Speech Pathologist

Quick Facts: Speech-Language Pathologists
2012 Median Pay$69,870 per year
$33.59 per hour
Entry-Level EducationMaster’s degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of Jobs, 2012134,100
Job Outlook, 2012-2219% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-2226,000

What Speech-Language Pathologists Do

Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or emotional problems.

Work Environment

Speech-language pathologists held about 134,100 jobs in 2012. Most speech-language pathologists work full time and almost half work in schools.

How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree. They must be licensed in most states; requirements vary by state.


The median annual wage for speech-language pathologists was $69,870 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population grows older, there will be more instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as strokes and hearing loss.


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