Now is the time to find out about speech language pathologist jobs because the growth rate in this medical profession is expected to continue to increase at a rate of twenty-three percent between now and the year 2020. Why the reason for the boon? The simple fact is that the "Baby Boomers" are aging and with aging comes more health-related issues. Many times strokes and hearing loss can require the services of speech pathologists to help in the rehab and the life adjustments that come with those disabilities. Since there are a great many people in that generation, it is likely that the need for speech pathologists will also be great as the years go by.
In addition to the aging population with their own communication needs and difficulties, there are other opportunities for a speech language pathologist. Working in a hospital, a clinic or a school can be rewarding and exciting. Collaborating with teachers, special education specialists or doctors, physical and occupational therapists can be a part of your job, as well. You may be part of the treatment team or function as a consultant for a patient. Evaluating patients and determining how extensive their communication issues are, makes this a diagnostic and treatment oriented position. Counseling often comes into the daily practice, as well, because families and the patients need support with dealing with the communication disorders and managing to work with it as they continue to recover.
If this job projection or the various work environments has drawn your attention to this profession, then your fist step is to find the speech language pathology programs that are offered in your area. First, check to make sure that the schools that you are interested in are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation. This is important so that you will be learning the important aspects of your profession and preparing you for your licensing exam upon completion. From there you can narrow down your choices by tuition and class size and possibly even location. Speech language pathology programs are generally master's degree programs since an entry level speech-language pathologist is someone who holds a master' degree.
Some may avoid this field due to the belief that speech language pathologist jobs may be out of reach because of the educational requirement of a master's degree. If that is the case for you, perhaps investigating the role of a speech language pathology assistant is a good solution. This position requires less schooling, but can also perform fewer clinical tasks and the pay rate is less than a full speech language pathologist. You may do more paperwork activities, such as filing and making schedules. Assisting in a clinical way can be a part of the job, but with direct supervision from a fully licensed speech language pathologist.
A speech language pathology assistant program may be an associate degree program and/or an offering from a technical or career school and there are also bachelor degree programs for speech language pathology assistants. The variety of preparation programs makes it important to check into the requirements for your specific state.
Speech language pathologist jobs are exciting medical careers that allow the practitioner work with patients, usually on a one-to-one basis. This may be a good career choice for you, if you are a caring individual who likes to listen and can communicate clearly. Speech language pathologists are likely to be in high demand as the decade moves forward. With expertise in determining the extent of communication problems and identifying treatment strategies, a speech language pathologist is a necessary part of school and hospital culture.