The top 30 accredited online colleges in speech therapy could make you eligible to join a workforce that is seeing some of the best job growth in the nation.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the demand for qualified, certified speech-language pathologists is on an upward trend. This is due to factors that include an improving premature infant survival rate and an aging population. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a huge 25% increase in demand over the next decade. The best accredited online colleges in speech therapy will teach you all the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this career.
What Will You Learn With a Speech Therapy Degree?
It’s common for speech therapy degrees to include a foundational level of teaching in areas such as basic human anatomy, human development, and language and phonetics.
Most graduates of a speech therapy degree will look at careers in speech-language pathology and audiology, for example, so understanding how communication is used and how disorders can develop is essential.
What Are the Admission Requirements for Speech Therapy Degrees?
These programs can be highly competitive, with most colleges and universities asking for a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Additionally, if you want to work as a qualified speech-language pathologist, you will need further study to a master’s-degree level, in addition to reaching a minimum number of hours of clinical experience.
What Are the Best Speech Therapy Degrees?
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. For more information, see our methodology page.
The University of Akron focuses on the provision of degree programs in STEM fields. Located in Akron, Ohio, the university welcomes approximately 19,200 students from 46 states nationwide and more than 70 countries worldwide. Students have access to distance learning through a state-of-the-art e-learning system.
Accepting 22 students each year, this Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology combines classes from both the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati. All courses are available online, and the program has even been ranked as one of the best master’s in speech pathology, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Comprising a total of 74 credit hours, this program provides a foundation in key areas, including language and literacy development and advanced phonetics. Once you’ve gained an understanding of the development process behind language and communication, you’ll cover courses including Language Disorders in Later Childhood, Speech Sound Disorders, and Adult Neuro-language Disorders.
Originally a teacher training school, East Carolina University has been standing since 1907. Since those early days, the size of its campus has grown by almost 400%. Today, it is the fourth-largest institution of higher education in the state, with programs available at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
This three-year distance-learning program at ECU covers communication sciences and disorders. As a master’s degree, the program’s curriculum covers the necessary academic subjects and clinical experience needed to make students eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
As an online student, you’ll follow the same curriculum as campus-based learners, and you’ll be taught by the same experienced faculty. Aside from the key academic and clinical experience gained, you’ll also improve soft skills that include leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Idaho State University was founded in 1901 under the name Academy of Idaho. Today, its students can choose from more than 250 programs at various campus locations, including through online distance learning. Thanks to the natural surroundings, students also have access to plenty of outdoor pursuits outside of the classroom.
ISU currently offers the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, the only program of its kind in the state of Idaho to have been accredited by the ASHA. There is a strong focus on evidence-based clinical practice, with placements across educational and clinical settings during the program.
Students studying on-campus complete a 24-month program, while online learners study part-time for a total of 36 months. The program features an application date of February each year, and you will need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply, though an application can be made in the senior year of your bachelor’s studies.
With a student body of around 15,000 students annually, Texas Woman’s University offers both traditional, campus-based programs and online distance learning. Areas of excellence include nursing and health sciences, business, education, and the liberal arts. In addition to its online campus, TWU has physical campuses located in Houston, Denton, and Dallas.
As an online program, this MS in Speech-Language Pathology can be completed in as little as two years. It comprises 61 credit hours, which are taught across six or seven semesters, and the university boasts an excellent Praxis pass rate.
At TWU, you’ll cover topics including the prevention, assessment, and diagnosis of speech and language and other communication disorders, in addition to implementing treatment plans. You’ll also complete specialized coursework with clinical placements and evidence-based learning. What’s more, class sizes are small, so students receive excellent support.
Founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky after the turn of the century in 1906, Western Kentucky University has campuses as far afield as Glasgow, KY. WKU’s main campus is on the doorstep of Bowling Green, KY. Students coming to the school choose from a range of more than 90 academic majors and over 75 academic minors.
WKU’s Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology seeks to produce graduates who can work with patients in a range of clinical locations, including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. The program meets the necessary clinical and academic requirements set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for state licensure and national certification.
In total, the program comprises 60 credit hours. In addition to online coursework, you’ll complete a six-week summer internship to ensure that you meet the clinical requirements for the ASHA. This includes completing a minimum of 400 clock hours of placement experience before graduation.
