the importance of effective language, speech, and communication is important in leading a successful life. a lack or difficulty in communication or speech may be overcome by getting help from speech therapists. speech therapists are professionals who have advanced knowledge and training in the study of human communication, communication development, and its associated disorders. to qualify for this position, you must hold at least a master's degree in a related filed such as speech pathology or audiology. coursework in swallowing disorders, age-specific speech disorders, and alternative communication method is useful. students may enroll in online master's degree programs if they have a busy schedule that is hindering their educational attainment. however, to complete the degree program, they will have to take practical training as well. in most states they must also be licensed and certified. to obtain the relevant licensure, candidates should consult with their state's medical or health board for the specific rules, but in general, they will have to complete a master's degree and acquire clinical experience. the certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology (ccc-slp) from the american speech-language-hearing association (asha) is often required by some employers.
speech therapist must recognize the fact that their patients need emotional support. so they should be compassionate and patient. they should have excellent listening and speaking skills as this occupation involves listening to patients as they describe their symptoms and then treating them accordingly. they must also be detail oriented and be able to come up with alternative treatments.
as reported by the us bureau of labor statistics, speech therapists held approximately 123,200 jobs in 2010. they are employed in elementary and secondary schools, offices of audiologists and physical, occupational and speech therapists, nursing care facilities, home health care services, and state and private hospitals. their employment is estimated to grow at 23% from 2010 to 2020. this is faster than the average for all other professions. their median annual wage amounted to around $66,000 in may 2010. speech therapists work with all age groups. almost half of the total speech pathologists worked at schools in 2010. however, adults will need treatment for speech disorders if they suffer from health problems such as strokes, trauma, and hearing loss.
they are engaged in the following tasks:
work in collaboration with social workers, psychologists, physicians, and other therapists at healthcare facilities
identify and diagnose communication problems in areas such as articulation, fluency, receptive and expressive language disorders, and voice.
determine the extent of problems and design individual treatment plans
document patient evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment progress
use strategies such as language intervention activities, oral-motor/feeding, and swallowing therapy or articulation therapy to treat speech disorders
work along with teachers, special educators, and parents in schools
work with patients to develop and strengthen their ability to read, speak, and to use their facial muscles
they instruct patients on how to make sounds, and to deal with pitch and fluency problems. they have to conduct standardized tests and vocalized tasks to determine the extent of the disorder. they also advise families on the best way to cope and handle communication disorders.