Speech therapists have one of the most important and meaningful jobs in the United States today. They help individuals to learn how to communicate better and to achieve a much higher level of functioning than they would have been able to achieve otherwise. If one is interested in pursuing a career in this field, it is important to first understand the various types of work that are available and the different environment in which one can opt to work. Once an individual has a full grasp on these different choices, then he or she will be able to make an educated decision about what type of career and work environment will best suit him or her both personally and professionally.
What are the various types of speech therapists?
Speech therapists may be hired to work with a wide variety of patients. In some cases, therapists may diagnose potential speech problems and work to fix them before they ever become a full blow problem. In other circumstances, speech therapists may help individuals who can not speak at all or individuals who have common speech impairments such as lisping, swallowing disorders, or stuttering. Some therapists may even use their degrees outside of the common domains and help actors to learn and successfully imitate dialects or accents. Obviously, there is a world of possibility to those who have the proper experience and training in the realm of speech therapy.
All individuals interested in pursuing a traditional speech therapy career will need to have a master’s degree or equivalent in Speech Language pathology or a closely related or specialized field. In almost every state, they will also need to be officially licensed by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. The education and training leading up to a career in speech therapy can be a long process, but most individuals working in the field feel that it was well worth it.
Where do Speech Therapists Work?
Approximately half of speech therapists work in the school system or in special education classrooms. Some of these individuals may work with one classroom or in one school, while others may travel to different schools in a particular area and work one on one with students or in small groups. Others will choose to work in healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, or in social assistance facilities. Some speech therapists may also be hired to work one on one with a particular individual.
When it comes to choosing a place to work, individuals should determine what environments they would feel the most comfortable in. Those who enjoy working with children for example, would be best suited to a career in the schools. Others may find that they prefer working with adults who have particular impairments or hearing or speech related issues. There is no right or wrong way to be a speech therapist. It is simply up to the individual in question to determine what his or her particular skills or gifts are and how he or she feels that they can best be utilized to help others.