The University of South Florida was founded in 1956 and welcomes approximately 50,000 students annually. Choosing from a range of over 200 undergraduate concentrations, majors, and minors, students can study at one of USF’s 13 different academic schools and colleges. This institution is the fastest-rising university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s findings.
At USF, students can enroll in a speech-language pathology prerequisite track. Comprising seven online distance-learning courses, the program has been created to help you meet the admission requirements for USF’s Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. Interested students should enroll only in the courses necessary to meet the desired program’s requirements.
Alternatively, students with a bachelor’s degree may enroll in a second track that awards a second Bachelor of Arts degree. Lasting for two years, the program features a number of undergraduate courses, in addition to two semesters covering a foreign language. To find out more information about the bachelor’s option, check out the degree’s webpage.
Mitchell Technical Institute has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online community colleges in South Dakota. Based in Mitchell, SD, and founded in 1968, the college offers 25 associate’s degrees, in addition to 15 certificate programs.
Depending on your past studies, this online speech-language pathology assistant program can be completed in two to three years. After graduation, you’ll have the skills and experience needed to work directly with a qualified speech-language pathologist. According to recent alumni data, the program also has a 100% job-placement rate.
Alternatively, if you already hold a communication sciences and disorders bachelor’s degree, you might qualify for an online accelerated program. Designed for students who require clinical experience to qualify as an SLPA, the accelerated program comprises two classes and a supervised clinical experience. You can find more information about this option on the university’s website.
Situated in an area of incredible natural beauty close to the Rocky Mountains, the University of Northern Colorado was founded in 1889. The school’s student body comprises around 11,000 students, with more than 100 undergraduate and 120 graduate programs offered. More than 90% of the student body studies full-time, taking an average of around 14 credit hours per semester.
Comprising 63-75 credits and requiring around three years to complete, UNC’s Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology intends to produce skilled professionals in the field. The curriculum uses a clinician-researcher model of teaching, which combines academic excellence with evidence-based, clinical practice. Tuition for the program costs around $600 per credit hour.
Following the cohort model of distance learning, you’ll start your program alongside a group of other students, benefiting from collaborative learning. During your third, summer semester, bear in mind that you will be expected to visit the Greeley, CO campus for a two-week period to complete laboratory experiences and related coursework under the faculty’s supervision.
Part of the State University System of Florida, Florida State University was founded in 1851 on the longest-standing continuous higher education site in the state. It’s no wonder, then, that the institution has been named No.1 for its four-year graduation rate among Florida’s public universities, in addition to having a 95% retention rate.
FSU’s graduate program in communication science and disorders is a distance-learning program leading to a master’s degree. In addition to completing your coursework online, you will gain hands-on experience at a number of local clinical sites in Florida. You’ll complete practicum courses at schools, hospitals, and other clinical locations.
For consideration for admission, you’ll need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, in addition to having a minimum 3.0 average GPA. You will also need to meet certain prerequisite coursework requirements, which you can find more information about on the school’s website.
Lake Region State College was founded in 1941, originally intended to be an extension to the state’s public schooling system. Today, the college welcomes around 2,000 learners each year, with around three-quarters of students enrolled in a full-time program of education. The vast majority of students are state residents, though out-of-state and international students make up around 15% of the student body.
The Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional program at LRSC takes two years to complete and results in an associate’s degree. You’ll follow a curriculum that was created in collaboration with the state’s Department of Public Instruction, gaining experience in working in school settings with children with communication disorders.
The prerequisites for this program include having a foundation in areas such as communication disorders, basic concepts of biology, and human structure and function. The main curriculum includes courses such as Applied Phonetics for the SLPP, Developmental Psychology, Behavior Management, and a practicum comprising at least 100 hours.
One of the oldest school’s in the U.S., the University of Georgia first opened its doors in 1785. Today, its activities are a testament to the quality of teachings that students are afforded, with more than 775 commercially available products having been derived from university research.
UGA offers a Graduate Certificate in Pre-Professional Speech Language Pathology. If you already possess a bachelor’s degree in another field but are considering a career as a speech-language pathologist, then this certificate will fill the knowledge gap required to gain eligibility for a related master’s degree program.
