Speech Therapy Job Description Offers Great Diversity

Anyone who is interested in language, speech, and helping people in a therapeutic environment should consider a job as a speech therapist.

Also known as speech-language pathology, this segment of the healthcare services industry is more teaching oriented than anything else, although it does require the planning of therapeutic treatment along with other medical professionals.

The speech therapy job description is actually quite diverse however, offering talented individuals who are patient, compassionate and can view their work from a more medical point of view the chance to work with patients of all types, from children to older adults. Treatment options are varied, and specialization is an option, making it a wonderful career option in a more academic therapeutic environment.

What Speech Therapists Do

Verbal communication is one of the most unique and important traits that people have, although sometimes there are situations that prevent that communication. When people are affected by things that interfere with their ability to verbally communicate on a normal level, the services of a therapist can be very helpful.

Many times this means working with children who have developmental or learning delays, or are experience other conditions that have affected their ability to speak such as hearing problems, emotional issues and even physical problems like a cleft palate.

By working with these children on things like pronunciation, how to use their mouths and tongues to make words and how to control their voices, a therapist can be a huge asset in any child’s life, helping them to progress to a more normal manner of communicating with others.

Working with children is not the only job however, since there are many adults that need services as well.

This is especially the case with elderly patients who may be developing difficulties as they age, and from other developing problems like loss of hearing, or many times as the result of a stroke.

Patients who have experienced a stroke will sometimes lose their ability to control their voices or actually, physically speak; speech-language pathologists can be very helpful when working with these patients as they recover, so they can regain their normal ability to communicate with others.

Other Jobs in Speech Therapy

While children and older adults make up a large portion of the patients that speech therapists work with, they may also work with patients of any age who are mentally disabled, those who have sustained a brain injury that has affected their ability to speak, and those who are experiencing emotional traumas preventing them from speaking.

In a more academic and less therapeutic manner, speech therapists may also work with students of all ages who are learning a language that is not their native one, or even teaching business people how to correctly speak in foreign languages if it is required for their jobs.

Additionally, speech and language therapists are frequently hired by colleges to help teach and oversee their own speech-language pathology educational programs. Really, the job description offers many options in what type of work a therapist actually does, and which patients or clients they work with.

How to Become A Speech Therapist

Since it is such a detailed profession, those wishing to become speech therapists are usually required to graduate from a Master’s program in speech-language pathology. They must study on how to be part teacher and part therapist in order to appropriately fulfill the speech therapy job description and prosper in their career.

Also, those seeking certification – which is highly recommended, is required in many regions, and offers the most in job advancement and the ability to specialize – will need to have graduated from a Master’s program; prospective students should take all this into consideration when researching schools, and educational requirements.

Even though becoming a speech-language pathologist involves a more lengthy college career, most entering the field find the effort well worth it in the end. Between the diversity of the job description, the ability to advance education and specialize if desired, and an attractive salary, those working in this profession enjoy it greatly.

Prospective students looking for more information about entering a speech-language pathology program are recommended to contact their country’s professional association of speech-language therapists, which can usually point them in the right direction in regard to approved programs, and how to get started in the profession.