Speech-Language Pathologist

Nature of Work

The speech-language pathologist role includes:

  • Diagnose disorders and educates students, staff, and parents
  • Writing Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and/or Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP)
  • Has a role in the IEP/IFSP meetings
  • Provides direct services to students, parents and professionals
  • Maintains accurate files
  • Collaborates with other professionals
  • Prepare lessons that include games, American Sign Language, computer programs, and other technology and assistive devices during therapy
  • Have knowledge of various disabilities along with hearing loss and child development skills

Education Required

  • Most states require a master's degree

Certification Required

  • Check your state department of special education, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Personal Qualities

  • Must be flexible
  • Enjoy working with school age students and in a school setting.
  • Be a team player
  • Be willing to keep up with the advancements in therapy and technology

Job Outlook and Advancement

  • Employment of speech-language pathologists and audiologists is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2006.Employment in schools will increase along with growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education students.(BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook 1998-99)
  • This related service is in critical shortage around the United States. Contact your state department of special education for positions, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or the National Clearinghouse for job information. Many places have a web page with job search information.

How to Prepare for a Career

  • Observe or volunteer with a speech-language pathologist working with students with disabilities.
  • Contact personnel preparation programs for information on course requirements for entering their training programs. Web searches are a great tool!
  • Contact organizations like the National Clearinghouse, ASHA, or local schools for further career information

Resource Information

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    10801 Rockville Pike
    Rockville, Maryland 20852