Employment Options for School-Based SLPs

Whether you are just starting your career as a school-based SLP or making a change, there are many work options to consider. These questions and answers will help you determine what's right for you.

Should I work as an employee of a school district?

School districts employees typically receive:

  • Annual salary with year-to-year step increases.
  • Salary supplements, if available, based on your credentials (ASHA's CCC), serving as a CF mentor, or for multilingual service delivery.
  • State and/or local teacher retirement or pension plans (403B public school, 401k private, for profit schools).
  • Work hours based on school schedule.
  • Support for continuing education.
  • Support for ASHA dues and state licensure.
  • Health insurance that may include dental and vision coverage.
  • State and/or local retirement plans.
  • Paid holidays and leave time.
  • 9–12 month work schedule.
  • Opportunity to work during the summer school to provide extended school year (ESY) services. 
  • Access to join the teachers union and receive advocacy support.

Should I work for a contract company?

Contract companies typically offer:

  • Annual salaries or hourly rates.
  • Support for continuing education.
  • Support for ASHA dues and state licensure may be available.
  • Health insurance that may include dental and vision coverage.
  • Retirement plan options such as 401(k).
  • Paid holidays and leave time.
  • Relocation assistance. 
  • Flexible hours and paid documentation time.
  • Flexibility to shift contract assignments between schools, districts, or states should you relocate or if your current placement is not a good fit.


Should I work as an independent contractor with a school district?

SLPs may contract directly with school districts to provide services. In these cases, it’s important to have a written contract in place to include hours, hourly rate, pay schedule, caseload, and any additional duties or expectations. In these arrangements:

  • Schedules are flexible and based on your availability.
  • You may be paid for time spent in meetings and completing documentation. 
  • Pay is based upon hours worked. 
  • Additional duties may not be assigned, such as bus duty, hall duty, etc.
  • You may not be covered by or eligible to join the teacher's union.
  • Benefits including health insurance, or retirement plans are not included.  
  • Hourly pay rates may be higher than if you were an employee of the school district.
  • Taxes and Social Security may not be withheld from your pay.

ASHA Corporate Partners