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What’s it all about: Speech pathologists help people speak more clearly. They use tests to identify speech disorders in people and help them overcome difficulties such as making certain sounds, stuttering, or speaking too fast. They may even help people who lose their ability to speak altogether. Once the tests are completed and enough information is gathered, the speech pathologists along with other staff members (audiologists, physicians, counselors) a plan of how to treat the client is established. The client's progress is accurately recorded and the plan is revised as needed. The speech pathologist and audiologist (treats hearing disorders and balance problems) check for poor hearing because it can affect the ability to learn speech. They also check how muscles are working. Some clients lose muscle control because of a stroke. When a physical problem is recognized, pathologists may refer clients to doctors. The speech pathologist may teach people how to make specific sounds or teach those sign language or lip reading. Speech pathologists work in schools, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitations centers and university speech clinics. Speech pathologists must have strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as, being very exact and accurate.

Study for success: To work as a speech pathologist you must: have completed a master's degree in speech pathology; complete 375 clock hours of supervised clinical experience; have a score of 600 or better on the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology; and complete nine months of supervised professional experience. They must also earn 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years. Helpful high school courses are: college prep courses, mathematics, physical sciences, biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, healthcare sciences, computer science, language arts and communications and recordkeeping.

Discover more:

For more information write to:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
(Click on "Students" then on "Career Center." Select "Information About Careers" from the right menu bar.

Related jobs: Audiologists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, special education teacher.

For more information contact:

Paulette Howell

Career Development

Auburn Career Center

(440) 357-7542, ext. 239