What Does a Speech Pathologist Do?
Speech pathologists assess and treat patients with disorders related to speech, language, and communication. They are healthcare professionals who are trained to identify communication difficulties and provide the appropriate treatments or interventions. Treatment plans typically include exercises to improve pronunciation and articulation, language therapy to help with expressive and receptive language, and fluency strategies.
Speech pathologists may work in research, education, or healthcare settings. Working closely with clients and their families, as well as with other healthcare professionals, the role requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A speech pathologist must also be attentive, patient, and empathetic.
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National Average Salary
Speech pathologist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Speech Pathologist is:
Speech Pathologist Job Descriptions
It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a speech pathologist. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.
Provide treatment for clients with a variety of communication disorders including, but not limited to autism spectrum disorders (ASD), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), fluency, literacy, pragmatic language (social skills), receptive and expressive language, and speech sound production.
- Conduct evaluations, interpreting data, altering treatment plans, providing recommendations to parents or other staff, and providing feeding/swallowing intervention.
- Implement treatment plans with fidelity to ensure clients’ make progress toward their long-term and short-term goals.
- Collect data to document clients’ progress and performance toward their goals.
- Communicate clients’ progress to the client’s team through written documentation and oral communication.
- Select, prepare, create, and modify lesson plans and instructional materials to meet individual client needs.
- Implement behavior intervention for clients as designated by on-site BCBA’s and BCaBA’s.
- Portray a positive attitude and maintain a customer and co-worker satisfaction level that limits adverse situations and complaints.
- Promote Impact philosophies, generating team spirit and creating and maintaining an environment that fosters staff satisfaction and maximizes productivity.
- Attend all meetings and trainings as requested.
- Accept constructive feedback and develop knowledge and skills sets accordingly.
- Maintain client confidentiality and adhere to HIPAA regulations.
Qualifications and education requirements
- Master’s degree within the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders or related area of study. (Clinical Fellows welcome to apply)
- Possess a valid South Dakota license as a Speech-Language Pathologist (or pursuing licensure)
- Must be an energetic person who enjoys working with children.
- Must have your own reliable transportation.
- Must be able to lift and/or pull 50 pounds.
- Must have full physical dexterity/agility or be able to independently position self and perform all movements required (bending, kneeling, computer/tablet typing, standing, running, crawling, sitting on the floor for periods of time).
- Must have sufficient corrected or uncorrected vision and hearing to carry out all duties and responsibilities.
- Must be able to pass a fingerprint, background clearance, and reference check.
- Must be able to pass classes in and/or gain certification in crisis management, CPR, HIPAA, and mandated reporter (all trainings provided).
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- One year of work experience as an SLP.
- Prior positive interactions and experience working with the pediatric special needs population.
- Completion of 40 Registered Behavior Technician training (may be provided by Impact, if needed)
The SLP plans and implements specific treatment programs for individual patients according to principles and practices of speech language therapy. Collaborates with an interdisciplinary treatment team. Responsible for the overall speech therapy program at ABC Company.
- Conducts initial assessment and periodic reassessment of all participants’ physical condition and functional status. Communicates participant changes to team members. – 20%
- Develops treatment program when indicated, sets goals and provides treatment. – 20%
- Documents accordingly in the EMR. – 10%
- Reviews and completes assessments and discharge summaries. Plans and develops maintenance, exercise and therapy programs for participants. – 10%
- Actively functions as a member of Interdisciplinary Team, and participates in case conferences. – 20%
- Coordination of 24 hour care delivery. Provides training to family members and staff members for those parts of the treatment plan that can be carried out by them. – 20%
- Master’s Degree- SLP
- 2 years – 1 year with the frail or elderly population
Required certifications, registrations, licenses
- Licensed by SC Board Examiners in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology
- Valid driver’s license, an acceptable three-year motor vehicle record as defined by the Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Chart, and a certificate of auto insurance.
Required knowledge, skills, abilities
- Basic computer skills
- Knowledge of office equipment (fax/copier)
- Proficient computer skills (word processing)
- Data entry
- Mathematical skills
We are looking for valued employees who will be Champions of the ABC Company Way, which includes putting the patient first, helping to improve quality of life for the community in which you live and work, continuing to develop and explore new ideas, providing high-quality care and doing well by doing what is right.
As a Speech Language Pathologist, you will take initiative, responsibility, and action every day; you understand physical, mental, psychological and social needs of your patients. You have an understanding of communication skills, evaluation, and treatment and a desire to work in collaboration with associates to provide quality interdisciplinary patient programming. You will comprehensively evaluate communication skills and/or swallowing function and provide goal-oriented treatment to facilitate maximum communication and/or swallowing potential.
- Participates with fellow staff in monitoring the quality of services provided by the Rehab Therapy Department.
- Participates in peer review for staff performance and appraisals.
- Assists in the development of the SLP role in programs and services, as well as revising the departmental policies and procedures.
- Assists in maintaining an adequate stock of supplies.
- Exhibits willingness to share professional knowledge and experience.
- Alerts the Manager to educational needs
You will demonstrate an understanding of patient needs, ensuring that each patient feels informed, understood, and heard. You are passionate about providing superior quality care and you are an inventive problem solver who thrives in a dynamic environment.
- Graduation from a program satisfying the American Speech/Language/Hearing Association’s academic and practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).
- Must hold a valid license issued by the state where they practice.
- Must have two (2) years of progressively responsible experience.
- Possess a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification by start date.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why did you choose speech pathology as a career path?
- What areas of speech-language pathology interest you most?
- Describe your experience assessing and treating speech, language, and communication disorders.
- Do you have experience developing and implementing individualized treatment plans for clients?
- Describe your experience and process for tracking progress.
- What is your familiarity with assistive technology?
- Which augmentative and alternative communication devices have you used?
- Describe your approach to effectively communicating and collaborating with clients, their families, and other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and teachers.
- What clinical experience have you had in a school setting?
- How do you incorporate Common Core goals into your speech therapy sessions?
- Explain how you would assess a child who is a non-native English speaker.
- What experience do you have in working with people of other disciplines (OT, PT, etc.)?
- What oral-motor programs are you familiar with?
- What kind of strategies would you use with a child who stutters, and why?
- What is one recent trend in speech pathology that you think is important?
- How do you stay on top of advances in speech and language therapy?