Speech, language and hearing sciences majors are qualified to pursue a wide variety of careers in the treatment, diagnosis and research of speech, language and hearing sciences. These careers can take individuals to research labs, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, nursing homes or private practices anywhere in the world.
The career outlook for this occupation is steadily improving as the population begins to grow and live longer. The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates a nearly 36-percent increase in anticipated job openings by the year 2012, as parents and teachers are beginning to recognize that many more children than previously thought are affected by speech, language and hearing disorders.
Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders. These professionals help those who stutter increase their fluency and help those who have had strokes or brain trauma regain their abilities. They also consult with the teachers and families of the patients, to help them adjust to the presence of the disorder.
An audiologist evaluates and treats people who have hearing difficulties, often selecting and fitting them with hearing aids. They also perform remediation and advise on the prevention of hearing loss.
Speech-Language, and Hearing Scientist
Speech-language and hearing scientists conduct research on the complex process underlying human communication. They also explore the impact of psychological, social and psycho-physiological communication. These scientists collaborate with experts in other fields to develop new approaches to treating those with speech, language and hearing disorders.
These professionals act as the organizers and managers of various types of clinics to keep them running effectively. They are in charge of hiring competent clinicians, as well as making sure each patient is getting the attention needed.
These professionals are self-employed and not employees; that is, these professionals are not an employee of an individual, organization, agency, or other entity providing clinical or consultative services and set their own work hours. They provide services across the life span in communication, cognitive, and swallowing disorders.
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)
SLPAs are support personnel who, following a 2-4 year higher education program at the college level, serve as members of educational teams in school based settings and are specifically trained to assist speed-language pathologists, under supervision.
The academic and research career of a university professor has three major job responsibilities: teaching, research, and service. This career allows you to prepare the next generation of professionals, make new discoveries and contribute new knowledge to the profession. A university professor also provides service and leadership to committees, advisory boards and professional organizations at the local, state and national level.