American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Learn About the CSD Professions

Speech-Language Pathology

Speech disorders occur when a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with their voice or resonance. Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Read more.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

SLPs work in many different research, education, and health care settings with varying roles, levels of responsibility, and client populations. Because of the high demand for speech-language pathology services, part-time, full-time, and "as needed" basis opportunities may be available depending on location, desired facility, employment flexibility, and other factors. In many settings, SLPs often work as part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors.

Salaries of SLPs depend on educational background, experience, work setting, and geographic location.

Of the 160,000+ professionals whom ASHA represents, 141,847 are certified SLPs and 957 hold dual certification as both audiologists and SLPs. The professions of speech-language pathology and audiology continue to grow for a variety of reasons.

Learn how to plan your education in communication sciences and disorders (CSD).

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