Speech Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists are professionals that work with the full range of human communication and its disorders. Speech-language pathologists work as a team with many other professionals including doctors, psychologists, audiologists, and social workers. The field is very much in demand, and there are shortages in every state. Typical work varies and can include swallowing disorders, language difficulties, and behavior problems. Settings include hospitals, schools, nursing care facilities, or private practices, amongst others. To become a speech-Language pathologist one must obtain a masters degree in speech-language pathology. Coursework includes linguistics, biology, phonetics and anatomy. A certificate of clinical competence (CCC) also must be obtained from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and a passing score on a national examination. Speech-language pathologists also must apply for licensure in the state of practice. The median salary range for ASHA certified speech-language pathologists in 2003 was 45,000-52,600 ( www.asha.org). For more information visit the department office (PHS 252) or www.asha.org.

Speech-language pathology is a career focused on helping people improve their communication skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are trained to diagnose and provide treatment for various disorders of speech, language, voice, fluency, cognition and swallowing.

Please visit the CSU, Fresno online catalog for additional information about the speech-language pathology program.

The Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology Program at California State University, Fresno is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Do I have to get a master's degree to work as a speech-language pathologist?

Yes. A master's degree is the entry-level degree for speech-language pathologists. Nearly all of the clinical experience and advanced coursework are completed at a graduate level to prepare students to be adequately trained.

Is the job market good for speech-language pathologists?

Yes. Speech-language pathologists are in demand across the state and across the nation in both medical and school settings. Typically, students who graduate with their master's degree in speech-language pathology are either hired right out of school, or already have a job lined up before they graduate.

What is the average starting salary for a beginning speech-language pathologist?

Beginning SLPs can expect to earn an average salary of about $65,000 in the schools (working 9 months), or about $90,000 in the hospitals (working 12 months). Salary also depends on where you work, as the cost of living is higher in some parts of the state and country than others.