Speech Therapist Career Duties And Required Education
There are specific educational requirements necessary to pursue a speech therapist career. One of the requirements for becoming a certified speech pathologist, is obtaining a masters in speech therapy that has been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, which is a part of ASHA.
There are several different types of accredited programs. Some schools offer a Master of Speech Pathology in the form of an MA or an MS . Regardless of what kind of program youre drawn to before applying to speech pathology school, its important to ensure that it is accredited. Accredited programs will offer coursework and clinical experience that provides students with key skills and competencies needed in the field of speech pathology.
Once you have completed your graduate education in the field, youll need to take the Praxis Exam, complete a clinical fellowship, and obtain certification before you can start applying for speech therapist jobs. As you continue working in the field, youll need to keep up with continuing education requirements, which vary by state.
Speech pathologists work both independently and as part of a team of professionals that may include audiologists, physicians, occupational therapists, and other health care support personnel. In addition to working with individuals, they can work with their patients families and caregivers.
What Do You Learn In A Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program Online
Online SLPA programs qualify students for work under the direction of a certified speech-language pathologist. As support personnel, SLPAs provide supervised clinical services to help patients manage or overcome a range of speech and language disorders that impact communication and social functioning. When you enroll in an SLPA program, you receive training and instruction in allied health that empowers you to fulfill those responsibilities. Topics covered range from theory-based courses in phonetics and audiological science to hands-on experiences in lab and therapy settings.
Some of the skills and knowledge you can expect to gain in online speech-language pathology assistant programs include:
Speech Language Pathology Careers
Wondering what you can do with a speech-language pathology degree? SLP careers include several different paths. Among the SLP career opportunities that await you include opportunities within education and hospital settings, non-profit organizations, and beyond.
CCC-SLP BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology, MS in Speech Pathology and Communication Disorders
My Advice: Work hard, find a great SLP graduate program, and then use your graduate clinical experiences to explore the directions you can take your career.
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Types Of Slpa Programs Offered Online
Online speech-language pathology assistant programs offer several entry points to accommodate a variety of circumstances and educational levels. Wherever you are and whatever your background, the program types detailed below extend convenient options that build the skills and knowledge needed for SLPA certification.
University Of Wisconsin Eau Claire
The University of Wisconsin Eau Claires online Masters program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a 54-credit program. It is considered part-time, but students must enroll for 2-6 credits per semester.
The coursework is similar among all students, but some may need extra courses to meet prerequisites, resulting in a heavier course load. The program offers scholarships.
Program: Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Communication Changes and Disorders of the Older Adult
- Fluency Disorders
- Voice and Resonance Disorders
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Academic Placement And Career Support
As an online SLP student, you will have access to the same resources as on-campus students, including the NYU Bobst Library, Wellness Exchange, Writing Center, and Wasserman Center for Career Development, which provides one-on-one coaching, webinars, and virtual career fairs to help you in your speech pathologist career.
In addition to continuous mentorship from faculty, youll also work with field placement specialists, academic advisors, and a technology support team to ensure your success as a Speech@NYU student.
Where Do Speech Therapists Work
SLPs work in a wide range of settings. A speech therapist job may entail working in education, health care, or institutional settings. Examples of workplace environments include schools, hospitals, nursing homes, residential healthcare facilities, health departments, private practices, and universities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , the following settings employ the largest numbers of SLPs.
Educational services state, local, and private: 38%Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists: 23%Hospitals state, local, and private: 14%Nursing and residential care facilities: 5%Self-employed workers: 4%
Most speech pathologists are employed in full-time positions, and some may need to travel between various locations, such as schools, to perform their roles.
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Is Online Masters Degree In Speech Pathology Worth It
Indeed, a career in speech pathology has positive outlooks. Investing in an SLP education may yield positive returns, as implied by BLS data. Still, the question of whether an online masters speech pathology program is worth it would not be easy to answer.
In the first place, most online programs related to speech pathology may not necessarily be 100% online. As such, prospective students must make sure they can attend required in-person meetings or activities.
Online masters programs in speech pathology tend to be 60 credit hours long. Prospective students must make sure they will stay motivated. Another related issue to the program length, even with the best online masters degree programs, is the cost. Students must make sure they have enough resources to cover the cost of their program.
