Earning the Best Speech Therapist Salary

Becoming a speech therapist is an interesting and challenging career for anyone seeking a healthcare profession where they can both treat and teach at the same time while being a strong, positive influence on others.

The area of a highly detailed one requiring a substantial educational commitment, but the benefits in this profession are many.

Offering not only a chance for career advancement and specialization, but also a very favorable salary, practitioners are in demand right now.

Job outlook for healthcare professionals is very positive right now, and there are more jobs than ever before.

Speech Therapy Salary

Since speech therapy is a more specialized healthcare career that requires considerable education and training, practitioners are paid well.

According to the most recent salary information provided by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the median salary for speech-language pathologists is approximately $67,000 annually, which is almost double the median salary of all occupations combined, at $34,000 annually.

The estimated salary scale includes a range of a low of $43,000 annually to a high of upwards of $103,000 annually.

Most practitioners were employed by state, local and private elementary and secondary schools, with the rest employed in private practice and a few in skilled nursing and with home health agencies.

According to job outlook information gathered over the last few years, it is expected that jobs will continue increase up to 23 percent, which is nearly twice as fast as the general employment growth rate overall.

Experience Matters

According to a 2011 salary survey done by median salary was $70,000 annually, with a range of $58,000 annually for practitioners with only 1 to 3 years of experience, to upwards of $90,000 annually for practitioners with over 30 years experience and practice administrators.

Skilled nursing facilities provided the highest salaries of up to $82,000 per year while practitioners working for outpatient clinics and in private practice earned an average of $65,000 annually.

Salary for practitioners in Canada seems to be fairly consistent with those in the US according to the most recent findings by Statistics Canada, and reports a median salary of about $75,000 CAD annually. Sixty percent of practitioners earned above $50,000 CAD annually, and main areas of employment were with hospitals and schools.

In the UK, NHS salaries for entry-level speech and language therapists begins at approximately £22,000 annually, but it is said that this rate is quickly raised to salaries between £25,000 to £34,000 annually once a practitioner has demonstrated skill in the field.

Senior speech and language therapists usually start at about £37,000 annually and can rise to up to £46,000. Principle therapists who are also managers may earn up to £58,000 annually. While these salaries are for practitioners working within the NHS, those in private practice may earn more.

How to Become a Speech Therapist

Anyone interested in a career will need to earn a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology in order to be qualified in the US and Canada (the UK requires at least a Bachelor’s undergraduate degree to enter the profession).

This involves four preparatory years of general education while earning a Bachelor’s degree, and then the completion of a speech-language pathology program that (CAA) to earn their Master’s degree.

Accreditation is overseen by the Royal College of Speech and Language Specialists (RCSLT) in the UK, and in Canada, by both the Canadian Accreditation of Service Programs (CASP) and (CACUP-ASLP).

Upon graduation, students are able to file for their licenses to practice where required, which includes almost all states and provinces in the US and Canada.

Graduates practicing in the UK must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Certification is optional to practitioners, but is highly recommended, especially for those seeking job advancement and specialty recognition.

Prospective students who may be interested in a career as a speech therapist are recommended to contact the professional organizations mentioned above to learn more about accredited educational programs and other learning requirements.

By attending the best educational programs, students will graduate well prepared for earning a competitive salary as they begin their new, exciting career

Prospective students who may be interested in a career as a speech therapist are recommended to contact the professional organizations mentioned above to learn more about accredited educational programs and other learning requirements.

By attending the best educational programs, students will graduate well prepared for earning a competitive speech therapist salary as they begin their new, exciting career

Enroll in the Best Speech Therapy Schools

For those who would like to start a career in one of the healthcare services, and who may also enjoy teaching and working with children and adults who require assistance in overcoming language or communication issues, a job as a speech therapist could be perfect.

Also known as speech-language pathologists, these practitioners work with patients of all types who exhibit learning, speech and communication problems for a number of different reasons.

It is a growing profession and demand for qualified graduates of speech therapy schools has increased in recent years, so there are many employment opportunities available.

Earning an attractive salary as well, making it a great career choice for anyone who is patient, detail oriented, and likes working with patients of all kinds who are dealing with some personal challenges.

Working as a Speech Therapist

As with many jobs in the therapeutic and rehabilitative fields, therapists may work with many different types of patients.

One of the more common positions for therapists is working for regular schools, or special education schools, to help teach students of all ages – even through to the college level – who may be having difficulty with their speech, or other aspects of their ability to communicate well with people.

Schools and educational organizations make up the largest percentage of employers of speech-language pathologists other than skilled nursing facilities. Additionally, those who have advanced their educations may can find employment at various schools as instructors or clinical supervision of these programs.

Those employed by skilled nursing facilities may work with both children and adults who are disabled, have some kind of developmental delay, or have experienced some kind of brain injury or stroke that has affected their ability to speak or communicate well.

This can be especially significant with elderly patients, which is why speech therapists work just as much in geriatrics as they do with children and child learning. Besides these places, they are also employed in specialty private practice, by regular hospitals, local health departments, research agencies, home health agencies and even as consultants in corporate business for bilingual or linguistics assistance.

Getting an Education in Speech Therapy

In the US and Canada, although there are programs that start at the Associate’s degree level, students must graduate from a Master’s degree program in order to become certified as a speech-language pathologist.

Currently, there are over 300 schools in the US and over 15 in Canada, most of which offer programs to graduate students who have already earned a general Bachelor’s degree.

In the UK there are nearly 20 educational programs offering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech-language therapy, both of which qualify graduates for registration with the national heathcare council as speech-language therapists.

To achieve their best results, both with their education and in their ability to easily enter the workforce in their new career, students must be sure they enroll in an accredited program.

Through accreditation, students and employers alike can be sure that students have had access to the most current ideas in therapy. It will ensure they have completed a curriculum that has been approved by professionals working in the field as providing the most necessary teachings for student success.

Students who have not graduated from accredited schools are also ineligible for certification or registration, so this is a very important consideration for those researching schools.

Finding Approved Speech Therapy Schools

The easiest way for interested students to find the best programs in their country, and the ones that will make them eligible for certification and registration, is to contact their country’s professional organization on speech-language pathology.

These groups typically either oversee or partner with accreditation councils to ensure that educational programs being offered adhere to strict standards including providing an up-to-date curriculum and instruction on the most accepted and necessary methods.

Students seeking information about speech therapy schools, or to confirm accreditation of a program, are recommended to contact these organizations; they all offer a list of approved schools at their websites. Finding the best college or university program is important when considering a career in speech-language pathology.