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Speech-Language Pathology Major

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Speech-Language Pathology

1,568 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
3,925 Master's Degrees Annually
#22 in Popularity
$80,700 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Speech-Language Pathology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many speech-language pathology/pathologist graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 4,166
Bachelor’s Degree 1,411
Basic Certificate 103
Doctor’s Degree 101
Graduate Certificate 63
Associate Degree 25
Undergraduate Certificate 3

What Speech-Language Pathology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to speech-language pathology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Speech-Language Pathology Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in speech-language pathology should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Skills for Speech-Language Pathology Majors

speech-language pathology majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Abilities for Speech-Language Pathology Majors

Speech-Language Pathology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Speech-Language Pathology Major?

People with a speech-language pathology degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Speech-Language Pathologists 17.8% $77,510

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology?

1,411 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
97% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 97% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of speech-language pathology majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 56
Black or African American 72
Hispanic or Latino 324
White 864
International Students 8
Other Races/Ethnicities 87

Geographic Diversity

Speech-Language Pathology appeals to people across the globe. About 0.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Speech-Language Pathology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $80,700 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to speech-language pathology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Speech-Language Pathology Major  ( 80700 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with speech-language pathology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for speech-language pathology careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 4.6%
Master’s Degree 64.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 12.0%
Doctoral Degree 9.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.1%

Online Speech-Language Pathology Programs

In 2019-2020, 166 schools offered a speech-language pathology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 8 5
Bachelor’s Degree 8 2
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 136 2
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 11 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 3 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Speech-Language Pathology Worth It?

The median salary for a speech-language pathology grad is $80,700 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 102% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $816,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to speech-language pathology.

Major Number of Grads
Speech Pathology & Audiology 7,883
General Communication Sciences & Disorders 6,987
Audiology/Audiologist 1,027
Other Communication Disorders Sciences & Services 222

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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