Speech-language pathology is the study and treatment of human communication and its disorders. Speech-language pathologists work with the full range of human communication and its disorders to:
In addition, speech-language pathologists may:
Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings, including educational settings, health care facilities and private practice, among others. Most full-time speech-language pathologists work 40 hours per week; some work part time. Those who work on a contract basis may spend a substantial amount of time traveling between facilities.
Speech-language pathologists often work as part of a team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers and rehabilitation counselors.
As communication professionals, speech-language pathologists have the unique opportunity to:
Speech-language pathology requires attention to detail, specialized knowledge and skills and intense concentration. The emotional needs of clients and their families may also be demanding.
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If you are in high school, you should decide what your major will be. Some colleges and universities offer an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), but it’s not necessary. However, if you do not major in CSD, you may need to complete some prerequisites before applying to graduate school.
Speech-language pathologists must:
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) provides a listing of accredited schools offering a speech-language pathology program.
Those individuals who have a graduate degree with major emphasis in speech-language pathology may become certified by the Council for Clinical Certification, which issues certificates of clinical competence for both audiology and speech-language pathology.
In almost all states, a current license in audiology or speech-language pathology is also required to practice.
Planning Your Education in CSD provides more details about academic requirements for audiologists and speech language pathologists.
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Last updated: March 3, 2015
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