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Speech-Language Pathologists are therapists who evaluate and treat speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. Audiologists are therapists who assess and treat hearing disorders. Both workers treat children and adults. The two specialties are so interrelated that in order to be competent in one, it is necessary to be familiar with the other.
Speech-Language Pathologists may:
Identify speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders, and evaluate causative factors
Plan, direct, or conduct therapy for impairments such as aphasia, stuttering, and problems of articulation caused by organic and non organic factors
Provide guidance and counsel to patients and their families
Consult with other professionals concerned with the patient's welfare such as physicians, physical therapists, social workers, and teachers
Refer patients to other specialists if the disorder is diagnosed as not being a speech and/or language problem
Record the method of treatment and the patient's progress
Develop alternative and augmentative communication systems for severely impaired and non-speaking patients
Conduct research related to the acquisition of speech/language and the development of diagnostic and remedial procedures or design of apparatus
Act as a consultant to educational, medical, and other professional groups
Teach their area of expertise in colleges and universities
Supervise students and some faculty members
Voice pathologists diagnose and treat voice disorders, such as those associated with the professional use of the voice.
General duties of Audiologists may include:
Determine the range, nature, and degree of hearing function
Evaluate the central auditory processing abilities of patients
Conduct physiological measurements such as an auditory brainstem response
Differentiate between organic and non organic hearing disabilities
Plan and conduct audiologic rehabilitation programs for the hearing impaired, including (as needed) a hearing aid fitting, counseling, auditory training, and speech reading
Plan and conduct industrial hearing conservation programs, including noise measurements, counseling, and instruction in hearing protection
Conduct research in auditory systems
Consult with educational, medical, social, vocational, and other professional groups
Teach/supervise graduate students and some faculty
Click here to watch Speech Pathologists & Audiologists at work!
Machines, equipment, and work aids used may include:
Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists may specialize in these areas:
076.107-010 SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS are therapists who evaluate and treat speech, language, and voice disorders of children and adults.
076.101-010 AUDIOLOGISTS are therapists who assess and treat hearing disorders of children and adults.
076.104-010 VOICE PATHOLOGISTS diagnose and treat voice disorders, such as those associated with the professional use of the voice.
Speech-Language Pathologists work with patients who may have other conditions such as hearing impairment, brain injury, cleft palate, mental retardation, or emotional problems. These workers specialize in therapy and/or research in specific areas of interest. Audiologists may specialize in one type of audiology such as industrial, medical, educational, geriatric, pediatric, or research audiology.
In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration Scripts:
Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists may work independently or supervise assistants. They often work as part of a team with other professionals.
Their working conditions may vary depending on the location of jobs and specialties. Audiologists may work in special "quiet" rooms for testing purposes. Most work in clean, comfortable offices. Those who work in hospitals may spend part of their time in hospital wards seeing patients. Those who teach, work in classroom settings; those who engage in research, may spend time in laboratories.
Working hours are usually 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Those in private practice may work evenings or weekends. Most Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists devote time to continuing study, professional meetings, and community education activities. For those who are consultants may have to travel extensively.
Those in private practice must pay the cost of setting up and maintaining an office, including purchase of furniture equipment, and supplies, as well as payment of rent or mortgage costs.
Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists may join professional associations such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the National Association for Hearing and Speech Action, the Academy of Aphasia , Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the American Cleft Palate Association, and the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Those who join professional associations pay periodic membership fees.
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In Michigan, Speech-Language Pathologists in elementary or secondary schools must have a Master's Degree meet the standards for a teacher certification, and be qualified to work with handicapped children. Speech-Language Pathologists must decide while in school, if they will work in a clinical setting or in the schools. If working in the schools, they will need teacher certification. The bachelor degree is usually in Communication Disorders or Speech Pathology with student teaching requirements.
