Success Comes from Within

Becoming a Speech Pathologist

What it is to be a Speech Pathologist

A speech pathologist is someone who has earned their master's degree in speech pathology. There job is to help all kinds of people with different speech impediments. Some who have disabilities like Down syndrome, to someone who has had a stroke and is trying to regain the skill of speaking. They also help people with lisps or people who are trying to tone down their accents, even people who have problems swallowing and many other issues. They can work in all different types of environments, from hospitals to schools, home based services and outpatient clinics. It can be a very rewarding job, when helping people and seeing the impact you've made or are making in their lives.

A Day in the Life

As a Speech Language Pathologist you will be assessing, diagnosing, treating, and helping to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders can result from many different situations. Not only will you be working with patients with communication\speech issues, you will also have to keep up to date, accurate records. You will evaluate you patients throughout there time with you, recording there progress up until your last session where you will then complete a final evaluation. Last but not least as a Speech Language Pathologist you may choose to specialize in a specific age group and\or you can focus on specific programs for communication or swallowing disorders.

Purposeful Place

In this career, Speech Language Pathologist mainly work in schools, but you can also work in healthcare facilities, like hospitals, or some may work in the patients home. You may also work in a physicians office, it all depends on which path you choose and where you get hired. One other thing is that most SLP's work full time.

Transforming into your Career

When trying to become a Speech Language Pathologist, you have two options. You can get a Bachelors degree in speech communication disorders, or you can get a Bachelors degree in a field related to speech pathology, although certain Masters programs dont have specific requirements for your undergraduate degree, so you'd have to look into what school your going to be getting your masters at, but either way you will have to take a few extra speech communication classes if you choose to get your Bachelors degree in something other than speech communication. No matter which path you choose, you must receive a Bachelors degree to get into a Masters program. Also when becoming a Speech Language Pathologist you must go to graduate school, and receive a Masters degree. When getting into a Masters degree program, like I said before you need a Bacholars degree, but you also need to interview, have letters of recommendation, have a background check, and a drug screen. Some schools may be a little different, so make sure you research your specific schools admission policy. Once you get your degree you will also need to get your license, almost all states require a Speech Language Pathologist to be licensed.

What its Worth

The median annual wage for a Speech Language Pathologist was $69,870 in 2012.

Career Destination

The outlook for this career is good, its projected to grow 19% for a Speech Language Pathologist from 2012-2022, which is much faster then the average for most other occupations.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Speech-Language Pathologists, on the Internet at (visited September 22, 2015).

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So you want to be a Speech-Language Pathologist