With a total of seven courses, all of which are available fully online, the program features 18 semester hours of graduate-level study. You should, however, check the requirements for the master’s degree that you wish to pursue; not all of the certificate’s seven courses are strictly necessary, which could save you time and money if you elect to bypass them.
Based in Los Angeles, California State University Northridge welcomes around 38,000 students annually, who are supported by around 4,000 staff and faculty. CSUN’s campus comprises 356 acres of land across the San Fernando Valley, and the university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
As a fully online program, this Master of Science in Communicative Disorders includes clinical practicum work that takes place in your local community. Including around 12-16 hours per week throughout three separate experiences, this program provides you with hands-on experience that will benefit you after graduation.
CSUN’s Master’s in Communicative Disorders meets the necessary academic requirements for you to gain licensure in every state, in addition to professional certification under the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Taking three-to-four years to complete, the program is taught in the cohort format to ensure you benefit from collaboration with your peers and faculty.
A private research university in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL, Nova Southeastern University comprises 18 different colleges and schools. Students choose from a program prospectus of more than 150 options, with around 24,000 students in attendance. NSU is one of just 50 universities across the country to have been granted Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, too.
This 53-credit-hour Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology allows you to tailor your program. Whether you have an interest in helping children with swallowing difficulties or kids and adults who have trouble communicating, you can specialize in a preferred area.
Even through an online program, the faculty at NSU go to great lengths to make you feel at home. Strong clinical partnerships outside the state of Florida mean that your clinical placements can still take place nearby. You can choose from three program start dates and will pay around $1,237 per credit hour in tuition.
Alexandria Technical & Community College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The student body comprises around 4,000 learners and boasts of a 98% graduate job-placement rate. According to the university’s website, the institution also holds one of the best graduation rates in Minnesota.
ATCC’s Speech-Language Pathology Assistant program leads to an associate’s degree that will prepare you to work with a certified speech-language pathologist. Comprising a total of 60 credit hours, the curriculum includes a mix of general education courses that will provide a solid foundation in key higher education areas.
At the beginning of the program, you’ll cover foundational knowledge that’s critical to anyone working as a speech-language pathologist or assistant. These topics include phonetics for language and language development, ensuring you understand the physiology and structure of language so that you can understand how disorders occur.
Northern Arizona University, located in Flagstaff, AZ, is a public research institution offering a range of over 150 bachelor’s degrees and more than 100 graduate programs. NAU’s campus comprises eight different schools and colleges, with students having the option of attaining their degree through fully online education.
This program enables you to seek certification as a speech-language pathology assistant. However, it’s worth double-checking the clinical requirements for certification in your state, as the program doesn’t guarantee eligibility for those outside of Arizona. After completing the seven key courses, graduates of this program will attain a certificate in Speech-Language Pathology Assistance.
Through this compact program, you’ll cover central topics, including communication disorders in literature and media, anatomy and physiology of speech and swallowing, and communication development in children. Students interested in pursuing further certification as a speech-language pathologist may be able to transfer credits from this program to earn a degree more quickly.
Welcoming around 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Montana offers campus-based and online degree programs at every level. It is the state’s flagship university, situated on 56 acres of natural beauty close to Mount Sentinel. The campus boasts a vast number of architecturally unique buildings, making it a stunning place to visit or study.
This distance-learning Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology will prepare you to become fully certified, working with individuals from childhood to adulthood. Coursework here will teach you how disorders can occur with speech and language and swallowing. The program also adheres to academic and clinical quality standards required for CCC-SLP certification by ASHA.
You can choose between a thesis and non-thesis option for concluding your program. Regardless of your choice, you’ll complete 30 practicum credits, bolstering your skills and experience with hands-on, clinical experience. This includes placements at specialty clinics and other settings, working with both children and adults.
Originally named the State Normal and Industrial School for Women, James Madison University was renamed in 1938 after President James Madison and is today a higher education institution for all learners. Located in Harrisonburg, VA, the institution welcomes around 20,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduates annually, offering more than 135 degree programs.
JMU offers a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology with a focus on human communication and swallowing disorders. The curriculum and clinical placement elements have been designed in alignment with certification requirements set by the Council for Clinical Certification and other licensing bodies in Virginia.
