Speech Therapist Career Profile

A speech therapist assesses and treats disorders that affect articulation, fluency, pronunciation, swallowing and other oral communication disorders and they are usually employed in the education or healthcare industry.

Basic Tasks

A speech therapist helps patients with different disorders. Some of the disorders a speech therapist helps with include articulation disorders, meaning the speaker mispronounces certain phonemes, such as mistaking “th” for “s”, or a fluency disorder, such as stuttering. Other disorders include voice and language disorders. They may also assist patients who have difficulty swallowing, such as persons recovering from an injury or surgery.

The speech therapist would meet and diagnose a patient and assign exercises to a patient to improve their condition. About half of speech therapists work in schools or educational facilities, the remainder in health care facilities. During the course of the day, they will meet with patients, teachers, social workers and other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. A speech therapist will also be responsible for documenting treatment, noting progression of treatment and reporting on the results of the treatment, so it is important that the therapist keep accurate records. Depending on the nature of their employment they may travel between facilities to meet with patients.

Speech therapists may also engage in research or work in specialized therapy centers. In a specialized facility, they may work with patients of a similar age that have a similar disorder, and will assign different therapies based the variables of their research. Once the data is gathered, they will analyze the data and present the results in research publications or in public presentations such as conferences. These speech therapists will usually possess a PhD and some clinical experience before becoming researchers in this field.

Hours and Schedule

Speech therapists work full-time, Monday through Friday. If the speech therapist specializes in accent reduction, there may be opportunities to teach evening classes or hold consultation hours after school. Depending on their employer, there may be some travel involved, between facilities or schools.

Salary

On average, a speech therapist with a master’s degree in speech language pathology, receives an annual salary of $66,000/year. In the education industry, a speech therapist makes an annual salary of $60,000/ year while those therapists that work in hospitals make an average salary of $70,000/year. Top paying states for this field include Connecticut, Ohio and California.

Opportunities

Speech therapists can work in a healthcare setting, seeing patients of all ages and assisting them with their rehabilitation and therapy. Some of their work will include working with persons recovering from stroke or dealing with an illness that has affected their communication skills. Some of the best paying positions in this field are found in home healthcare or in nursing facilities.

In an education setting, a speech therapist would work with students to assist them with their oral communication difficulties. Many speech therapists work with K-12 schools, though there are opportunities to work in disability services at the post-secondary level. Some speech therapists teach classes on college campuses or in adult education facilities, usually through a community college, about accent reduction.

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A speech therapist assesses and treats disorders that affect articulation, fluency, pronunciation, swallowing and other oral communication disorders and they are usually employed in the education or healthcare industry.

Basic Tasks

A speech therapist helps patients with different disorders. Some of the disorders a speech therapist helps with include articulation disorders, meaning the speaker mispronounces certain phonemes, such as mistaking “th” for “s”, or a fluency disorder, such as stuttering. Other disorders include voice and language disorders. They may also assist patients who have difficulty swallowing, such as persons recovering from an injury or surgery.

The speech therapist would meet and diagnose a patient and assign exercises to a patient to improve their condition. About half of speech therapists work in schools or educational facilities, the remainder in health care facilities. During the course of the day, they will meet with patients, teachers, social workers and other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. A speech therapist will also be responsible for documenting treatment, noting progression of treatment and reporting on the results of the treatment, so it is important that the therapist keep accurate records. Depending on the nature of their employment they may travel between facilities to meet with patients.

Speech therapists may also engage in research or work in specialized therapy centers. In a specialized facility, they may work with patients of a similar age that have a similar disorder, and will assign different therapies based the variables of their research. Once the data is gathered, they will analyze the data and present the results in research publications or in public presentations such as conferences. These speech therapists will usually possess a PhD and some clinical experience before becoming researchers in this field.

Hours and Schedule

Speech therapists work full-time, Monday through Friday. If the speech therapist specializes in accent reduction, there may be opportunities to teach evening classes or hold consultation hours after school. Depending on their employer, there may be some travel involved, between facilities or schools.

Salary

On average, a speech therapist with a master’s degree in speech language pathology, receives an annual salary of $66,000/year. In the education industry, a speech therapist makes an annual salary of $60,000/ year while those therapists that work in hospitals make an average salary of $70,000/year. Top paying states for this field include Connecticut, Ohio and California.

Opportunities

Speech therapists can work in a healthcare setting, seeing patients of all ages and assisting them with their rehabilitation and therapy. Some of their work will include working with persons recovering from stroke or dealing with an illness that has affected their communication skills. Some of the best paying positions in this field are found in home healthcare or in nursing facilities.

In an education setting, a speech therapist would work with students to assist them with their oral communication difficulties. Many speech therapists work with K-12 schools, though there are opportunities to work in disability services at the post-secondary level. Some speech therapists teach classes on college campuses or in adult education facilities, usually through a community college, about accent reduction.