One of the great things about speech-language pathology and audiology is the diversity of environmments where these professionals are needed. They work independently or alongside teachers, physicians, physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other healthcare and educational professionals. Most full-time speech-language pathologists and audiologists work 40 hours per week, but there are also opportunities for part-time or per diem work. As a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist, you could work in:
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Nursing Care Facilities
- Home Health Agencies
- Long-Term Care Facilities
- Research Labs
- Center for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
- Public or Private Schools
- Private Practice
- Community Clinics
- College/University Clinics
- Health Department
- State or Federal Agencies
- Adult Day Care Facilities
Entry Level Degree
Speech-Language Pathologists – A master’s degree in speech-language pathology is necessary to begin work in the profession. Speech-Language Pathologist must also be certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and may be required to hold state licensure depending on the state in which one chooses to work.
Audiologist – A doctrate in Audiology is necessary to begin a profession as an audiologist. Audiologists must also be certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and may be required to hold state licensure depending on the state in which one chooses to work.
Earning potential for speech-language pathologists and audiologists
Salaries vary depending on education, experience, and employment setting. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, speech-language pathologists the median pay is $66,920 annually. For audiologists the median pay is $66,660 annually. Individuals in management positions in both fields will earn more, and also receive good benefits packages.
The future outlook for both speech-language pathology and audiology is excellent. Speech-language pathology positions are expected to increase by 23%, and audiology positions by 37% in the next ten years. As more and more children are being recognized as having speech and language problems, and with an ever-increasing number of elderly citizens who need care, more speech-language pathologists are needed. Opportunities in medically-related areas are also growing at an above-average rate for speech-language pathologists. As federal laws now dictate that all children should receive a free and appropriate education, school districts are increasingly hiring audiologists to identify and treat hearing loss or impairment in children. The greater awareness of the importance of early identification of hearing loss, the growing number of elderly citizens and young people with hearing loss are also factors that increase the demand for audiologists.