all of the requirements for state licensure and may be required by some employers.
Speech-language pathologists who work in schools may need a specific teaching certification. For specific requirements, contact your state’s department of education or the private institution in which you are interested.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Speech-language pathologists must select the most appropriate diagnostic tools and analyze the results to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Communication skills. Speech-language pathologists need to communicate test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments in a way that patients and their families can understand.
Compassion. Speech-language pathologists work with people who are often frustrated by their difficulties. Speech-language pathologists must be able to support emotionally demanding patients and their families.
Critical-thinking skills. Speech-language pathologists must be able to adjust their treatment plans as needed, finding alternative ways to help their patients.
Detail oriented. Speech-language pathologists must take detailed notes on patient progress and treatment.
Listening skills. Speech-language pathologists must listen to a patient’s symptoms and concerns to decide on the appropriate course of treatment.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Speech Therapist
Top Careers After Speech Therapist
Hispanic or Latino12.4%
Black or African American0.5%
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Nova Southeastern University7.9%
College of Saint Rose6.4%
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania6.4%
Clarion University of Pennsylvania5.7%
Tennessee State University5.7%
Ball State University5.7%
Stephen F Austin State University5.0%
Texas A&M University5.0%
Northern Arizona University4.3%
Southern University and A & M College4.3%
Valdosta State University4.3%
Florida State University4.3%
Grand Canyon University4.3%
Carlos Albizu University4.3%
Arizona State University3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Facility Rehab Director/Speech Therapist||Affirma Rehabilitation Resource Center||Modesto, CA||Nov 13, 2016||$105,000 -
|Speech Therapist||Plano Operating Company, LLC||Plano, TX||Jan 13, 2016||$100,248 -
|Speech Therapist||Sutter Visiting Nursing Association and Hospice||Emeryville, CA||May 04, 2015||$99,840|
|Speech Therapist||Gateways Rehabilitation, LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Jun 28, 2012||$98,089|
|Speech Therapist||Gateway Rehabilitation LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Jun 15, 2012||$98,089|
|Speech Therapist||Cumberland Therapy Services, LLC||San Jose, CA||Sep 01, 2010||$81,500|
|Speech Therapist||Cumberland Therapy Services, LLC||San Jose, CA||Sep 01, 2012||$80,000|
|Speech Therapist||Vista Hill Foundation||San Diego, CA||Sep 15, 2011||$77,251|
|Speech Therapist||Alum Rock Union Elementary School District||San Jose, CA||Aug 01, 2014||$75,995|
|Speech Therapist Fellow (Slp-Cfy)||SHC Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 17, 2013||$73,045|
|Speech Therapist||Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc.||Philomath, OR||May 01, 2014||$73,045|
|Speech Therapist||Power Rehabilitation Services, LLC||Ocala, FL||Dec 09, 2016||$72,904|
|Speech Therapist||Baker Hall||Buffalo, NY||Sep 15, 2013||$66,784|
|Speech Therapist||Blue Sky Therapy||Canfield, OH||Oct 03, 2011||$66,650|
|Speech Therapist||Gonzales Unified School District||Gonzales, CA||Jul 20, 2011||$65,757|
|Speech Therapist||Michigan Rehab Care, Inc.||MI||Feb 06, 2014||$65,520|
|Speech Therapist||Child Success Center||Santa Monica, CA||Feb 01, 2011||$65,000|
|Speech Therapist||Aprendamos Intervention Team||Las Cruces, NM||Jun 30, 2010||$65,000|
|Speech Therapist||NYL-New York League for Early Learning||NY||May 10, 2012||$60,000|
|Speech Therapist||Trinity Health||Minot, ND||Aug 01, 2016||$58,812|
|Speech Therapist||Trinity Health||Minot, ND||Jan 08, 2016||$58,812|
|Speech Therapist||Grandison Management, Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 28, 2016||$58,582|
|Speech Therapist||Grandison Management, Inc.||NY||Aug 28, 2016||$58,582|
|Speech Therapist||Grandison Management, Inc.||Monsey, NY||Aug 28, 2016||$58,582|
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