Ultimately, whether an online masters in speech pathology is worth it would depend on students current disposition, preferences, and, most importantly, motivation.
List Of Colleges That Offer A Masters Degree For Speech Pathology Online
The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Established in 1845, Baylor University is a privately run university affiliated with the Baptist Church. They are located in Waco, Texas and were originally founded by the last Congress of the Texas Republic.
This makes them the oldest tertiary-level institution in the state. Their main urban campus is 1,000 acres and serves over 17,000 students.
- Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
California State University at Northridge dates back to 1972, after the old San Fernando State Valley School was restructured and integrated into the States public university system.
They serve over 38,000 students on their main campus, located in a residential suburb of the city of Los Angeles and are one of the most diverse public universities in the country.
- Masters in Communicative Disorders
CSU Northridge is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission .
East Carolina University is one of the leading public research institutions in the State of North Carolina. They date back to 1907, although they were originally founded as a teacher training school.
- Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Masters in Communication Science & Disorders
- Masters in Speech-Language Pathology
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Common Courses In Online Slpa Programs
Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology
This course provides a working overview of speech-language pathology as an allied health professional. It establishes crucial knowledge foundations in communication science and behavioral disorders with a focus on language acquisition and speech evolution. Students also explore language development across the lifespan and consider differences in dialect and accent.
Phonetics and Phonology for SLPAs
Students in this class build the key skills in listening and transcription needed to identify and treat disordered speech behavior. Course material looks at how linguistic factors affect language acquisition and how motor skill development can contribute to abnormal speech patterns. Learners also assess intervention and treatment techniques using recent case studies.
Language Therapy and Speech Intervention
Learners in this course develop strategies for speech-language rehabilitation, primarily in the early childhood, adolescent, and young adult life stages. A prerequisite for clinical fieldwork in most online SLPA programs, the class focuses on corrective approaches using insights from cognitive-behavior therapy and speech science. Additional topics may include learning impairment and articulation disorders.
Audiology and Hearing Rehabilitation
Anatomy and Physiology for SLPA
Online Speech Pathology Masters Admissions Requirements
Each online speech pathology masters program has its own prerequisites, so you should contact your accredited institution for detailed information regarding its policies. Depending on your school, you will be required to submit some or all of the following:
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Ready To Start Your Journey
As the population of the United States ages, its numbers of those with hearing and speech challenges are on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the need for a highly trained and well-educated workforce in speech pathology will increase 18% by the year 2026. This will account for the creation of nearly 27,000 new jobs in the field. Not only does entering this field ensure job security, but it also promises a comfortable paycheck. BLS also reports that speech language pathologists make an average of $77,000, and some earn upwards of $100,000.
The field of speech language pathology is not limited to addressing hearing loss among older populations. It encompasses infants to school age children, as well as young adults. Any community you feel passionate about working with will see a need for speech pathologists.
Communication disorders are a wide spectrum of challenges– from stuttering to swallowing, to problems with vocal pitch and volume. These challenges can be the result of developmental delay, stroke, or a cleft palate. Speech language pathologists also enjoy working in a wide variety of settings such as clinics, schools, hospitals, and private practice.
A practicum, internship, or fieldwork experience is at the core of the curriculum on our Top 10 Online Masters in Speech Language Pathology list. These hands-on experiences are set up between the student, department, and host organization in the area where the student resides.
How Do You Become A Speech Pathologist
Becoming a practicing speech pathologist requires earning a graduate degree in the field and becoming licensed.
Heres what a typical path to a career in speech-language pathology might look like:
Master Of Arts In Speech
Please Note: The application deadline for the 2021 cycle has passed!
The next application cycle will open October 2023.
This three-year program, which is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association , is designed to prepare students for entry-level activity as speech-language pathologists. The program uses a clinician-researcher model to prepare students to be life-long learners with a strong foundation in evidence-based practice and academics. The curriculum supports the development of skills related to EBP in a sequence that builds on students hands-on learning opportunities in clinical practicum settings. Throughout the curriculum, students gain experience formulating clinical questions, examining research, collecting data, evaluating outcomes, and presenting their findings in written and oral formats. Through their coursework and clinical training students develop critical thinking skills that will support their future work and development as speech-language pathologists.
