Speech and Language Pathologist Career Plan

As a speech language pathologist, you can work in either a health care or academic setting. In most settings, you will need a master’s degree, so it’s good to begin your preparations early. Here’s a breakdown of the important steps.

Become a Speech Language Pathologist

Speech Pathology Resources…

  1. Take advantage of academic opportunities in high school. Take plenty of math and science. Also work on building written and oral communication skills.

  2. Begin doing some career exploration. Attend job fairs or camps. Misericodia hosts a speech pathology career exploration camp for high school seniors. There are also a number of general health care exploration camps hosted by hospitals and Area Health Education Centers.

  3. Look ahead to find the most suitable program. In some municipalities, you can work in a school with a bachelor’s degree. Most licenses require a master’s. You don’t necessarily need to complete your bachelor’s degree before enrolling in a master’s program. There are some combined programs for exceptional students. If you choose to complete a bachelor’s first, you have a range of choices. You can opt to study communication disorders at the undergraduate level. (It’s not necessary but it can mean a shorter program later.)

  4. Applying to professional school is generally a separate process from applying to college, so make sure you’re the best candidate you can be. It’s not all grades. You may want to volunteer or seek paid employment at a special needs camp – there are camps for children with autism and ones for children with hearing problems.

  5. Complete your speech pathology program. Meanwhile, seek out professional and academic opportunities. You may, for example, for want to join the National Student Speech Language Association.

  6. Complete your clinical fellowship. This may be completed in as little as a year if you choose to go full-time. There are options, however, to spread it out over three years.

  7. Fulfill licensing requirements.

  8. Seek a position. You can find leads through the ASHA Career Center online. It can also be a good idea to maintain ties with your state association. The good news is that you have a credential that’s in demand.

Personality Traits: Speech and language professionals should have patience, excellent communication ability, and scientific aptitude.