Also referred to as speech language pathologists, speech therapists work with patients who are suffering from speech and language disorders. Effective communication is an urgent requirement to achieve career success. That’s why there is a great demand for speech therapists who are employed in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals and schools among others. These professionals may also need to travel from one place to another, depending upon the requirement. Have a look at the job description for more information on this career.
Speech therapists are responsible for creating treatment plans according to the individual requirements of patients. They are trained to deal with a wide variety of language, speech and communication disorders. Speech therapy use different types of diagnostic tests and equipments to provide effective treatment to patients. Speech therapists also prescribe specific exercise to patients by which language and speech disorders can be treated.
Apart from working directly with patients, speech therapists also perform other important duties. They also keep and maintain the records of patients they work with. Apart from treating patients, therapists also counsel the patient’s family in order to help them deal with the frustration that such disorders bring with them. They also provide expert consultation to families for continuing speech therapy exercises at home.
If you are passionate about becoming a speech therapist, you should possess a master’s degree in speech language pathology or a relevant field. In addition, you will need to fulfill the licensing requirements. If you want to demonstrate your competency to employers, you can also go on to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence, provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To obtain this credential, you will need a master’s degree from an accredited program, 400 hours of supervised clinical work experience, 36-week-long postgraduate fellowship and clearing the speech-language pathology Praxis test.
The average annual salary of speech therapists ranges between $41,968 and $66,463. Salaries may vary depending on the type of industry and work experience. In January, 2010, speech therapists employed in the United States earned an average annual salary of around $63,600.