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Communicative Sciences and Disorders - FAQs

Who are Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)?

Speech-Language Pathologists are professionals trained to assess, diagnose, and treat the problems of individuals with communication, cognitive, and swallowing impairments.

Who are Audiologists?

They are professionals who specialize in normal and impaired hearing, prevention of hearing loss, identification and assessment of hearing and balance problems, and rehabilitation of persons with hearing and balance disorders. (ASHA.org)

What is required to become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

To become an SLP requires a master's degree and earning the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) and/or a state license. Requirements for the CCC are a graduate degree from an accredited university, four hundred hours of supervised clinical experience, completion of a 36 weeks postgraduate clinical fellowship, and satisfactory performance on the Praxis Series examination in Speech-Language Pathology.

What is required to become an Audiologist?

Preparation to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology requires a graduate degree (master's or doctoral) from an accredited university which should include a 12 months full time equivalent of supervised clinical practicum (1,820 clock hours) and a minimum of 75 post baccalaureate semester credit hours. It also includes completion of a post graduate clinical fellowship and satisfactory performance on the Praxis Series examination in Audiology.

Where do Speech-Language Pathologists work?

The majority of SLP's provide direct clinical services in educational settings while others work in health care settings such as hospitals and rehabilitation settings. Speech Language Pathologists are also employed in preschools and child care centers, residential nursing care facilities, adult day care centers, community clinics, government agencies, industry, or private practices. SLPs may also work in primarily research settings.

Where do Audiologists work?

Audiologists are employed in hospitals, physician's offices, community clinics, industries with hearing conservation programs, schools, rehabilitation centers and other health care facilities, speech and hearing centers, health departments, private practices, or government agencies.

What are the employment opportunities?

Since the demand for these professionals far exceeds the available supply in all settings, there are myriad opportunities in diverse settings. As the society ages, more members of the profession will be needed to provide services to the growing geriatric population. In addition, federal law guarantees services to children with disabilities. The aging population, in addition to increasing survival rates for both stroke victims and premature infants, will increase the number of positions for SLPs and Audiologists in the near future. Early identification, through newborn hearing screenings, which are required in most states, also continues to increase the need for Audiologists. The long term demand for SLPs should continue to grow as the number of individuals with communication disabilities increases. According to the National Institutes of Health, between 6 and 8 million people in the United States have some form of language impairment.

According to ASHA, the mean salary for an Audiologist in 2014 was $69,000 for those working nine months and $75,000 for those working twelve months out of the year. Employment of Audiologists is projected to grow 34% from 2012-2022. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Statistics, the mean annual income for an SLP was $74,900 and the occupational outlook for SLPs is expected to grow by 19% from 2012-2022.

Who are Speech, Language, and Hearing Scientists?

Speech, Language, and Hearing Scientists develop, explore, and enhance the knowledge base in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Working primarily in universities and research institutes, these professionals investigate the processes underlying normal communication, the efficacy of current and future professional practices in the field, and technologies that supplement the assessment and treatment protocols used in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Adapted from www.ASHA.org