Description: Speech-Language Pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders.
- Evaluate the difficulty of speaking or swallowing
- Create a treatment plan tailored to the needs of the patient
- Teach patients how to make sounds and improve their voices
- Utilize treatment techniques to strengthen swallowing muscles
- Educate and counsel individuals on dealing with their condition
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- Requires a Bachelor’s Degree (typically in communication sciences and disorders)
- Includes coursework in linguistics, phonetics, psychology, audiology, and anatomy
- Must earn a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology
- Includes coursework in language development, age-specific speech disorders, alternative communication methods, and swallowing disorders
- Requires 400 hours of supervised clinical experience
- Pass the Praxis exam to receive the ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology
Salary: $79,530 (annual mean wage in Pennsylvania)
Work Environment: Schools, therapy centers, hospitals, nursing care facilities
Job Outlook: Expected to increase 18% from 2016 to 2026