When considering a Masters in Speech Pathology, you should be prepared to work with all types of people with speech issues, language barriers and swallowing problems. Often classified as a division of communication studies, speech-language pathology involves evaluating, diagnosing and best treating communication issues and swallowing disorders in people of all ages.
Before you decide to earn you graduate degree in speech pathology the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends you ask yourself the following questions:
There’s a lot of work that goes into getting a speech-language pathology graduate degree, so be sure you’re fully committed to it before you start.
Do you want to work with children or the elderly? Maybe you want the flexibility to work from home in private practice. Whatever it is, have a set of defined top professional goals before you embark on your search for speech pathology grad schools.
A comprehensive graduate degree program for a masters degree in speech pathology will typically include the following types of courses:
Students in a speech pathology masters programs may also learn to evaluate and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders while in a supervised, hands-on clinical setting.
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While an undergraduate degree in speech pathology or communication disorders is helpful, it is often not a requirement for entering a speech pathology masters program (including a speech pathology no GRE required program). Most programs seek students who are excited about their speech pathology graduate degree program and who are likely to finish the program and attain licensure.
However, certain science courses are often required to apply for a speech pathology masters program. If you don’t have them, you may need to add some prerequisites onto your program, lengthening the time you spend to get your master’s degree.
If you want to be certified as a speech language pathologist by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of ASHA, the Council requires a master’s degree in speech language pathology from a school that has been accredited by the CFCC.
In addition, there are clinical requirements, much like an internship, and a national exam that must be passed. Many states also require licensure or certification of their own.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, of the 134,100 speech pathologists employed in 2012, 48% worked in elementary and secondary schools.
Other industries that heavily employ speech pathologists include; the offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists and audiologists, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.
The chart below provides detailed employment statistics by industry:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median income for a speech-language pathologist in 2012 was approximately $69,870. Pay levels vary with the industry of employment and number of years a pathologist has practiced.
Potential career opportunities for speech language pathologists are expected to grow at a faster than average rate, with 19 percent growth expected between 2012 and 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 160,100 people will be employed as speech-language pathologists by 2022.