If you are looking for a meaningful career where you will be making a difference in other people’s lives, then you may want to take a look into the speech and language pathology field. Speech pathology is concerned with helping individuals with speech related disorders such as communication difficulties, fluency problems and more.
However, with a booming aging population and state laws that now require intervention for children with speaking delays, this occupation is expected to grow an astounding 19% in the coming decade. This means plenty of opportunities for those who prepare themselves for this occupation by attending graduate programs in speech pathology and getting the necessary certifications.
As you might have been able to guess, speech pathologists are commonly found in healthcare settings such as clinics, hospitals and nursing care facilities. However, nearly half of these professionals actually work in schools such as elementary and secondary schools. If you have the patience and genuinely enjoy working with children, then this just might be the right career choice for you.
One thing to keep in mind though is that the average salary for speech pathologists working in schools tends to be lower than those who work in healthcare environments. Of course, both settings have their advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully weighed before choosing one.
Speech pathology job responsibilities
Working with patients can be quite demanding as you would need to custom tailor an individualized plan of care for them. As such, qualities such as patience and great attention to detail are necessary to succeed in this field.
The following are some of the job responsibilities that speech pathologists do on a regular basis:
Assess and diagnose patients based on their needs
Design a treatment plan that will help to improve communication
Work with physicians and other social workers
Work with teachers in school settings
Use equipment to help with the treatment process
Communicate with family members to provide feedback
Implement existing speech pathology research techniques
This is only a short sample of responsibilities that one looking to pursue a career in this field can expect. However, these responsibilities can change depending on what the needs of the patient are and whether you work in a hospital or a school.
As it stands, there are actually more job openings than there are speech pathologists as the demand is just so high. If you are looking for an exciting career or want to change your existing career then be sure to look into programs for speech and language pathology.