Students are admitted in cohort groups who progress through the program together. The next cohort will begin in Fall 2024.
Not Yet Ready For Your Masters Degree Explore A Bachelors Degree Or Certificate In Communication Sciences And Disorders
If youre just starting your journey toward a speech-language pathology career, Maryville offers two paths toward qualifying for your masters degree.
- Dont have a bachelors degree yet? Start here. Earn your online Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Maryville, and build the foundation to set yourself up for graduate-level studies.
- Have a bachelors degree in a different subject? We have a program for you. Our online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders is designed to help you supplement your bachelors degree with the prerequisite coursework to qualify for your masters degree.
Both options are designed to help ensure youre prepared with the skills and competencies you need to get the most out of your masters in speech-language pathology. Want to learn more? with an academic advisor and see how Maryville Online can prepare you for your next step.
Ready to take the next step in your speech-language pathology education?
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Continuing Education Opportunities & Related Degrees
There are plenty of opportunities to advance once youve earned your SLPA credentials, both within the field and beyond it. Continuing education pathways and related degree programs help you do that by deepening your skills or expanding them into new areas. Consider these options as you work to grow your career or explore something different.
Why Earn Your Masters In Speech
The baby boomer population is aging, and advances in medical technology are increasingly effective at helping at-risk populations and trauma survivors thrive. With these positive developments in health and wellness often come challenges in the form of speech, communication, swallowing, and/or hearing disorders.
The National Institute of Health estimates disorders related to speech, language, hearing, or swallowing have affected about one in 12 children between 3 and 17 years old in the past 12 months. In all, these disorders may affect as many as 10% of Americans, contributing to an annual economic impact of up to $186 billion.*
With your online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Maryville, you can help address a vital social need and bring your patients an improved quality of life. Our program is designed to help people with a bachelors degree or professional certificate in a relevant field like communication sciences and disorders complete their education and maximize their career potential. With proven technology and resources and industry-standard techniques, we can prepare you to evaluate speech, language, and swallowing disorders, as well as related physiological and cognitive capabilities of patients of all ages, then develop treatment and rehabilitative solutions in consultation with clinicians and educators.
*Robert J. Ruben, Redefining the Survival of the Fittest: Communication Disorders in the 21st Century
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Best Online Master’s In Speech Pathology
Like many medical fields of study, speech pathology degrees can be taken online. Speech language pathologists play an important role in the lives of individuals suffering from certain language disorders. They use an understanding of social behaviors and physiology to help patients overcome their hearing, language, and speech impediments. In order to become a professional in this line of health care, students must first obtain their master’s degree along with state-specific certifications and licenses.
Speech pathology programs online are widely available and easily accessible for those with a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology or a similar field. Below you’ll find our list of the best master’s degree programs in speech pathology based on alumni salary
Speech Pathologist Job Specializations
As you consider different speech pathology jobs, keep in mind that there are a variety of speech therapist specializations. These specializations focus on different aspects of speech pathology and may require specific knowledge and training. Regardless of speech therapy job specialization, many SLP jobs will use the principle of evidence-based practice.
Choosing a specialization may open up specific career opportunities, some of which are described below:
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Clinical Field Placement Services For Speech Pathology Degree Students
The practicum is an integral part of a masters in speech pathology, often requiring 400-plus hours of work in clinical settings. Depending on the program, placement services typically offered to on-campus students may not always extend to online speech-language pathology students living further away from campus. Online SLP programs offer varying levels of field placement services to help secure clinical sites for online students. Some programs will require that these students find placements on their own. Other programs will use the connections they have to find placements for online SLP students who are geographically close to the school but may not have the ability to place students who are farther away. There are also programs that are able to place students in a practicum site no matter where the student is located.
Some online SLP graduate programs require that a certain amount of practicum hours are completed at on-site clinics, so students may need to travel to the school for up to several weeks to complete those portions of the practicum. Think about what level of assistance you will want when securing your placements and how much you are able to travel if you do indeed need to go to campus for portions of the online program. These speech pathology clinical experiences may affect your preferred speech pathology job setting for your speech pathology career