Speech Therapist Salaries
Average SpeechTherapist Salary:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of speech therapists is approximately $62,930 per year with the lowest wages being less than $41,240 per year and the highest wages being over $99,220 per year. Obviously, then, there is a large disparity between salaries in the speech therapy field. This may cause one to wonder what factors influence salary and how an individual can increase his or her salary. Fortunately, it is quite easy to understand these factors and, if one desires, to take steps toward increasing his or her own yearly earnings.
Factors That Affect Salary:
The environment in which a speech therapist works seems to play the largest role in determining his or her salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those working in nursing homes tend to bring home larger salaries, the average amount for these individuals being $79,120. Coming in a close second are those who work in home health care services. These workers make an average of $77,030 each year. Speech therapists employed in hospitals, surgical hospitals, or other strictly medical environments can expect to bring home around $67,910 to $68,430 per year. Finally, speech therapists working in the school system or in an elementary or secondary school average about $58,140. While salary should not be the determining factor in choosing a work environment, these numbers can be helpful to consider when trying to pick one favorable place of work over another.
One may wonder then how some individuals working in the speech therapy field are able to bring home such high figures as the $99,220 reference above or why others’ salaries may fall in the lower range. In many cases, this difference in salaries is due to education, experience, and the amount of time one has been with a particular company. Those who went to top schools or schools with renowned speech therapy programs are more likely to bring home higher salaries. Going to a well reputed higher learning institution signifies to employers that the graduate is dedicated, hardworking, and able to succeed in different environments. This can, of course, result in being paid a higher wage. For this reason, one should be extremely careful and thoughtful when selecting a college or degree program. While not everyone can afford to go to an ivy league school, one should try to pick a program that has a good reputation, either locally or on a broader level, and that is known for its emphasis on strong academic and educational values.
When it comes to gaining experience, there is really not much that an individual can do except to go out and begin working as soon as possible. This can start before one ever takes a paying job. The way to do this is by simply being very selective when choosing an internship. Strong, well reputed internship programs will look good on a job applicant’s resume and can help new or otherwise inexperienced speech therapists to land higher paying jobs. Internships should also, whenever possible, be in a related field to the job the applicant is applying for.
Finally, those who are paid higher salaries have usually had to work up to them. A great way to do this is to get a job with a particular company, school system, or other environment and stay there. Most speech therapists will receive yearly raises, often based on performance, for each year they remain at a particular job. For this reason, being a reliable, strong worker and staying with the same job for as long as possible can help speech therapists to raise their rate of pay substantially.