Careers For Clinical Graduate Students (M.S. and Au.D.)
Speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs prepare students to diagnose and treat a variety of hearing and 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 or audiology
- Complete a post-graduate professional work experience (e.g., SLP clinical fellowship or AuD externship)
- Obtain American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification / Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)
- Obtain a state license and/or school certification (varies by state)
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
- 12,970 are certified audiologists
- 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!
- 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.
- The 2016 report ranks Audiology as #26 and Speech-Language Pathology as #28 in their top 100 list of best 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.