Talk Yourself Into a Job

Speech therapists are also called speech-language pathologists. They work with patients to identify, analyze, treat and prevent speech complications and swallowing disorders. In most cases, a person may need speech therapy after suffering from a stroke, brain injury, developmental complication or an emotional issue. Speech therapists meet with their patients to see how much help they need, determine the extent of the communication disorder and develop a personalized treatment plan. Speech-language pathologists also assist individuals who stutter or have certain voice disorders. Aside from assisting patients, therapists also keep patient records, record evaluations and track the progress of their patients.

If you’re looking to work in the field of speech therapy, you’ll more than likely need a master’s degree. While there aren’t specific bachelor’s degree requirements to qualify for admission to a program, there are certain prerequisite courses you’ll need to complete before applying. Most programs include courses on alternative methods of communication, swallowing disorders and disorders specific to age. While enrolled in a program, you may have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a clinical practice. Speech therapists must also be licensed in order to qualify for speech therapy jobs. Licensure isn’t required in all states, but if it is you’ll have to have a master’s degree and complete a supervised clinical experience. Some states require license applicants to be graduates of accredited programs.

According to labor statistics, speech-language pathologists can expect a 23% employment growth from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the expected average for all occupations. As society becomes more aware of speech disorders and as the elderly population suffers from strokes and hearing loss, the professional help of speech therapists will continue to be required. Other factors that are expected to play a part in employment outlook are medical technology advances increasing the rate of survival for stroke victims and premature infants, who may require the aid of a speech-language pathologist.

In May of 2011, labor statistics showed that the 117,210 speech-language pathologists employed in the U.S. earned an average of $72,000 a year. Roughly half of all speech therapy jobs exist in schools, while other therapists work in the homes of patients and in hospitals alongside social workers, psychologists, parents, teachers and physicians. Therapists who are on a contract basis usually spend a majority of their time traveling from facility to facility.

If you’re looking for an occupation similar to that of a speech therapist, you might want to look into becoming a physical/occupational therapist, psychologist, recreational therapist or an audiologist. Of these, physical therapists had the highest annual wage of $76,310 in 2010 while recreational therapists earned an annual salary of $39,410 during the same year.

Sunbelt Staffing offers advanced search methods to help you find speech therapy jobs in your area. Whether you are looking for a permanent position, travel job or being paid per diem basis, Soliant: Sunbelt Staffing has jobs in your area.

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