Speech-Language Pathologists

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

13500+
Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

Common job titles of Speech-Language Pathologists include:
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Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 80.9% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 19.1% said they needed a Post-Master's Certificate.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Essential Tasks

    Write reports and maintain proper documentation of information, such as client Medicaid or billing records or caseload activities, including the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of clients.

    Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.

    Instruct clients in techniques for more effective communication, such as sign language, lip reading, or voice improvement.

    Use computer applications to identify or assist with communication disabilities.

    Participate in and write reports for meetings regarding patients' progress, such as individualized educational planning (IEP) meetings, in-service meetings, or intervention assistance team meetings.

    Supervise or collaborate with therapy team.

    Monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.

    Complete administrative responsibilities, such as coordinating paperwork, scheduling case management activities, or writing lesson plans.

    Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.

    Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.


Regular Tasks

    Educate patients and family members about various topics, such as communication techniques or strategies to cope with or to avoid personal misunderstandings.

    Evaluate hearing or speech and language test results, barium swallow results, or medical or background information to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice, or swallowing disorders.

    Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.

    Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.

    Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.

    Teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing mechanisms.

    Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.

    Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.


Occasional Tasks

    Consult with and refer clients to additional medical or educational services.

    Participate in conferences, training, continuing education courses, or publish research results to share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies.

    Provide communication instruction to dialect speakers or students with limited English proficiency.

    Conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics and report findings for use in developing procedures, technologies, or treatments.

What Tools and Technologies do Speech-Language Pathologists use?

Tools

Video stroboscopes

Video cassette recorders VCR

Touch switches

Therapeutic voice synthesizers

Tape recorders

Tablet computers

Subglottal air pressure measurement devices

All Tools

Speech therapy mirrors

Sound switches

Sound booths

Recording microphones

Reading pens

Personal computers

Laryngographs

Laptop computers

Jellybean switches

Infrared switches

Headphones

Handheld camcorders

Electromyographs EMG

Electroglottographs EGG

Dynamic display devices

Digital video stroboscopy systems

Digital cameras

Digital audio recorders

Diagnostic stroboscopes

Desktop computers

Compact stereo systems

Compact disk CD players

Closed circuit television systems

Augmentative communication devices

Audiometers

Alternative computer keyboards

Airflow measurement devices

Technologies

Adobe Systems Adobe Audition

Apple Logic Pro

Avaaz Innovations AphasiaMate

Avaaz Innovations Computerized Speech Research Environment CSRE

Avaaz Innovations Interactive Voice Analysis System IVANS

Biofeedback software

Bungalow Software Aphasia Tutor

All Technologies

ELR Software eLr Extra Language Resources

Email software

KayPENTAX Multi-Speech

KayPENTAX Nasometer

Language analysis software

Learning Fundamentals Speech Visualization

Micro Video Voice Speech Training System

Propeller Multimedia React2

Signal analysis software

Speech analysis software

Web browser software

Words+ E Z Keys for Windows

What Skills Do Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Have?

Skills

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Persuasion

Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Negotiation

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Abilities

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Recognition

Identify and understand the speech of another person.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Everything Speech-Language Pathologists Should Know…

Knowledge

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Psychology

Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Therapy and Counseling

Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Medicine and Dentistry

Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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