American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Market Trends

Future Outlook: Audiology

Job growth for audiology is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 4,800 new jobs over the 10-year period.

Because hearing loss is strongly associated with aging, rapid growth in older population groups will cause the number of persons with hearing and balance impairments to increase markedly. In addition, members of the baby boom generation are now faced with the possibility of neurological disorders and associated hearing impairments increases. Medical advances are also improving the survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, who then need assessment and possible treatment. Greater awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants also will increase employment. Most states now require that all newborns be screened for hearing loss and receive appropriate early intervention services.

Employment in educational services will increase along with growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education students. Federal law guarantees special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities. The number of audiologists in private practice will rise due to the increasing demand for direct services to individuals as well as increasing use of contract services by hospitals, schools, and nursing care facilities. Demand may also be greater in areas with large numbers of retirees, so audiologists who are willing to relocate may have the best job prospects.

Future Outlook: Speech-Language Pathology

Excellent job opportunities in speech-language pathology are expected to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

The expanding population in older age groups is prone to medical conditions that result in speech, language and swallowing problems. Medical advances are also improving the survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, who then need assessment and possible treatment. An increased emphasis has been placed on early identification of speech and language problems in young children. The combination of growth in the profession and an expected increase in retirements over the coming years should create excellent job opportunities for speech-language pathologists. In addition, many opportunities exist for those with the ability to speak a second language.

Employment in educational services will increase along with growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education students. Federal law guarantees special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities. Greater awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of speech, language, and swallowing disorders will also increase employment. The number of speech-language pathologists in private practice will rise due to the increasing use of contract services by hospitals, schools, and nursing care facilities.

The more flexible you can be in your job hunt, the greater your chances of success. There is no doubt that your services are needed. Begin exploring new niches in the job market. Trends suggest that an increasing amount of work will be available in school-based, bilingual, private-practice, and corporate settings.

You can improve your chances in the job market by knowing your skills and level of competence, and by being aware of the specific services that you are trained to provide. Visit the ASHA Web site: ASHA Scopes of Practice in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology and the ASHA Code of Ethics, policy documents that govern the practice of the profession.

Web research can help you find out more about market trends. Check out U.S. News & World Report for Best Careers of 2013 and CareerCast.com.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Audiologists.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Speech-Language Pathologists.

Future Outlook: CSD Faculty and Speech and Hearing Scientists

Report of the 2008 Joint Ad Hoc Committee on PhD Shortages in Communication Sciences and Disorders explains anticipated faculty shortages within CSD departments. Growth within the professions, the number of retiring faculty, and perhaps fewer doctoral students are factors that contribute to the anticipated shortages of PhD-prepared people in CSD. Careers as teachers, scholars, and researchers can be pursued at many different types of universities and colleges. And the balance of teaching, research and other scholarly activities will vary across types of universities and colleges. In addition, PhD individuals may be employed at hospitals or clinics where clinical research is a part of the institution's mission. PhD audiologists may be employed in industry, for example, by hearing aid companies, for product research and development.

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