9 Reasons to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist
1. Impacting Children’s Lives
Impacting a child’s life for the better is certainly the best part of the job. You are teaching them skills that will affect the rest of their lives. Whether its teaching them how to say an /r/, understand non-verbal/social cues, take directions, or speaking without stuttering, you know you are making a difference, and that is priceless.
2. Educating and Empowering
Educating and teaching a parent or loved one who just wants to help, but doesn’t know how, can be very fulfilling. Being able to partner with family as a team and collaborate for the betterment of the patient can be very fun.
3. Watching Clients Improve
This brings me to my next reason on our list, which is watching clients improve! As you work with the patient over weeks, months or years, it’s amazing to see them meet and exceed goals as well as continuously improve. Watching someone go from having no words to speaking short sentences is an amazing and humbling experience.
4. Ability to Specialize
Although SLPs leave graduate school with the training to work in any setting with any type of client, you have the ability to specialize in the area of the field that you love the most. This could mean working exclusively with children or adults. It could mean specializing in specific disorders such as swallowing, stroke, stuttering, or motor speech disorders. Other SLPs choose to stay up-to-date and work in all areas of the field.
5. Being Creative
There are no two clients alike. This means that for the rest of your career, you will need to adapt and use the tools you have been given to come up with a patient specific plan that allows them to progress. It’s important to keep therapy interesting, motivating, while of course being beneficial. Often times, we’ll tailor therapy to the clients interests to help build success.
6. Self Employment
It’s common for Speech Pathologists to work with private clients “on the side” of their full time positions, or even work full time for themselves. An SLP may work full time in the schools, but sees adults privately after school hours or on weekends. The versatility of the profession is liberating.
7. Ongoing Education
Whereas in a lot of other career paths, you end up doing the exact same thing for years, as an SLP you will constantly be growing and developing your skills around new research and methodology. Reading up on current best practices, attending conferences with your peers and learning new treatment methods is a part of the role.
8. Working with Diverse Clients
Being an SLP allows you to work with a diverse set of clients from many different walks of life. Just as we mentioned in “Being Creative” above, no two clients are alike despite some having the same “diagnosis.” You can be helping children with their speech one moment, while in a social skills group the next, followed by helping a stroke survivor.
9. Variety of Work Settings
Not only will you be able to work with a variety of clients, but also in a variety of different work settings. This can include;
- Early Intervention Programs
- Public School Systems
- Private School Systems
- Private Clinics/Private Practice
- Hospital Inpatient
- Hospital Outpatient
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Home Health Agencies
- Corporations/Businesses (for services such as accent reduction)
- Other for profit or non profit agencies that provide speech & language services
Why is this so great? Because you never get “burned out.” You can always shift into a new area of the field if you need more excitement! Many SLPs work in multiple environments at the same time as well.
These are just a few reasons you should think about becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. If you are just graduating or are looking for a new position, please click on our “Careers“