Speech language pathologist’s salary is around $75,000 in the United States. Creating and building a career in speech pathology seems to be a real brainteaser for those who are looking for the right course to take in college. As a matter of fact, since speech language pathology is not offered in every university or college in the country, some take this scarcity as a sign that this is not an “in demand” profession. But as of 2014, the speech language pathology’s salary has jumped from an average annual salary of $69,870 to about $74,900. This means that the growing demand for speech therapists or pathologists ensure a more stable source of income for those who wish to be part of this medical industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also estimated a 19% increase in the demand for these therapists between 2012 and 2022. This job growth is faster than average, largely due to the growing baby boomers generation, who might already be suffering from speech or language problems. Keep reading for more information about speech language pathology salary and career requirements.
Speech language pathology job description
People with communication disorders due to speech or language impediments are the focus of speech language pathology. They are the usual patients of speech language pathologists, who treat them, regardless of their age. These pathologists also assess and diagnose problems with the patient involving their language, speech, or swallowing. To determine the extent of the problem, speech language pathologists ask patients to complete basic vocalizing and reading tasks or have them undergo standardized tests. It is also the therapists’ job to find available treatment options and to supervise the execution of the treatment plan. During a speech language pathology treatment session, therapists teach patients to make sounds and develop their voices better. They teach sign language and other alternative communication methods to patients who can barely speak or cannot speak at all. They also improve the patients’ reading and writing abilities. If the patients have difficulty swallowing, it is the therapist’s responsibility to improve the muscles used to perform the task. Speech language pathologists help patients and their families to deal with the communication problems.
How much does a speech language pathologist make ?
Average speech language pathology
As of May 2014, the average speech language pathology’s salary is $74,900, while the average wage is $36.01, according to the BLS.
Speech language pathology salary in the US
According to PayScale, the median speech language pathology’s salary is $56,677. It usually ranges between $45,301 and $97,762. This already includes a basic salary that usually starts at $40,633 to $77,903, bonuses of up to $2,909, and profit sharing that ranges from $197.27 to $3,077. As for their wages, speech language pathologists earn between $27.90 and $54.08, while overtime pay ranges from $20.52 and $64.80 per hour.
Salary.com showed higher speech language pathology salary figures though, with the median pay for this profession estimated to be around $74,234. The top 10% earners make $86,846 or more per year, while the bottom 10% earn only $62,437 or less per year. The website also showed how much speech language pathologists earn per hour. Their wages range from $30 to $42, with the median wage being $36.
The BLS reported that the average speech language pathology’s salary is $74,900, which is higher than the average salary of $69,870 in 2012. The bureau also showed that the home health care services industry is the highest paying industry, where the therapists earned $95,170. The other top paying industries that are worth considering are the offices of physicians, where the salary was $90,350; the continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly, $90,020; the nursing care facilities, $89,330; and the medical and diagnostic laboratories, $86,750.
Speech language pathology salary by city/state in the US
The best state for speech language pathologists to work in, salary-wise, is that of Nevada, where they earned $86,980. The other states that pay a generous speech language pathology’s salary include New York, where the annual earnings for this profession was $86,370; District of Columbia, $85,440; California, $85,270; and New Jersey, $84,870.
The US News & World Report showed that the highest paying city for speech language pathologists is that of Sacramento, California, where they can earn around $111,490. Those working in Fairbanks, Alaska and Santa Fe, New Mexico also earned quite a sum as their speech language pathology salary, $104,710 and $103,140, respectively. Therapists working in Sherman, Texas and Salinas, California are also well compensated with their annual earnings of $99,270 and $98,790, respectively.
Speech language pathology salary in Canada
Speech language pathologists working in Canada earn a median pay of C$65,215, as their salary usually ranges between C$50,049 and C$94,142 per year. Their wages range from C$28.98 to C$53.76. This is as reported by PayScale.
According to Salary.com, the speech language pathology’s salary for 50% of the population is C$78,310. The highest earners make C$91,613, while the bottom earners take home only C$65,865 per year.
Living In Canada showed that a full time therapist takes home a speech language pathology salary ranging from C$75,000 to C$85,000. The highest wages of C$49.57 are earned in Calgary, Alberta, while the lowest wages of C$31 are earned in Montreal, Quebec.
Speech language pathology salary in Australia
PayScale reports showed that the speech language pathology’s salary is usually between AU$45,437 and AU$76,431, giving them a median pay of AU$57,753. This already includes the basic pay ranging from AU$44,294 to AU$76,431 and a bonus that may reach up to AU$4,932.
According to Living In Australia, speech language pathologists earn between AU$1,120 per week, giving them an annual pay of AU$58,200. Therapists working in Sydney usually make between AU$71,000 and AU$91,000, while those in Melbourne take home between AU$58,000 and AU$81,000. Pediatric speech pathologists in Queensland earn between AU$30 and AU$40 per hour, while those based in Adelaide make between AU$70,000 and AU$79,000 per year.
Speech language pathology salary in the UK
According to the National Health Service (NHS) pay system, the speech language pathology’s salary starts at £21,748 and rises to £27,901. Specialists earn between £25,783 and £34,530 per year. Advanced therapists earn even more, with their speech language pathology salary ranging from £30,764 to £40,558.
PayScale showed that the typical speech language pathology’s salary ranges between £19,609 and £46,000, with their median pay being £27,732.
Speech language pathology salary in South Africa
In South Africa, the average speech language pathology salary is R250,428. This is based on the reported monthly pay of R20,869 by Salary Explorer. But PayScale reports showed their median pay to be R180,000 per year.
How to become a speech language pathologist
To become a speech language pathologist, one must have a master’s degree, as required by most states. Some states only allow graduates from programs accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. These programs include courses in physiology, anatomy, the principles of acoustics, and the nature of speech and language disorders.
All speech language pathologists must be licensed to practice.
Although the states have different licensing requirements, what is common is their requirement to get a passing score in the Praxis Exam in Speech-Language Pathology, which is administered by the Educational Testing Service nationwide.
Certification is offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). It is called the Certificate in Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. This may be a voluntary certification, but it is highly valued by many employers in the industry.
Conclusion about speech language pathology salary
The speech language pathologist’s salary is $74,900. While the top 10% makes $111,000, the bottom 10% takes home only $44,940 per year.