Speech Language Pathology Assistants fall into the Social Theme Code Category of careers, according to the Strong Interest Inventory® and its associated assessment. This job search system has been used for nearly a century to help people narrow down the job search possibilities to identify careers that suit their preferences and proclivities. It works by comparing job seekers’ answer patterns on the assessment to the answer patterns of professionals who have been satisfied and established in their fields for quite some time. For example, individuals who are in or are drawn to Social careers typically enjoy working with other people, supporting them physically or emotionally, and generally improving their quality of life.

Speech Language Pathology Assistants support Speech Language Pathologists in assessing and treating speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. Their first step is to assist in diagnosing the patient’s condition through a series of tests, and then aid in developing an appropriate treatment plan. During this process, they may record findings, process data or conduct web research to become more familiar with possible conditions.

Speech Language Pathology Assistant Salary

Read about a career in Speech Language Pathology including information such as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant Salary, daily tasks and other career information.

Once a treatment plan is established and implementation has begun, Speech Language Pathology Assistants observe treatment, record relevant data, and keep detailed records that document patients’ progress towards achieving incremental goals as well as longer term established treatment objectives. Doing so not only helps track the progress of individual patients, but can also be used in longitudinal studies across multiple patients to assess the effectiveness of a particular treatment regimen. After treatment, Assistants may need to prepare visual displays, such as graphs, tables, or charts, to communicate patients’ performance information to their parents or caretakers, and potentially to research-oriented audiences. At times, these visuals may be used to support in-service training sessions, as well as family or community education programs about speech language pathology.

A significant portion of Speech Language Pathology Assistants’ responsibilities also involves clerical or orderly work, like preparing instructional materials or equipment to run tests; keeping records of patient appointments, diagnoses, and performance; maintaining and ordering supplies; and scheduling activities, like reserving a lab or piece of equipment, or scheduling patient appointments. They may also need to test, maintain, or calibrate equipment to ensure that it performs correctly during use. In short, they are responsible for assisting Speech Language Pathologists in any way that they can.

To this end, they use many different tools and technologies. They may need to assess patients’ hearing using audiometers, audiometric booths, acoustic hearing chambers, headphones, and more; or they may need to record the mechanics of their vocal tract using video cameras, closed circuit television (CCTV) systems, digital cameras, and more. They also need to be comfortable with standard office equipment, including copiers, faxes, computers, keyboards, etc. During treatment, they may use specialized equipment such as adaptive communication switches, letter or symbol boards, stethoscopes, etc. The precise tools used may vary by the patients’ needs. In addition to the modern staples of Microsoft Office Suite, email and web browser software, Speech Language Pathology Assistants also need to be able to use language and speech analysis software, some basic medical software (e.g., Biofeedback software, Bungalow Software Aphasia Tutor), and text to speech conversion software. Speech Language Pathologist Assistants typically master these skills while earning a bachelor’s degree (29%) or master’s degree (24%).

Speech Language Pathology Assistant salary averages just over $37,000. In some states, especially those on the west coast like California, Oregon, and Washington, the median is a closer to $45,000, while in less populous states like Louisiana, it can be closer to $25,000. Even the highest-earning professionals in states like Delaware rarely earn more than $60,000 annually. Nonetheless, employment is increasing faster than average, with projected grows estimated at 11,700 jobs per year over the next decade. California, Texas, and New York alone are projected to add nearly 4,000 jobs annually, with Texas and New York experiencing nearly 20% growth.

Below are some employment trends for Speech Language Pathology Assistants:

  • Speech Language Pathology Assistant Salary: $18.19 hourly, $37,840 annually
  • Employment: 93,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Faster than average (7%-10%)
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 11,700
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections Onetonline.org