The program welcomes and is frequently chosen by non-traditional students, such as those who are looking for a change in career. Coursework is completed online, with around two-to-three courses completed each semester, and the program should take an average of around three years to complete.
Arizona State University was founded in 1885 and remains one of the largest public institutions in the nation by enrollment figures. It has also been ranked top in the country for innovation and within the top ten for its students’ first year of college experience.
Comprising 120 credit hours, ASU’s Bachelor’s in Speech and Hearing Science is available fully online. You’ll learn about speech and hearing, in addition to language, and you’ll learn how these skills are developed over time, as well as about the disorders that can impede them.
Before graduation, you’ll take a total of 40 classes, spending around seven-and-a-half weeks in each class. Students can look forward to taking such courses as Introduction to Phonetics, Principles of Audiology, Acquired Speech and Language Disorders, and Developmental Speech and Language Disorders. You’ll also be expected to enroll in some courses in anatomy, algebra, and physics, which will prepare you for the academic rigor of the core curriculum.
Part of the University System of Georgia and one of the four research universities in the system, Georgia State University has been standing since 1913. Comprising 12 colleges and schools across six campus locations, it’s home to around 54,000 students annually, representing more than 167 nations around the world.
GSU’s Associate’s in Speech Communication pathway program comprises around 60 semester hours, with 42 hours of core learning and 18 hours in pathway courses. You’ll cover areas of study including how messages are created, diffused, and analyzed, and you’ll understand how people develop their communication skills.
It is through the pathway courses that you can specialize more heavily in areas involving speech therapy. You’ll learn how to work with those who need to improve their interpersonal and speaking skills, and you’ll also cover how speech communication is used in a wide variety of professional occupations and industries.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continually achieves a top-ten ranking among all Midwestern universities. The Princeton Review has named UW-Eau Claire a Best College in the Midwest, too.
UW-Eau Claire offers a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Through a combination of practical placements and coursework, you’ll understand how to investigate and diagnose numerous communication disorders. Thanks to a network of partnerships, you’ll be placed at one of over 90 off-campus sites for your clinical experience.
The program is available in two learning formats: an on-campus option lasting two years and an online option lasting three years, which includes a summer residency. The Center for Communication Disorders, which hosts the master’s program, has been awarded the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence accolade for the quality of the faculty and teaching it maintains.
Tennessee State University is a public university based in Nashville, TN. It has been standing since 1912 and remains the only state-funded, historically black higher education institution in the state. As early as 1909, the institution was known as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School.
Depending on your level of study to-date, TSU offers both an undergraduate and graduate program related to speech pathology and audiology. The BS in Health Sciences features a concentration in Communication Sciences and Disorders, while the MS in Speech and Hearing Science offers a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology.
A master’s degree is required to practice speech-language pathology at an entry-level, and the bachelor’s program at TSU can qualify you for admission into the master’s program. Typical in-state tuition for undergraduate programs at TSU is around $351 per credit, while out-of-state students pay around $881. For graduate programs, these rates are around $523 and $1,105 per credit hour.
Located in Jacksonville, FL, the University of North Florida is part of the State University System of Florida. Undergraduates, graduates, and students seeking doctoral degrees are welcomed, with a student body numbering around 17,300.
UNF’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Deaf Education is for working practitioners who are currently engaged with DHH learners or intend to work with them in the future. The program is not intended for you if you’ve already attained the Florida Department of Education K-12 Deaf or Hard of Hearing Professional Certificate.
Coursework in this program has been aligned with the state’s K-12 DHH Teacher Certification examination, meaning you’ll be prepared to gain certification after graduation. Comprising five courses, studies here can be completed within one year. What’s more, with a rolling admission schedule, you can start the program at any time.
Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina’s campus still features buildings from the original historical site on which it was built. U of SC has won numerous awards for academic quality, which you can find listed on the school’s website.
The Arnold School of Public Health at U of SC has three master’s programs in the discipline of speech therapy. These are the Master of Public Health Professional Online Program in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior; Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology; and Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management.
While the first program is designed for those looking to become speech-language pathologists who work directly on a one-to-one patient basis, the latter two are geared toward professionals who want to effect change on an organizational or community and state level. All three master’s programs are offered via distance education to fit around busy schedules.
