Speech Therapist Careers
Speech therapist jobs generally require a master's degree and further certification.
Speech therapists are properly called Speech-Language pathologists. These medical professionals evaluate, diagnose, and treat communication disorders and swallowing problems.
Speech-Language Pathologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, state and local health departments, schools, research laboratories, and adult day care centers. While most jobs are salaried positions on the facility's staff, many speech therapists work as independent contractors, setting their own hours and workload.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts job opportunities in Speech-Language Pathology to grow at a faster than average rate through 2020. The increased need is due to medical advances allowing more premature babies to survive, increased early intervention initiatives, and a better survival rate for victims of trauma and stroke.
How to Become a Speech Therapist
Speech therapists need to complete a master's degree in speech language pathology after completing an undergraduate degree. While the undergraduate degree can be in any field, the candidate should make sure they complete any courses required by the graduate program they are applying to.
The graduate program will include courses in various speech and communication disorders, alternative communication methods, and swallowing disorders. Aspiring speech therapists will also perform supervised clinical practice as part of the program.