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Speech Language Pathology Jobs Help People Find Their Voice   by Kate Smith

in Careers / Career Management    (submitted 2010-01-24)

Speech language pathology jobs give professionals the chance to help people find their voice. They work to help patients with a variety of different issues that range from temporary to chronic. Speech pathologists can be found in many settings and work with patients of all ages. Sometimes called speech therapists, they can be found in schools, private practices, hospitals, and nursing homes.

People working in the speech language pathology field assist patients with different ailments that involve their voice. This might mean helping them use proper tone and correct pronunciation of words. Other issues could involve using the proper volume in various settings. Those that are uncomfortable with an accent might also see a speech therapist in order to overcome it. Speech language pathologists will also work with people that have difficulties or disorders with specific part of the anatomy that affect producing language. This would include those having problems swallowing.

In the case of a problem that cannot be overcome, speech language pathologists would help find a way for the person to adapt. For someone who has not been able to produce speech, an augmentative communication device might be necessary. A speech therapist would assist the patient in finding the correct one to meet their needs. They would also provide training on how to use it and adapt it to different situations. A therapist might also turn to other ways to communicate. Sign language or working on writing skills might be a solution for people that cannot use their voice to express themselves.

People of all types will use the skills of a speech therapist. Patients could be people that were born with neurological issues. Cerebral Palsy and Autism both could affect the way a person is able to communicate. Sometimes older people develop issues because of other health occurrences such as a stroke or onset of Parkinson's disease. Students with learning disabilities might also need assistance. The amount of time that someone will see a speech language pathologist depends on how long it will take to meet their needs which might change over time.

To become a speech language pathologist a person must pass an accredited master's program. Licensure is necessary in order to work in a private practice. But, only twelve states require it in order to work within a school system. The job market for speech language pathologists continues to increase making this a good field to go into. It is expected to continue to increase for the next ten years. The average salary of a speech language pathologist in May 2008, was $66,130.

Speech language pathologist jobs provide a professional with many choices on who they want to work with and in what setting. Regardless of the specifics of what they do, a service is provided which allows patients to have improved function in every part of their lives. Beyond the security of working in a field that is continuing to grow, what it brings to people will provide and endless amount of personal rewards.