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Therapy

Speech-Language Pathologist

Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Speech-Language Pathologist Speech-language pathologists are specialists in communication who evaluate and treat problems with speech, voice and language. Such problems include difficulties with articulation (pronunciation of the speech sounds), fluency (such as stuttering), vocal nodules caused by improper voice use, as well as problems with organizing heard or spoken language that result from brain disorders, congentital issues, or strokes. Speech-language pathologists use written and oral tests, as well as special instruments, to diagnose the nature and extent of impairment and to record and analyze speech, language, and swallowing irregularities. Most speech-language pathologists provide direct clinical services to individuals with communication or swallowing disorders. In speech and language clinics, they may independently develop and carry out treatment programs. In medical facilities, they may work with physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other therapists. Speech-language pathologists in schools develop individual or group programs, counsel parents, and may assist teachers with classroom activities.
Salary $32,580-$49,000-$74,010
Significant Points About half work in schools, and most others are employed by healthcare facilities. A master's degree in speech-language pathology or audiology is the standard credential.
Specializations Some speech-language pathologists conduct research on how people communicate. Others design and develop equipment or techniques for diagnosing and treating speech problems.
Work Environment Speech-language pathologists are employed in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and clinics. They often work as part of a rehabilitation or educational team of professionals. Most full-time speech-language pathologists work between 35 and 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.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including biology and chemistry, and physics; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language. Students should also consider public speaking and psychology courses.
Academic Requirements A master's degree is required to be licensed to practice as a speech-language pathologist in Colorado. A baccalaureate degree is the first step to enter this profession; undergraduate programs in speech/hearing are available as preparation for the professional degree. However, undergraduate degrees in education, psychology or other related fields are also acceptable. The professional (master's degree) program covers anatomy, speech and language pathologies, therapeutic approaches and other related topics. Speech-language pathologists are also required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to obtain its Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). This involves the completion of a master’s degree, a supervised Clinical Fellowship (CF), and a passing score on the Praxis Series examination. Graduates of accredited programs are then eligible for a state license.

Schools/Organizations

Metropolitan State College
Bachelor Degree Bachelor's
University of Colorado-Boulder
Bachelor Degree Bachelor's    On-line program available On-line program available
Doctoral Degree Doctoral
Masters Degree Master's
University of Northern Colorado
Bachelor Degree Bachelor's
Masters Degree Master's    On-line program available On-line program available

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