Speech-Language Pathology: A Job Description and Possible Career Tracks

To give a bit of background information to those who may be interested in a career as a speech pathologist let’s look into what a speech pathology professional is and does on a daily basis. Put simply we could say that a speech pathologist is a professional who has been trained to evaluate and treat individual patients who are suffering from some type of communication disorder.

A speech pathology professional brings academic and social skills to bear in a position that requires they evaluate and assist patients or clients in overcoming their disorder. Some speech pathologists work with Autistic children who have trouble communicating or with individuals trying to improve their language skills in a second language and having trouble learning new ways of forming words and phrases. They may also work with individuals trying to overcome a stuttering problem or having other problems related to the vocal system or throat.

A speech pathologist may need to work with other care professionals such as teachers, physicians or therapists and may need to address auditory issues that contribute to a client’s disorder.

Gaining an education to practice as a fully certified speech pathology professional typically requires a graduate degree which is offered along with undergrad programs by various colleges and universities. Many such educational establishments have an on-campus clinic that serves the community and also gives students a chance to gain real-world experience in preparation for their careers. Individuals who are interested in working as a speech pathologist in a bilingual environment may want to look for a college that offers certification in that area and a clinic that offers a significant chance of working with both English and Spanish speaking patients.

For students who don’t wish to work in a clinical setting after graduation there may also be the option of working in the field in the research arena. Training of other entry-level professionals may also be an option but likely only after a significant amount of actual experience in the field. The range of environments you can expect to work in after completing your education track varies from private and public school settings to hospitals and clinics.

One way to get a more complete idea of what your potential career as a speech-language pathologist could be like is to try and arrange to discuss the occupation with someone who has considerable professional experience and perhaps even see what their daily patient interactions in a clinical setting are like if possible.