March’s Kareer Korner: Speech Pathology

 

This month, let’s dive into the career path of Speech Pathology.  A Speech Pathologist is a person that works with others with speech impediments.  If you are unable to pronounce r’s, a speech pathologist could work with you to get you to pronounce those r’s.  Basically, picture a trained professional sitting down with Elmer Fudd

 

Elmer is just one tiny example of who Speech Pathologists work with. There are quite the variety of clientele that a speech pathologist could assist.  With such variety comes a lot of specific areas a person can study. Studying is a must for this career path though.  Most speech pathology positions require at least a Master’s degree.  Most positions will require you to gain certain certifications beyond that as well.  You are looking at around 6 years of education beyond high school in order to be able to be a Speech Therapist.  While this is a commitment to your career path, remember that education is a puller just as any experience you can gain in the work force.    Programs with extensive schooling, also mean extensive hands on experience under professional guidance.

A bi
g part of speech pathology is studying people and how the brain works.  It is truly amazing how our minds guide us through life each and every day, considering how many things could go wrong up there.  There are millions of working parts in our brain and as a speech pathologist, you get to learn a lot about the brain.  If studying the mind and how it works is intriguing for you, speech pathology 998a89d0ae9ea6f1bf7f88dd875ab1cc_brain-clipart-brain-clip-art-brain-cartoon-clip-art_457-337course work will give you a chance to explore some of that.  Specifically, you will study areas of the brain that involve speech and memory.  You’d be quite surprised in everything involved in forming just one sentence and saying it aloud.  You want to be a people person as well, in order to be energized by this career.  You’ll work extensively with people and you’ll want be helping them through some difficult issues in their lives.  This can be a rewarding field, but you have to enjoy helping people.  Patience is key!

When you dive into the higher levels of education in this field, you’ll want to begin to get involved in the practice, which is why your education becomes a puller.  All of the things you learn about the brain, and how it works can come full circle when you start working with clients during internships and clinical sessions.   I cannot stress the education path enough for this career path, because you gain experience while still in school.  It is like going to Med school because students don’t just learn from books and then upon graduation, are expected to operate on patients.  They get experience while they study, just as you would.

After completing all necessary education, there is, like I mentioned, some certifications that you will need to complete as well.  This all depends on the specifics of how you choose to practice.  Watch this quick video below to learn about one path you can take with Speech Pathology:

 

James chooses, for now, to practice speech pathology in a school.  He is certified with the education laws for the state he works in to practice speech pathology with school aged children.  James also mentions in this clip of maybe one day opening his own private clinic, or teaching speech pathology at a university.  All great choices of what he can do with his degree.  He also spoke of the opportunity to work in a hospital.  Those are just 4 areas that you could explore when deciding where and how you want to build your career in speech pathology.  Of course, don’t ignore that great slide a the end of the video that shows opportunities provided by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.  The more networks you have in your back pocket to utilize the better your chances of finding a job quickly.

 

With that being said here are some resources to use to help you look for positions across the nation:

http://www.asha.org/Careers/Job-Opportunity-Resources/ – real through this to get some ideas of how the American Speech-Language Hearing Association wants to help you.  I found the classifieds mail list to be particularly interesting.  They find you jobs and mail them to you!

http://www.speechpathology.com/slp-jobs – this website is a giant database of jobs specifically for speech pathologists.  I found 6,708 jobs across the nation!

https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1127.00 –  this is isn’t a job site directly, but sometimes you need to dig.  bachelor’s and master’s programs at most colleges will have some help for you available at their campus’s career center.  Don’t forget to explore their website and utilize their resources.  This link is a description of a speech pathologist but at the bottom of the description you can click on a link to then look for jobs.  I found over 1,000 speech pathology jobs in Connecticut.  5 of those specifically in Clinical Fellowships.  I went onto a college career services site under the exploring section.  So this onet tool i used to explore jobs, but poke around because it an lead to positions!

 

Enjoy your continuing journey.

 

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