Understanding Your Salary Potential as a Speech Pathologist
Speech pathologists help patients with speech-related medical conditions and research how we as humans communicate. This is a field that’s growing faster than average, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in this field earn an average of $72,000 annually. The top 10 percent earn over $106,530 on average, so the potential for a six-figure income is definitely here!
But just how much can you make? And how can you make more money as a speech pathologist? Check out the information below to find out what it takes to be a top earner in this field.
Speech Pathologist Salary Data by Location
By far, one of the factors that will affect your salary most is location. Where demand is higher, salaries will be higher as well; this is true in every field. Typically, you can earn more money living in a large city. The larger the population, the larger potential for patients needing a speech pathologist. The metropolitan areas where salaries are highest for speech pathologists are:
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida: $98,290
- Laredo, Texas: $93,240
- Salinas, California: $90,940
- Springfield, Ohio: $89,680
- Visalia-Porterville, California: $88,170
- Gary, Indiana: $87,820
- Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pennsylvania: $87,490
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California: $87,440
- Modesto, California: $87,250
- Anchorage, Alaska: $87,080
However, keep in mind that the cost of living is also higher in large cities. If you want a high paying speech pathologist job in a more rural area, check out opportunities in:
- Eastern Texas
- Rural areas of North Carolina
- Upstate New York
- North Central West Virginia
In general the states with the highest salary averages in this field are:
- New Jersey
In all of these states, average salary rates are above $80,000 annually. Be sure the thoroughly research salary trends in the area you wish to live in, as well as cost of living, types of facilities hiring speech pathologists, and any other factor that may important in gauging your decision.
Speech Pathologist Salary Data by Employer
The type of employer who hires you also plays a large role in the salary you are ultimately offered. Size, number of patients, and other factors will affect how much money can be made at different facilities. Those employing the largest number of speech pathologists, along with the average salaries they offer, are as follows:
- Nursing care facilities $79,120
- Home health care services 77,030
- General medical and surgical hospitals 68,430
- Offices of other health practitioners 67,910
- Elementary and secondary schools 58,140
Other Ways to Earn More Money as a Speech Pathologist
Who hires you and where you live aren’t the only two factors when it comes to salary. You’ll also be able to earn more money as a speech pathologist by:
- Specializing in a specific type of patient or disorder
- Earning more certifications
- Gaining work experience in the field, especially with a single employer
- Taking a management roll
- Working for a larger company
- Completing more training programs
The more education and experience you have, the more likely you will be to be able to earn a higher salary in this field. Earning an advanced degree or specializing in a particular area are great ways for you not only to focus your career on what most interests you, but also puts you in a more competitive position when it comes to the hiring process. If you want to open your own practice or work at a prestigious hospital, an advanced degree will definitely serve you well in this highly-competitive field. If you’re truly passionate about working in this field, it pays to earn your master’s degree in speech pathology. Our list of accredited degree programs below will you find the right program to get your started on earning more, learning more, and doing more!
Online Speech Pathology Programs
One route to becoming a speech pathologist is earning your degree online, a more convenient and flexible alternative to campus-based programs. Below are some accredited colleges with online programs available.
Ashford University — The applied linguistics program at Ashford University instructs students in such topics as how language can best be learned, social factors that affect language learning, and how technology can contribute to effective learning. Graduates of this program work as teachers, speech therapists, audiologists, translation and interpretation experts, marketers, and journalists.
Concordia University - Portland — Concordia University offers a dynamic Curriculum and Instruction English Language Development program. This program is a full year, completely online program designed to build on a teacher's knowledge and skills in developing student learning opportunities for underdeveloped native English speakers. Courses understand the fundamental structure of language and communication.
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