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Careers In Speech Pathology And Audiology

Updated on December 27, 2014

Speech Pathology

Some people know what they want to do from childhood, others search until something triggers their interests. Sometimes you stumble into a field and it fits. Speech Pathology never crossed my mind until the university said,"The fun is over, declare a major." I'd applied to nursing school, but spent time reading college catalogs to develop an alternative plan. When I came to the description about speech pathology and audiology this thought came to me. "People with this training are helping my nephew."

My nephew was language delayed. The idea of being able to help was appealing, so I stumbled into the world of phonetics, speech and language disorders.

The nursing school asked if they could put me on their waiting list. I declined.

Speech Pathologist Work With A Variety Of Clients

Speech Pathologists also known as speech therapists work in many different locations with patients of all ages. Speech therapists work in preschools with delayed language children and autistic children, They work in elementary schools with kids with language learning delays. Speech Pathologist work with deaf people. Speech Pathologist work in hospitals with people of all ages who have sustained head injuries or had strokes.

The field of Speech Pathology is varied enough to keep the most inquisitive mind challenged.


Are you are musical, enjoy science and people? Speech Pathology may be a good choice for you. Do you want to work in a hospital or school? Do you want to work in private practice? Do you want to help professionals with accents become better communicator? Speech Pathology may be the work for you.

Musically inclined people make good speech pathologist. They are already inclined to listen to parts of music. Language is like music. If you put the correct sounds together you get intelligible language. Listening to a person talk, then determining how the persons speech deviates from normal language, is a big part of the Speech Pathologists job. While listening the speech pathologist or therapist uses a tool called phonetics to write down the sounds the client makes. Phonetics is a shorthand way to write sounds or phonemes. Phonetics is sometimes confused with phonics used to teach reading. Phonetics is similar to learning a foreign language.

Creativity is a skill vital to the speech therapist. Little kids need creative play, people with head trauma may need creative solutions to help them with swallowing. The inability to communicate causes great emotion so a creative therapist who helps a patient succeed is highly appreciated.

Patience, persistence and sensitivity toward the people you work with are important skills for a speech therapist also. Besides working with patients frequently you will work as part of a team, comprised of doctors, teachers, special education teachers,occupational therapist, parents and adult children or any combination of the above. These teams determine the best course for a patient to assure the best outcome possible; ideally the goal is intelligible speech and clear understanding and use of language.

The frustration of not being able to talk is unbelievable, a kind word or a gentle touch does much to sooth frustration. If you have a heart for people you may be on the right path as a speech pathologist.

What Do You Know About Speech Pathology?

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The path of the speech pathology major will lead through math and science classes. It is important to know how the body functions. The mechanisms of speech, the lungs, head and neck are the focus of anatomy for the speech therapist. If you like psychology, speech pathology might be a job for you. There are many courses in psychology that are required.

The most basic speech pathologist will have a masters of science degree. Many speech pathologist have PhD's

Universities with masters programs and their ranking. I was delighted to see my school ranked well.

Master's degrees vary between the basic degree to the speech path degreee which includes teaching credentials. Which is best depends on the area you plan on working in.

Professional Organizations

The American Speech Language and Hearing Association is the professional organization for speech pathologists. A.S.H.A 's certificate of clinical competence is a national license. There are also state licenses. Membership in A.S.H.A. helps you stay up to date in the field and find job openings throughout the nation. States also have licensing agencies.

There is great satisfaction in helping people. The joy of seeing a stoke patient put words together is amazing. Hearing little kids suddenly figure out how to say an /l/ sound without it sounding like /ya/ is cause for great celebration. The success rate of speech therapy depends on many factors you have no control over. The smallest success can make your whole day bright. Some days are frustrating as in all jobs.

If you like helping, psychology and music, speech pathology might be the job for you.


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Vellur, Hope you have a great new year. Thanks for stopping.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Useful information, thank you for sharing.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Thanks for visiting FlourishAnyway. Nice to meet you,

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for providing this information. As young people select their careers, there are so many that they don't consider. Voted up and more.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Careers In Speech Pathology And Audiology an informative, useful and interesting hub on this topic. A simple diagram and I learned more about a Pathologist.

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 4 years ago from Newport Beach

      Tireless, I was a teacher of the deaf trained by the legendary "oralist" Alice Streng, and later "converted." Our coursework was the same as speech path majors at the University of Wis-Milwaukee until our senior year. I wish, wish, wish I had taken the other tract of speech pathology. I enjoy one-on-one and diagnostic and prescriptive teaching -didn't envy the tons of iep's you had because of your case load.

      While I was teaching one year, a little deaf second grader was playing that MECC memory matching game on the computer. I thought, "I REALLY wish that it was customize-able so this little kid would actually know what she was matching. So my software husband and I made Computer Game Maker LITE. The Speech Bin was selling it, but they became School Specialty which is now defunct. The only catalog we're in now is AdCo Hearing and online as a download. If you have any speech path friends working, we surely could use some nice reviews even though it's been out there for years. In return, we would provide a free download of our complete program. Maybe you'd like to try the program yourself. It's fun to make a customized game.

      Anyway, important hub. Few people actually understand the intense training of a speech pathologist or the amazing work they do. You must be proud.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Splendid how useful speech pathologists can be. Hope your granddaughter is still doing well.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Very informative and useful hub Tireless. When my newest granddaughter was born she had a hole in her heart and a clogged artery. At three days old she had open heart surgery and soon after the surgery they brought in a speech pathologist. I couldn't figure out why but soon learned they were following her ability to suck a bottle and how her tongue reacted, etc., etc. I never realized how early and important a speech pathologist can be to a child!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Joe , MsDora and always, I would rather see a college student go into SP than psychology. You get to study almost as much psychology, while having a marketable job skill. People are always begging me to go back to work.

      Thanks for visiting friends.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have a friend who is a speech pathologist and she loves it. I have seen stroke patients who were able to speak due to good S.T. Great hub..

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      A very good promo for this area of study. Yes, it's a very satisfying career. I worked as a secretary in a phys-med clinic and I can vouch for the great contribution speech and audio therapists make to the lives of their patients.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      This is a topic I know very little about. I thus found your hub to be very informative and well presented. Thank you for sharing! Aloha!


    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      drbj, I don't know any speech pathologists who regret their choice. Good to see you.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Tireless. My sister became a speech pathologist and worked in the public school system for most of her life. She never regretted making that her profession.