Dating back to 1831, New York University excels in the areas of teaching and research. It is also a highly competitive institution, with the university recently seeing a record-breaking 100,000 annual applications. This marks 14 consecutive years of increasing applications from prospective students.
NYU Steinhardt offers an online master’s program in SLP known as [email protected] Studying under the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, you’ll complete a total of 48 graduate-level credits and gain 375 hours of direct clinical contact experience. The program is also accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Your studies will be centered on evidence-based practice, and you’ll be assigned a dedicated placement specialist who will help you to find a placement that has been approved by the [email protected] faculty. If you’re studying online, bear in mind that you’ll need to attend two on-campus sessions that are designed to prepare you for clinical diagnostic work.
Founded in 1876, the University of Colorado Boulder is part of the University of Colorado System. In fact, the university is five years older than the state of Colorado itself. It is one of just 36 institutions that make up the Association of American Universities.
CU Boulder provides a certificate program for budding speech-language pathology assistants. It is designed for students who have either already completed a BA in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences or are currently enrolled in their final semester at this university. Students studying in another discipline may be eligible if they meet certain requirements.
Colorado residents who successfully complete this program will meet the necessary state requirements for SLPA authorization, permitting them to work in state public schools once this has been gained. However, as a non-resident, you will need to refer to the school’s provided list of boards to check whether the program meets your state’s requirements.
Standing since 1754 on the site of the Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia University in the City of New York is among the five oldest higher education institutions in the nation. Its 40,000-strong student body has unparalleled access to the benefits of a bustling city, with a broad variety of academic clubs, organizations, and other resources just a stone’s throw away.
Columbia offers an Advanced Certificate in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology. Available as an online program or on-campus at Teachers College in New York City, you’ll extend your experience as a speech-language pathologist or recent graduate of a bachelor’s degree by learning how to support the needs of bilingual children.
Supported by a tight-knit faculty of eight professors and seven experienced clinicians, successful graduates will join 600 alumni of this unique program from Teachers College. For more information on the certificate and the Bilingual Extension Institute at Teachers College, check out the institute’s webpage.
The University of Rhode Island is the flagship university of the state and welcomes around 18,000 students annually. The student body represents around 76 countries worldwide and 48 states across the nation. In a recent year, the institution conferred around 4,500 degrees, with students benefiting from the recent $900 million invested in facilities and campuses.
URI’s Master’s in Speech Language Pathology is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and comprises around two years of full-time study or four-to-five years of part-time study. Following these studies, you’ll graduate ready to prevent, diagnose, and treat a range of disorders with communication and swallowing.
According to the university’s website, entry into this program is extremely competitive, with just 20-25 openings typically available each year. For admission, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The average successful applicant, however, will hold a minimum GPA of 3.5.
Offering more than 90 degrees that cover undergraduate-, graduate-, and doctoral-level studies, Maryville University has nearly 150 years of experience as a higher education institution. It has been called the second-fastest-growing university and has a total enrollment of around 11,000 students, with around 7,000 online learners.
Maryville offers a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Comprising a total of 128 credit hours, with a foundation level of general education built into the curriculum, this program will train you in important healthcare and education skills that will help you to support patients with communication at all stages of life.
As a student at Maryville, your curriculum will include courses like Language and Speech Acquisition, Speech Development and Disorders, Aural Rehabilitation, Neurological Basis of Communication Disorders, and Advanced Speech Pathology. Courses total three credits each, and you’ll complete both project-based and experiential learning, gaining valuable hands-on experience.
Also known as Elms College, this Catholic liberal arts institution is based in Chicopee, MA. Founded in 1928 and with more than 50 programs to choose from, the institution now offers online tuition that is more affordable than on-campus rates. What’s more, over 95% of Elms College undergraduates receive financial aid.
Elms’ online Speech-Language Pathology Assistant program is geared toward professionals who are working in or plan to work within school environments. In this program, you’ll learn how to assist speech-language pathologists in the improvement of reading, writing, and communication abilities in children and within a classroom setting.
With the flexible 20- and 21-month fully online program options, you can choose how far to take your education, gaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or a certificate. Before graduation, you’ll also complete a clinical practicum in a school, gaining important hands-on experience as an assistant speech-pathologist.
