A speech pathologist can work in a variety of settings, some of which may surprise you. Given the diverse care needs of patients receiving speech-language services, it’s no wonder why speech pathologists are employed by many different types of businesses and organizations.

Below you’ll find a list of employers that typically hire speech pathologists to treat patients of all ages, from children to seniors.

  • Hospitals: Hospitals of all types and sizes hire speech pathologists to diagnose and treat a wide range of communication disorders. Children’s and psychiatric hospitals as well as military and rehabilitation hospitals refer patients to their on-site speech and language therapy clinic.
  • Schools: From preschool to 12th grade and beyond, schools at every level need speech pathologists to work with students who have speech-language disorders. Some speech pathologists teach full-time at a school or provide individual and small-group services to students.
  • Research Agencies: If you’re more research-minded, a number of institutes and laboratories need speech pathologists to conduct studies, clinical trials, and research groups.
  • Private Practice: Some speech pathologists opt to start their own practice after gaining experience working in the field. Private practice allows therapists to set their own fees, determine their hours, select the location where they practice, and determine the types of services they wish to provide.
  • Public Health Departments: It’s worth looking into the public health agencies in your area for employment opportunities. Depending on where you live, many states provide consultative services to other organizations. Some states even provide direct services to patients.
  • Nursing Care Facilities: These facilities not only provide inpatient nursing and rehabilitation services, but speech and language therapy as well. Speech pathologists are often hired to work one-on-one with patients suffering from a variety of disorders.
  • Educational Support Services: Tutoring centers and other educational support services look to hire speech pathologists to help their students overcome speech-language weaknesses. These support services are either privately or publicly operated. If your college or university has a career center, make sure to take full advantage of their services. They often have the inside scoop on job openings and internships in a variety of career fields.

If you’re currently studying speech pathology, why not set up meetings with your instructors to inquire about your employment options. It also helps to attend job fairs to network with other professionals in the field. If your college or university has a career center, make sure to take full advantage of their services. Career centers are great resources for interview preparation and finding job and internship openings.