Speech Pathology Degrees: Career Options for Graduates with Degrees in Speech Pathology

Published Sep 05, 2009

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The field of Speech Pathology offers numerous careers that enable workers to help improve a person's communication skills. Special education, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and mental health facilities all require speech pathologist assistants, speech therapists and audiologists to help with their patients. Regardless of what level of education you want to obtain, getting a Speech Pathology degree can set you up for a rewarding and life-changing career that helps others!

Associate's Degree in Speech Pathology Career Summary

If you are interested in entry-level positions, a 2-year associate's degree like the Associate of Arts in Speech Pathology provides the quickest education. Schools typically offer special associate's degree programs for speech pathologist assistants, workers who assist and treat people with communication disorders under the supervision of a speech therapist. According to Santa Ana College in California, speech-language pathology assistants can work in several different settings, including schools, daycare centers, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology Career Summary

A student with interest in a 4-year bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology may choose a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology. An assistant position helping patients in a medical health care facility with their communication problems is available for undergraduates. In most states, speech therapists must earn a master's degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, notes that bachelor's degree holders can become speech therapists in a small number of states, so check the license requirements in your state! Becoming a teacher's aide or a special education teacher is an option for Speech Pathology graduates who are looking to educate others.

Master's Degree in Speech Pathology Career Summary

Two of the master's degree options available to students are a Master of Science in Communication Disorders and a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology. Speech therapists or speech-language pathologists examine, identify, prevent and treat language and speech disorders in their patients in health-related settings. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, www.asha.org, notes that speech therapists also assist people who need help with swallowing disorders or who want to modify their accent. Audiology is another field for Speech Pathology graduates who are interested in helping people with ear or hearing issues. Audiologists measure patients' hearing ability and suggest treatments, perhaps including hearing aids or cochlear implants, explains the BLS.

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