The Salary of a Language Pathologist

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    Facts

    • When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surveyed speech-language pathologists countrywide in 2009, it determined the profession's median salary as $65,090 per year. The BLS also identified several industries paying significantly higher salaries. Medical and diagnostic laboratories led the country with the highest language pathologist salaries, doubling the national average at $130,640 per year. Home health care services averaged $87,820, while temporary employment services paid an average of $84,190 in speech-language pathology salaries.

    Location

    • No significant pattern emerged from the BLS study on top-paying states for language pathologist salaries. Nevada topped the country with an annual mean wage of $96,160. Alaska placed second at $81,250. Maryland, at $80,860, and California, at $80,480, followed closely. Colorado's salary of $78,680 was also still considerably higher than average.

    Considerations

    • Earning a salary as a language pathologist requires extensive postsecondary education from a master's or doctoral program accredited in speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Council on Academic Accreditation. Options across the country include Adelphi University, Northern Illinois University, Ohio State University, University of Maine Orono and the University of West Georgia. Almost all states require prospective language pathologists to pass the Praxis Series of Educational Testing Service exam to earn their licenses.

    Outlook

    • The BLS expects a 19 percent growth rate in employment of language pathologists, adding 22,100 jobs to the field through 2018, and suggests that language pathologists with the ability to speak multiple languages will have the best opportunities for secure salaries.

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