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Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Speech-Language Pathology
Speech-language pathologists assess and treat patients who have speech, language, voice, fluency, or oral motor disorders. They also assist people who wish to improve their communication skills through changes in vocal pitch, quality, or accent. Speech-language pathologists utilize special instruments and tests to develop individualized treatment plans for patients.

  • Prevention
  • Screening
  • Assessment
  • Treatment
  • Behavioral Modification
  • Follow-up
  • Administration
  • Consultation
  • Supervision
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Public and private K-12 schools
  • Universities and colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Speech, language, and hearing centers
  • Home healthcare offices
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Adult day healthcare centers
  • Residential facilities
  • Federal agencies including:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Education
    • Armed Services
  • State and local health departments
  • Community clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Private individual or group practices
  • Research laboratories
  • A master’s degree from an accredited speech-language pathology program is required to enter the field.
  • Nearly all states require licensure or certification of speech pathologists.
  • Obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing
    Association.
  • A passing score on the national examination and post-graduate supervised clinical experience are required for certification.
  • Some states may require additional certification to work with special education populations in public schools.
  • Approximately 45% of speech pathologists work in schools and 65% in healthcare organizations.
  • Some practitioners specialize in specific age groups.
  • A doctorate is required for university teaching and research positions.
  • Take undergraduate coursework in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and communication sciences.
  • Maintain a high GPA and seek related experiences to be competitive for graduate school.
  • Successful candidates have the ability to communicate effectively, demonstrate patience, and work well with others.
  • Learn to function effectively on a team as many speech-language pathologists collaborate with other healthcare professionals.


Audiology
Audiologists identify, diagnosis, and treat people experiencing disorders associated with the ear and hearing. These disorders may include hearing loss or balance problems. Audiologists utilize technical equipment such as audiometers and computers to assess a patient’s impairment and to plan a course of treatment. Audiologists are concerned with the nature and extent of hearing loss and how this may impact a client’s quality of life.

  • Prevention
  • Screening
  • Diagnosis
  • Assessment
  • Treatment Including:
    • Dispense Hearing Aids
    • Fit and Program Cochlear Implants
    • Administer Hearing Assistive Technology Systems
  • Counsel Patients and Families on Communication Methods
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
  • Cerumen Management
  • Fabrication of Ear Protection Pieces
  • Follow-up
  • Administration
  • Supervision
  • Forensic Audiology
  • Teaching
  • Research and Development
  • Consultation
  • Hearing Protection Programming/Education
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Speech, language, and hearing centers
  • Private individual or group practices
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Nursing care centers
  • Residential facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Federal agencies including:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Education
    • Armed Services
  • State and local public health departments
  • Health and personal care stores (hearing aid stores)
  • Hearing manufacturing industry
  • Employers required by OSHA to protect hearing
  • Schools, K-12
  • Universities and colleges
  • Research laboratories
  • A doctoral degree in audiology, a passing score on the national examination, and post-graduate supervised clinical experience are generally necessary for licensure which is required by all states.
  • Obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or credentialing through the American Board of Audiology.
  • Many states require audiologists to have a Hearing Aid Dispenser license to dispense those devices.
  • Take undergraduate coursework in anatomy, math, physics, genetics, and normal and abnormal communication development.  Maintain a strong GPA.
  • Learn to work well on a team as most audiologists collaborate with physicians, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, or other professionals.
  • Audiologists who go into private practice may want to seek courses or training in business principles.


General Information and Strategies

  • Research the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology to determine which is a better fit. Shadow professionals to experience their work environments.
  • Join the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association while in school and become an active member.
  • Volunteer in healthcare settings or other helping roles to gain experience working with people of diverse ages and backgrounds.
  • Display a desire to work with people who have disabilities and a strong sense of patience which is necessary as rehabilitation may progress slowly.
  • Develop excellent communication and computer skills. Learn about communication among various cultures.
  • Earn excellent grades and obtain strong faculty recommendations for graduate school admission.
  • Research the centralized graduate school application process managed by the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • Attend universities accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.