A position of immense value and repute, the job of speech therapists is full of crucial responsibilities. Read on to know more about this profile.
One of the fields that is growing at a tremendous rate is that of speech pathology. Just a decade ago, speech therapists and similar professionals in this field were relatively few, and even the earning potential wasn't decent.
But times have changed now. Speech therapists have numerous career opportunities in this field, and they have plethora of employment opportunities in various pre-schools, schools, hospitals, and mental health centers.
Duties of a Speech Therapist
They are the professionals who're entrusted with the responsibility of helping people deal with various types of speech-related and communication-related limitations. Often, speech pathologists and speech therapists are terms that are used interchangeably.
Speech therapists work in medical teams that include various health care professionals, like doctors, nurses, psychologists, and physiotherapists. Here are various duties and tasks performed by them:
Studying and analyzing children's communication difficulties and suggesting remedial measures.
Studying problems of difficulty in breathing and the respiratory system that pose a hindrance for communication in people with speech-related disorders.
Assessing and monitoring the patient's growth during the treatment procedure, and changing the treatment method if that doesn't work.
Their tasks also include working with infants and kids to understand their problems of speech, language, and communication. They work towards incorporating various activities for speech therapy for children.
They participate in research projects related to communication.
They work in combination with various social service centers and educational institutes to help children in overcoming speech problems.
At managerial positions, they set personal and organizational objectives.
Generally, seniors teach juniors and help them to gain more knowledge about this profession.
Therapists employed in schools conduct various therapy games and activities to make the atmosphere conducive for children with speech-related problems.
Master's degree in various interrelated fields including social service, human development, behavioral sciences, linguistics and speech-language pathology is the most common requirement for speech pathology programs.
The Council on Academic Accreditation, an entity of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, gives degrees and certifications to speech pathologists. Just a master's degree is not enough to carry out all the duties entailed in this job.
Excellent communication skills and patience to handle people with speech problems are no less important than a reputed college degree.
Moreover, team working skills, creativity (to design programs beneficial for people with different types of communication problems), and organizational skills are some of the must have traits in an aspirant's personality.
Salary depends on many factors. Those working for reputed schools, colleges and hospitals earn higher salaries. Similarly, educational qualifications also determine the pay scale. A good degree along with reputed certifications says that the candidate has tried to work upon his career goals. Thus, he/she is preferred over a candidate with lesser education.
But this doesn't undermine the value of work experience. Those who have work experience are always kept ahead of freshers as experience is very critical in this field. The salary for starters is between USD 41,000 and USD 90,700.
On an average, these therapists are able to make anything between USD 45,500 and USD 101,500, depending on the work place and employer type. This shows that this profession has pretty decent opportunities of earning good salaries. Mobilizing your efforts in the right direction can help you achieve your goal. Wish you all the best!