Speech-Language Pathologists

Description

Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

Tasks

  • Monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Evaluate hearing or speech and language test results, barium swallow results, or medical or background information to diagnose and plan treatment for speech, language, fluency, voice, or swallowing disorders.
  • Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.
  • Write reports and maintain proper documentation of information, such as client Medicaid or billing records or caseload activities, including the initial evaluation, treatment, progress, and discharge of clients.
  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.
  • Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.
  • Participate in and write reports for meetings regarding patients' progress, such as individualized educational planning (IEP) meetings, in-service meetings, or intervention assistance team meetings.
  • Complete administrative responsibilities, such as coordinating paperwork, scheduling case management activities, or writing lesson plans.
  • Instruct clients in techniques for more effective communication, such as sign language, lip reading, or voice improvement.
  • Educate patients and family members about various topics, such as communication techniques or strategies to cope with or to avoid personal misunderstandings.
  • Teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing mechanisms.
  • Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.
  • Participate in conferences, training, continuing education courses, or publish research results to share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies.
  • Supervise or collaborate with therapy team.
  • Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.
  • Consult with and refer clients to additional medical or educational services.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.
  • Use computer applications to identify or assist with communication disabilities.
  • Provide communication instruction to dialect speakers or students with limited English proficiency.
  • Conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics and report findings for use in developing procedures, technologies, or treatments.

Knowledge

Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Communication Specialist
Educational Speech-Language Clinician
Oral Therapist
Public School Speech Clinician
Public School Speech Therapist
School Speech/Language Pathologist
Speech and Hearing Clinic Director
Speech and Language Clinician
Speech and Language Specialist
Speech and Language Teacher
Speech Clinician
Speech Correction Consultant
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
Speech Pathologist
Speech Therapist
Speech-Language Therapist
Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped
Voice Pathologist

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$33.59 hourly, $69,870 annual.
Employment (2008):
121,690 employees