Careers For Undergraduate Students (B.S.)
Undergraduate communication disorder degree programs focus on the basics of understanding speech, language, and hearing processes, as well as preparing the student to diagnose specific communication disorders. Students can move on to a graduate program to become a speech pathologist or audiologist, or they can use their communication disorder training right out of college to work for a public or private school as a special education teacher or paraprofessional/assistant (e.g., SLP assistant, audiology technician, ABA therapist,etc.) across educational, private practice, or healthcare settings.
Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs)
There are a variety of training options for SLPAs, ranging from certificate programs to bachelor's and post-baccalaureate programs. (See the Technical Training Programs for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants). Training requirements and regulation vary from state to state. The employment outlook for SLPAs is expected to reflect a "faster than average" growth rate of 15%–21%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Summary Report for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants.
For more information regarding SLPA certification and employment in Washington state, please review this SLPA Information Sheet. Please be aware that the UW does not facilitate SLPA certification or work experiences for B.S. students. Students interested in pursuing this career, are responsible for securing their own SLPA training opportunities.
Audiology assistants have fewer options in terms of formal training. Many audiology assistants start out with on-the-job training, obtain training in the military, or may acquire training as hearing conservationists. See the Council for Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) website for information regarding training and certification of occupational hearing conservationists.
Training requirements and regulation vary from state to state. To get the most current information regarding training requirements for support personnel, and additional information and resources pertaining to paraprofessional work, visit the ASHA website: