Job Outlook for Speech Therapists, 2011 and Beyond

Speech and language therapists can expect a highly favorable job outlook in 2011 through at least 2018.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition reports that a “faster than average employment growth” is expected for speech therapists. “Faster than average,” according to the BLS, is an increase of 14-19 percent.

In addition, according to the BLS, employment for “speech pathologists is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. As the members of the baby-boom generation continue to age, the possibility of neurological disorders and associated speech, language, and swallowing impairments increases. Medical advances also are improving the survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, who then need assessment and sometimes treatment.”

The BLS continues: “Employment in educational services will increase with the growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education students. The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a Federal law that guarantees special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities. Greater awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of speech and language disorders in young children will also increase employment.”

Job prospects also look good because many speech therapists will retire in the coming years, according to the BLS. Those speech therapists who speak Spanish also should see their job prospects positive. In addition, those therapists willing to relocate to areas of the country that don’t have as many therapists also should have no trouble finding employment.

As for salaries, the BLS reported that “[m]edian annual wages of speech-language pathologists were $62,930 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,330 and $79,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,220.

Speech therapists who work in nursing care facilities tended to receive the highest salaries; the BLS reported that the average annual median salary for speech therapists serving in nursing care facilities was 79,120 in 2008.

How to Write a Speech in 5 Minutes

Have you been in a rush to create an effective speech, yet also wanted to knock your talk out of the park? It’s a lot easier than you think, and you can write a killer speech in 5 minutes if you know the right steps to take.

If you are going to be an effective public speaker, you have to give moving speeches (no surprise here). There are three main elements that, if you implement, you can very quickly make a great speech. They are: entertain, educate, and support… and in that order.

Here’s how this works: In your introduction, your sole purpose is to entertain. This doesn’t mean you must become a stand-up comic (although humor is an effective tool). It means to get their attention. Simply do or say or do something unique, unexpected, dramatic, or humorous. Ideally, your entertainment should be relevant to the subject of your talk, so find where the drama is in your subject and exploit it.

Next, you must educate. Tell the audience clearly, in one sentence, what you are going to tell them for the remainder of your speech. Make no uncertain terms about it. It is surprisingly effective to say, “I am speaking to you today for one reason and one reason only, and that is to (blank)”

The rest of the speech is to support that single sentence. And here’s the beauty: all you have to do is repeat that easy formula three more times and you have three subject areas to talk about.

So, pick three aspects about your subject, and for each of those angles, first entertain your audience, then educate your audience, then tell a story or two to support that point. Once you’ve done that, move to the next area.

Do this for each subject area, tell a story or a strong statement in conclusion… and you’ve just created a great speech in 5 minutes!

To create an effective conclusion, consider telling half of a story in your introduction, then finishing your story in the conclusion. This will create an open ‘loop’ in the minds of your audience, and they will be more apt to pay attention, because subconsciously, they will want to hear the end of your story.

So remember to entertain, educate, and support, and you’ll be creating and delivering killer speeches in no time flat!

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Finding the Best Speech Therapy Programs

With the gradual economic improvements being seen today, and a shift in population demographics, the healthcare industry has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

Because of this, many rehabilitative and therapeutic professions are experiencing greater demand for qualified individuals.

Speech therapy – also known as speech-language pathology – is an interesting and important career option for anyone who likes the idea of working in a healthcare field, but in a more educational or teaching form of therapy.

There are hundreds of programs where gaining these qualifications are possible, and the estimated salary is quite competitive in comparison to other occupations, making speech therapy an excellent consideration.

Becoming a Speech Therapist

Students interested in a career in speech-language pathology will need to attend one of the many available speech therapy programs to become qualified.

Although there are numerous degree levels available, it is most recommended that prospective applicants into this career path plan on earning their pathology, which will offer them the most employment opportunities, as well as a chance at career advancement without having to return to school.

Most states and provinces in the US and Canada require speech pathologists to be certified, as well as licensed; only student who have completed graduate programs are eligible for certification.

In the UK and some other areas, must be registered with their nation’s health council; requirements include the successful completion of at least a Bachelor’s degree program, or completion of an accelerated two-year program which may have specific entry requirements.

Finding the Best Programs

To receive the best education, and be prepared for not only the certification examination as well as entry into this detailed career, students are recommended to attend the best program possible.

They should look for one that has been recommended doing so, students can be assured they are investing in an education that has been carefully structured to provide them the best learning opportunities, and involves curriculums that include the latest and most accepted training techniques today.

ASHA also oversees certification of qualified individuals, and provides testing opportunities throughout the year for those seeking certification.

In Canada, accreditation and overview of educational programs is done by the Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) and (CACUP-ASLP). The CASLPA also handles all certification and testing for qualified individuals.

UK accreditation of all university programs offered is handled (RCSLT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which also keeps a register of all qualified professionals who are legally able to practice.

Employment as a Speech Therapist

There are many different places where graduates of speech therapy programs can find employment. While regular hospitals do hire these professionals, there are many jobs available in educational therapeutic positions at elementary and primary schools, special education schools and with other programs for children exhibiting speech or hearing delays and other issues.

Speech therapists can also play important roles for older students at middle and high school level who require assistance in understanding and communication, and they are also employed by colleges to ensure that students in need of their services can still get the best education possible with speech and language therapy.

Additionally, skilled nursing facilities that provide care for older patients and those of all ages who are recovering from strokes, brain injuries and other conditions that have affected their ability to speak and communicate well provide many jobs for speech therapists.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Others are employed by private practices, which may see patients of all types, or specialize in only one type of patient or communication issue. In any case, due to increased demand for speech-language pathologists overall, most graduates are able to easily find employment today.

Since it is a very detail oriented career, and education and training can be intense, students are recommended to only enroll at a school that has been recommended by their country’s main professional group to ensure they meet all necessary qualifications for certification or registration, and can be employed.

Each of these organizations provides a list of all accredited speech therapy programs for prospective students at their websites.