The median annual speech pathologist salary is $72,000. This comes out to about $34 per hour. Pathologists who are just starting out and those in the lowest 10th percentile should expect a little less, approximately $29 per hour or $60,000 a year. Yet, with more experience, a speech pathologist could enter the pay-grade of those in the top 10th percentile. These professionals make at least $85,000 annually, or $41 every hour. Even the middle 50% of speech pathologists will make a nice income: between $65,000 and $79,000 every year. This is equal to between $32 and $38 an hour.
As with most professions, many factors will determine income for speech pathologists. Some of the determining factors include experience, geographic location, and area of employment. Speech pathologists require a high level of education, and there are certain certifications that may be achieved. Those with the proper certifications will be paid higher. Metropolitan areas often offer higher salaries to professionals. Furthermore, the type of employment is important. Speech pathologists working in educational settings may see less of an income than those working in the health care industry.
The total compensation package for the typical speech pathologist after benefits is $100,500. Benefits may include social security, pension, paid time off, and health care, among others.
Job Description of a Speech Pathologist
Speech pathologists generally deal with speech problems, but they treat a number of disorders. This may include speech, language, or even swallowing disorders. Professionals will diagnose the problems and treat them as necessary.
A speech pathologist generally works in either an educational setting or within the health care industry. More than half of the currently employed speech therapists work in education, while another third work in health care. There are other facilities available to speech pathologists, but they are difficult to find. Only about six percent of speech pathologists work in otherwise noted facilities.
How to Become a Speech Pathologist
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Typically, the career of speech pathology requires at least a master’s degree to enter. Income and job opportunities will rise if an aspiring speech pathologist obtains his or her doctorate.
A speech pathologist must also be licensed. Each state is different concerning licensing requirements, as they are for many occupations. There are also special certifications available for speech pathologists to receive. The ASHA CCCs are important to the profession. Higher incomes and better professional opportunities are available to speech pathologists that are certified. Many states do not require certification to work in schools, but the certifications are needed to work elsewhere as a speech pathologist. Even though school-based professionals do not require a certification, they may receive a higher income if they have been certified by ASHA.
Speech Pathologist Salaries in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
A speech pathologist should come home with a comfortable salary when working outside of the United States. Speech pathologists in Canada should receive an average annual pay of C$61,000. An Australian speech pathologist will see virtually the same payment. Australia pays her speech pathologists A$60,000 annually on average.
A speech pathologist from the United Kingdom (U.K.) will see roughly the same salary. £35,000 is paid to a speech pathologist annually on average. This equates to about $56,000 in America.
Verdict on Speech Pathologist Salary
This profession is rewarding when it comes to salary. While schooling and training will take a number of years, a speech pathologist salary is relatively high. Technically, only a master’s degree is needed, and certification is not necessary while working in a school setting. Since this is the case, it is possible to enter the work force quicker, allowing for money to be earned after experience rather than education. Considering the amount of school loan debt graduates face today, this is a very good opportunity for any individual.