Woman teaching child speech and language practices.

Speech pathologists work with a diverse range of patients to evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language, swallowing disorders, and cognitive-communication disorders. As more children and adults struggle with speech-related disorders, speech pathologists are becoming more in demand in a field that can be very rewarding.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for speech pathologists are expected to grow by 21% over the next decade. Since the field of speech pathology is expanding, now is a great time to enroll in the Speech-Language Pathology Essentials Program at SDSU Global Campus. The online classes are taught by SDSU faculty and can be completed in just eight weeks, all from the comfort of your very own home, work, or other convenient location. 

Top 10 Speech-Pathology Careers

Here are the Top 10 careers for current and upcoming speech-language pathologists:

  1. Speech-Language Pathologist: A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating communication and swallowing disorders. They work with individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and help improve their speech, language, fluency, voice, and swallowing skills. Speech pathologists assess patients’ abilities, develop personalized treatment plans, and provide therapy sessions to address speech and language difficulties caused by various conditions such as developmental delays, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, or hearing impairments. The average annual base salary for speech-language pathologists in the United States is $87,459 per year, according to Indeed.
  2. Interpreter: As an interpreter, your primary job is to translate communications between multiple parties in different languages. It is critical to remain nonjudgmental and provide clients with a space where they feel comfortable receiving and asking for translations. According to Indeed, the national average salary for interpreters is $46,146.
  3. Recreational therapist: Recreational therapists are responsible for supporting patients mentally, physically, and behaviorally via drama, music, animal therapy, board games, or any other interactive activities. Recreational therapists work alongside other healthcare professionals to set and meet goals for patients, and to employ patients with stronger coping mechanisms and emotional well-being practices. According to Indeed, the national average salary for recreational therapists is $50,106. 
  4. Special Education Teacher: A special education teacher educates children with physical, mental, or learning disabilities. Special education teachers create individualized education plans (IEP) to help ensure that each student feels safe, comfortable, and academically challenged. According to Indeed, the national average salary for special education teachers is $51,445.
  5. Hearing Aid Dispenser: Hearing aid dispensers are qualified technicians that fit their patients with hearing aids and other similar instruments. Additionally, they test their patient’s hearing ability to help decide which type of hearing aid is necessary. According to Indeed, the national average salary for hearing aid dispensers is $59,643. 
  6. Respite Worker: Respite workers are responsible for filling in for primary caregivers while they are away from work. While on call, respite workers ensure their patients are taking their medications, being bathed and fed, and most importantly, remaining safe and as comfortable as possible. According to Indeed, the national average salary for respite workers is $73,072.
  7. Audiologist: An audiologist is responsible for diagnosing and treating their patients’ hearing issues. Using proper diagnostic testing and other hearing tests, audiologists create a specialized treatment plan for their patients and provide them with the necessary recovery equipment, like hearing aids. According to Indeed, the national average salary is $77,747.  
  8. Hospice Nurse: Hospice nurses are responsible for taking care of terminally ill patients. They assist their patients by providing an emotional connection, minimizing feelings of pain, helping them with normal daily functions, and communicating their patient’s state of health to their family and fellow healthcare workers. According to Indeed, the national average salary is $81,731.
  9. Linguists: Linguists study and understand written and spoken languages from all around the world. Some of their other duties include analyzing audio, interpreting texts to determine language, and collaborating with anthropologists, archaeologists, and researchers. According to Indeed, the national average salary is $82,575.  
  10. Occupational Therapist: An occupational therapist is responsible for assisting chronically ill, critically injured, and disabled people in their everyday lives. They help their patients relearn daily functions using specific movements and techniques, to instill more independence and minimize pain among their patients. According to Indeed, the national average salary is $82,940.

Completing the Speech-Language Pathology Essentials Program at SDSU Global Campus comes with many benefits. Immersing yourself in the program and gaining valuable experience while in class can give you a leg up against other graduate school applicants and help lead you down a successful and rewarding path in the field of speech-language pathology.