A woman teaching a child at a table.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, nearly 1 in 12 (7.7%) of U.S. children aged 3-17 have had a disorder related to voice, speech, language, or swallowing. Often, these impairments do not go away on their own. This is where the help of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can assist. 

What do speech-language pathologists do?

SLPs work directly with patients and others in a variety of settings, including:

  • Schools
  • Private practices
  • Hospitals
  • Residential care facilities

While earlier is better in regards to speech and communicative therapy, the work of SLPs can benefit people of any age. 

SLPs are passionate, patient, and dedicated to making daily life more enjoyable for anyone who might need their help.

In their daily work, SLPs may:

  • Assess individuals with difficulty or delayed speech, language, and swallowing development through observations and tests.
  • Make a diagnosis and identify specific disorders or impediments in people of all ages and development. Some examples of what a SLP might diagnose include stuttering, AOS, dysarthria, selective mutism, and lisping.
  • Develop treatment plans with individualized exercises, activities, strategies, and one-on-one work
  • Research and collaborate with fellow healthcare professionals to find the best treatments possible.

What are possible SLP careers?

According to ZipRecruiter, SLP jobs in the United States can pay up to $117,000 per year. Here are some of the possible careers you can begin in the SLP field.

  • Speech Pathology Supervisor
  • Speech Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist PRN
  • Speech-Language Therapist
  • Speech-Language Specialist
  • Bilingual Speech Therapist
  • Language Specialist 
  • Medical Language Specialist

The field is also rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 19% increase in job opportunities over the next decade, much higher than the average job increase. This in-demand job will require many dedicated and well-educated specialists in the near future.

How can I become an SLP?

In order to practice speech-language pathology, you need to successfully complete a master’s degree in the field and typically pass a state-specific licensing exam.

With our Speech-Language Pathology Essentials program, not only can you apply to graduate programs, but you will also prepare yourself for success in your future career. Plus, you’ll be learning the same curriculum from the same instructors who teach the on-campus SLP program at SDSU, which in 2024 was ranked #12 in the nation, its highest ranking since 2020.

The courses are designed to satisfy undergraduate credit requirements that are needed to apply to SLP graduate programs. At only $345 per unit and 100% online modality, the courses are accessible to nearly any student; all you need is a passion for communication and a desire to continue your education.

Courses are taught by experienced lecturers from SDSU’s renowned School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS), which was recently ranked #12 in the nation. You can also check SDSU’s Master of Arts (M.A.) Program in Speech-Language Pathology prerequisites here to ensure that you are taking all the necessary courses if you choose to apply.