Speech pathology or speech language pathology is a medical field that focuses on identifying and treating various speech defects and disorders. Although it is a fairly new field, it is growing and many individuals are making it their career.
Speech pathologists or speech pathology professionals are licensed medical professionals who diagnose and treat various speech disorders that impede speech and communication. It is usually good to have a master’s degree and then obtain a license to practice. The licensing regulations vary from state to state. Speech pathologists can get jobs in medical organizations and schools.
If you are interested in speech pathology as a career option, there are few things you must know. This article talks about the advantages of becoming a speech pathology professional.
Here are four major advantages:
1. When getting into speech pathology as a professional, you will be following a flexible and stable career path. Some professionals work as general practitioners while others specialize in specific conditions and disorders.
Many find work in schools and hospitals helping treat childhood discrepancies in language and communication development. Autism and other related disorders have the greatest need for speech pathologists.
These pathologists also work with adults helping them regain normal speech after brain injuries, strokes, hearing loss, etc.
2. Generally speech pathologists work in collaboration with a medical team while diagnosing and treating disorders. Sometimes speech related disorders occur as a result of neurological causes, while other times they are associated with physical reasons. Defects arising from brain injuries and strokes occur because the brain signals that direct communication are affected. In such cases, pathologists collaborate with neurologists to come up with a proper treatment plan. Other medical professionals they may work with are physical and occupational therapists to treat physical injuries that affect the cognitive, physical, and speech functions.
3. Another advantage is that a speech pathologist earns a very good income. According to recent statistics, as of 2011, they earned an average annual salary of $66,000.
4. A speech pathologist’s job is very important. Speech and communication is a vital part of an individual’s life. It is what helps in building and maintaining professional and personal relationships. Helping a stroke patient regain his ability to speak and improving the communication skills of an autistic child brings joy and fulfilment to a speech pathologist, as his therapeutic work is critical to a person living a normal and happy life.
Becoming a pathologist you can get a job in various places. Most renowned hospitals have speech pathology as a special branch. You can also set up your own practice and work privately. Other places where speech pathology professionals are needed are universities, schools, colleges, and so on. Such services are only for the benefit of the students studying in those particular institutions. Hospices, nursing facilities, and geriatric facilities also employ the services of such professionals.