Speech Pathology and Audiology

WIU Speech Pathology & Audiology - Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Speech-Language Pathology careers are on the rise, growing at an expected rate of 18% in the upcoming years. The possibilities for SLPs are endless and in high demand. WIU's Master of Speech Pathology program prepares graduates to follow any path they choose. Read on to find out more about the many career opportunities in this growing field.

SLPs in the Medical Field

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can work in a variety of settings with a variety of populations. If you are drawn to a career in the medical field, there is an array of settings that allow you to work with both adults and children.

job outlook

Hospitals: Within the hospital setting, SLPs work with both children and adults to maximize functional communication as well as treat dysphagia (swallowing disorders). The hospital setting offers diverse work experiences including:

  • Acute care
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Transitional care unit
  • Outpatient rehabilitation

Skilled Nursing Facilities: Working in a Skilled Nursing Facility, SLPs serve the geriatric population in both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation.

Outpatient clinics: Patients across the life span with a variety of diagnoses come to outpatient clinics by appointment. SLPs meet the individual needs of each patient by assessing and treating speech, language, cognition and swallowing.

Home Healthcare: The patient's home is another possible setting to deliver services. This setting gives the SLP the opportunity to really involve the family in therapy and work within the context of the patient's everyday life. How functional!

SLPs with Pediatric Populations

If your passion is working with children, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have endless opportunities to help children become more effective communicators. Whether you find joy in young children speaking their first words, maximizing children's academic success, or helping older children find autonomy as they near adulthood, there is a job for you!

Early Intervention: EI is a state funded program that serves the birth to three population. SLPs work with children to foster early language skills as well as educate parents on how to facilitate language in their everyday lives.

Schools: School-based SLPs serve children age 3-21 enrolled in public and private school placements. Jobs range from treating errors in sound production all the way to helping children with Autism connect with peers during recess.

Clinics: Working in a clinic or private practice is another way to serve the pediatric population. You may work for an already established practice or create your own. Clinics can be very specialized or serve a wide range of ages and impairments.

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