Speech Therapist: Career Outlook for the Speech Therapist Professions

Published Sep 01, 2009

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Those who plan to work in the speech therapist professions can expect to see strong job growth and excellent job opportunities, due largely to growing awareness of cognitive-communication issues. Individuals with careers in speech therapy help people of all ages overcome disabilities and speech impediments.

Speech Therapists Overview and Career Outlook

Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists, evaluate and diagnose speech, language and cognitive-communication disorders in order to help treat and prevent them in children, teenagers and adults. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field should see fairly rapid job growth between 2008 and 2018. Excellent job opportunities are also forecasted for the field, with the BLS citing heightened awareness of such disorders as one of the main reasons for these opportunities.

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Overview and Career Outlook

Speech-language pathology assistants work alongside speech therapists to help patients who experience problems with their speech. These assistants utilize speech exercises and drills that help reduce speech issues like stuttering, cluttering, pronunciation problems and phonetic disorders. Under the supervision of a speech therapist, assistants perform record-keeping and office administration tasks. BLS predictions of steady growth and excellent job opportunities for speech therapists may translate to strong job opportunities for speech-language pathology assistants. It should be noted, however, that not all speech therapists hire assistants, so the opportunities for assistants isn't entirely reflective of those for speech therapists.

Audiologists Overview and Career Outlook

Audiologists help identify and treat sensory and neural problems related to hearing loss in people in order to help them properly understand and communicate with others in speech. The BLS notes that the field will grow at an average rate, with job prospects being favorable for those with a Doctor of Audiology degree.

Special Education Teacher Overview and Career Outlook

Speech therapy plays a major role in special education, with teachers using speech-language pathology techniques to help children and young adults with severe mental development disorders speak and communicate with others. Due to some areas having difficulties finding qualified special education teachers, those who wish to work in the field will see employment options increase significantly between 2008 and 2018, says the BLS.

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