After 175 years of academic excellence, Baylor University now offers online programs via three of its on-campus schools and colleges. Online programs include weekly video conferencing sessions, online coursework, and facilitated social networking that will keep you in touch with your peers. With that being said, online students still get to participate in practical placements, so you won’t miss out on experiences given to your on-campus counterparts.
Baylor’s Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders integrates the Christian faith directly into its curriculum. Comprising a total of 45 credits, it’s a fully online program that can be completed in as few as five semesters through full-time study. Before earning your degree, you’ll be expected to participate in both a clinical internship and a practicum.
In total, you’ll gain 400 field hours of practical experience from your time in this program, including experience in diagnostics, creating treatment plans, and conducting evaluations.
What Level of Education Do You Need to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist?
It is expected that you will hold a master’s degree as a minimum level of education if you’re hoping to become a speech-language pathologist. While not every SLP master’s degree will require a bachelor’s degree from a related area, there are certain prerequisites for admission in terms of the college courses you have taken previously.
In the accredited online colleges that we’ve referenced in this article, you will notice that there are programs designed to fill any knowledge gaps that you may have. In some cases, you can complete a college program comprising just six or seven key courses that could see you progressing from a humanities bachelor’s degree to an SLP master’s program, for example.
Bear in mind, however, that if you have no previous clinical experience, you’ll need to find a course that ensures you meet the minimum clinical experience requirements that are specified by the ASHA. Without meeting this criterion, you won’t be eligible to apply for certification, regardless of your prior studies.
What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant Do?
We’ve established above that speech-language pathologists require a master’s degree, but that doesn’t mean that they work in isolation. As a speech-language pathologist assistant, you’ll be working directly under the supervision of a certified pathologist by helping those who have communication disorders. Therefore, you’ll work in the same settings, including hospitals, schools, and other clinical locations.
You’ll work under the direction of your supervisor, which could include completing tasks such as record-keeping, screening new patients, helping pathologists to perform speech exercises with their patients, scheduling appointments, looking after specialist equipment, and maintaining confidential patient data. All of this experience can count toward eligibility to become certified if you pursue a master’s degree later on.
Due to the nature of the work, any degree program that helps you to build certain soft skills is a good choice. The kind of natural skills we’re talking about include analytical, communication, and critical-thinking skills. You should also be detail-oriented, in addition to being a compassionate person, since you’ll be working with children or adults who have communication disorders. You also need to be a good listener.
How Much Do Speech-Language Pathologists Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech-language pathologists earned a median salary of around $79,120 in 2019, which is nearly double the U.S. national average wage for all occupations combined. The role has also been projected to grow in demand by 25% over the next decade, creating around 40,500 new positions. Assistants, however, can expect to earn less than their senior supervisors.
To seek out higher salaries, speech-language pathologist assistants can gain hands-on experience by completing clinical work under a qualified pathologist. Often called a fellowship, these types of internships involve applying and improving the skills learned in an academic degree program. You’ll also need to gain the CCC-SLP certification, which requires you to have successfully completed a 36-week fellowship.
What Other Fields Can You Enter With a Degree in Speech Therapy?
With the skills and knowledge gained in a degree program in speech therapy, some graduates choose to become audiologists, though this typically requires a master’s degree too. With some broader degree programs, there may also be potential to work as an occupational therapist or recreational therapist. Each of these roles requires a different level of education.
Recreational therapists do not focus on communication disorders and instead help those with other disabilities or illnesses. Requiring only a bachelor’s degree to begin working, these professionals earned a median salary of around $48,220 in 2019, according to data from the BLS, which is just a little above the U.S. national average for all occupations combined. Occupational therapists, on the other hand, earned almost double that salary, though a master’s degree is required.
If you’re considering further study, then the role of an audiologist could be an attractive option. Popular among graduates of doctoral programs in this field, becoming an audiologist will have you diagnose and treat hearing loss and balance problems, among additional complications involving the ears. These professionals earned a median salary of $77,600 in 2019 and still enjoy a projected 13% growth in demand over the next decade, though again, a master’s degree is required to gain employment.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the 30 Top Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges and the 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges!