Careers For Clinical Graduate Students

Speech-language pathology graduate programs prepare students to diagnose and treat a variety of speech disorders in children and adults. Communication disorders professionals are eligible for a wide variety of careers in the treatment, diagnosis, and research fields.

In becoming a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, obtaining a graduate degree is the first step. However, graduates also need to be appropriately credentialed (licensed and certified) to practice and there are additional post-graduation steps in order to work as a clinician:

  • Pass the national Praxis examination in speech-language pathology
  • Complete a post-graduate professional work experience (e.g., SLP clinical fellowship)
  • Obtain American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification / Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)
  • Obtain a state license and/or school certification (varies by state)

Employment Settings

Professional careers in speech-language pathology and audiology can take individuals to the following employment settings: 

  • Public and private schools
  • Hospitals and rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing care facilities and community clinics
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private practice offices
  • State and local health departments
  • State and federal government agencies
  • Home health agencies (home care)
  • Long-term facilities
  • Adult day care centers
  • Research laboratories and institutes
  • Private industry
  • Nonprofit clinics

Growing Numbers of Certified Professionals

Of the 186,000 professionals currently certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):

  • 156,254 are certified SLPs
  • 907 hold dual certification as both audiologists and SLPs.

Growing Employment Opportunities

The professions of speech-language pathology and audiology continue to grow and will be among the hottest professions in the country in the next decade!

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook 

  • According to recent employment growth projections, the government expects 14% or higher growth in both profession between 2014-2024
  • They are projecting 63,100 new jobs for SLPs and 6,800 new jobs for Audiologists. 

U.S. News & World Reports 100 Best Jobs 

  • The 2016 report ranks Audiology as #26 and Speech-Language Pathology as #28 in their top 100 list of best jobs

U.S. News & World Reports Best Healthcare Jobs 

  • The 2016 report ranks Audiology as #18 and Speech-Language Pathology as #19 in their list of top healthcare jobs

 Additional information and resources for clinical careers can be found on the ASHA website.