How to become a speech pathologist

How to become a speech pathologist

A Speech pathologist diagnose, study, and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, reading, understanding language, stuttering, writing skills, and using voice in children and adults. So they work with people who have had difficulty communicating due to brain injuries, strokes, development delays, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, learning disability dementia, and hearing loss.

They also take help people who have problems that can affect speech and language, drinking safely, and swallowing food. These aren’t small issues, for example, people who have trouble with communication it’s difficult to pick up new information or communicate etc. So if you have trouble with communication or any other go-to a speech pathology to prevent communication disorder early on.

How can I become a Speech Pathologist

The first thing you need to do is to understand the importance of a speech pathologist and what is their role in healthcare. A speech pathologist is vital in helping individuals for example problems with speech to live a happy healthy and fulfilling life.

After you learn their importance you will need to follow three important steps that every aspiring speech pathologist should follow.


  1. Bachelor’s Degree Program – The first thing you need to do is earn a Bachelors’s degree from a reputable high education institution. Some examples of common undergraduate majors for future speech-language pathologists are linguistics, language development communication science and disorders, education, English, and psychology.
  2. SLP Master Degree Program – Master programs typically are paired with an internship or clinical experience to ensure that students are getting well-rounded are having a practical learning experience. Now many working professionals are choosing to pursue an online speech pathology program so they can get an advanced degree without having to sacrifice location or the current income.
  3. Pursue Licensure- A speech pathologist should also be licensed a process that varies by states and requires a supervised clinical experience. For speech pathologist who wants to work in schools teaching certification is required in some states.

Currently, speech pathologists are able to gain a recognized qualification at either an undergraduate or Masters Level. Both courses are equally recognized by the Association and employers.

Annual average of speech-language pathologists by state
Annual average of speech-language pathologists by state

Private and Public

A speech pathologist can work in a private or a public setting.

  • Private services are provided by speech pathologists working with individual clients with other speech pathologists or in multidisciplinary training. You usually don’t need a referral to see a speech pathologist.
  • Public services are provided by government or non-profit organizations. This service is usually free of changes although sometimes a small fee can be charged and often there is a waiting list for public services.


The typical duties of a speech pathologist

  • Improving vocabulary and sentence structure in spoken and written communication.
  • Presenting techniques for improving a patient’s language fluency and voice pitch.
  • Monitoring and evaluating progress.
  • Developing and strengthening muscles used to swallow.
  • Assessing levels of language, speech, and swallowing difficulty as well as the treatment options.
  • Producing individualized therapy plans that address specific needs.
  • Counseling individuals and families to cope with their troubles.
  • Teaching adults and children how to improve their voice and make sounds.


These duties depend on your specific career, how where, and with whom you are carrying these duties will range broadly. If you are focusing on specific communication or swallowing problems like things related to autism etc.

Salary of a speech pathologist

The salary of a speech pathologist really depends on their background experience, geographical location, and work setting. According to a 2015 health care survey, yearly salaries ranged from $70,000 to $93,000 in health care settings. Those who are paid an hourly range of salaries are from $40 to $76. Those that are in the administration can earn more than $90,000.

Speech-language pathologists have made a median salary of $77,510 in 2018. The best-paid 25% made $97,770 that year while the lowest-paid 25% made $60,570.

Members have said that pay increases for Master’s level SLPs paid on a doctoral level scale.

Bonus tip: Speech Language was ranked #6 in best Health care jobs and ranked #8 in Best Jobs. These jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors.


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