When working in a hospital or clinical setting they need a supervised clinical fellowship year of 1200 hours. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers a certificate of clinical competence (C.C.C.) examination. The C.C.C. is a written national exam and this certificate is required for clinical Speech-Language Pathologists. Audiologists must complete a Doctor of Audiology degree called an AuD to work as an Audiologist. The State of Michigan requires a license for this occupation. Click here for "Michigan Licensed Occupations," see Audiologist for specific licensing information.
NOTE: For a career in Speech-Language Pathology, a Master's Degree (five to six years of study beyond High School) is a minimum requirement.
And in Audiology, completion of AuD degree (Doctor of Audiology) typically requires 4 years of full-time study beyond the Bachelor's Degree. The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in this Career Exploration Script:
***VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS***
164 SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST & AUDIOLOGIST
Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology provide opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge needed to assess, test, diagnose, and help rehabilitate people with speech, language, and hearing disorders. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists who work in elementary or secondary schools must have a Michigan Teaching Certificate.
Courses vary from school to school but may include:
***MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS***
Speech therapists work as part of military medical teams. Speech therapists evaluate and treat patients with hearing and speech problems.
What They Do
Speech therapists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
A Master's degree for Speech-Language Pathologists or Doctorate in Audiology is required to enter this occupation depending on the occupational specialty.
No initial job training is provided to officers in this occupational group.
Helpful attributes include:
Speech therapists work in therapy labs, clinics, and medical centers.
Civilian speech therapists work in hospitals, clinics, schools, and research centers. They perform duties similar to those performed by military speech therapists. Depending on their specialty, civilian speech therapists may also be called audiologist or speech pathologists.
Positions for speech therapists in the Coast Guard are filled by U.S. Public Health Service Officers. After displaying leadership abilities, speech therapists may advance to senior management and command positions in the medical field.
The specialized training makes it difficult to explore this field of work. Working at summer camps for handicapped children or participating in co-op or work study portions of postsecondary programs in speech-language pathology may offer related experience. Branches of military service offer experience in audiometric testing. Volunteer work in hospitals or clinics will provide exposure to professionals in this field.
School-to-Work opportunities include:
Job shadowing experiences
Touring a local Speech-Language Pathologist & Audiologist employer
Volunteer work with a Speech-Language Pathologist & Audiologist employer
Community service work with an agency
Most Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists apply directly to employers or civil service offices. Assistance in locating jobs may come from college placement offices, faculty members and departments of speech- language pathology and audiology. Professional associations may be helpful. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as:
You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services.
Earnings of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists vary depending on the individual's ability, experience, education, and the type and geographic location of the employing organization. Nationally, annual salaries (mid 2007) of Speech & Language Pathologists and Audiologists who were employed by hospitals and related institutions were:
The annual median earnings for Speech-Language Pathologist were $49,504 in 2006. The median yearly earnings of "all" workers in the U.S. were $34,892 in 2006.
Hospitals in Michigan paid the following yearly wage rates (mid 2007) to Speech-Language Pathologists :
Hospitals in Michigan paid the following yearly wage rates (mid 2007) to Audiologists :
Annual salary ranges of Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists working for the State of Michigan (late 2007) were:
Hearing consultants employed by the City of Detroit (late 2007) earned salaries ranging from $42,300 to $44,300 a year. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists receive paid vacations and holidays; life, accident, and hospitalization insurance; sick pay; and retirement plans.
These benefits are usually paid for, at least in part, by employers. Advancement usually depends on education, personal skill, and leadership ability. Professional certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is also important for advancement. A worker employed in a clinic or hospital could become a supervisor or the head of clinical services.
Nationally, approximately 95,700 individuals were employed as Speech-Language Pathologists and about 10,100 were employed as Audiologists in 2007. Employment for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014. About 3.2% of the Speech-Language Pathologists and 1.7% of Audiologists were self-employed.
The industry distribution for Speech-Language Pathologists looked like this:
The industry distribution for Audiologists looked like this:
To find employers, click Employer/Business Locator.
MICHIGAN'S AREA EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK TO 2014
For Speech and Language Pathologists only:
Printed Occupational information is available upon written request from sources below.
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