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Speech-Language Pathologists (Therapists) and Audiologists

These professionals assist those who have difficulties in the following areas: speaking, understanding what others are saying, reading, writing, thought processing (memory, problem solving, reasoning) and swallowing.  

Speech-language pathologists assess, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders; audiologists identify, assess, and manage auditory, balance, and other neural systems.  They work with people who cannot make speech sounds, or cannot make them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice quality problems, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders. They may also work with people who have oral motor problems causing eating and swallowing difficulties.

Audiologists work with people who have hearing, balance, and related problems. They use audiometers, computers, and other testing devices to measure the loudness at which a person begins to hear sounds, the ability to distinguish between sounds, and the nature and extent of hearing loss. Audiologists interpret these results and may coordinate them with medical, educational, and psychological information to make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment.


SLP's have completed 4 years of college, a master's degree in speech-hearing-language pathology, 375 hours of supervised clinical observation, and a 36-week clinical fellowship. SLPs obtain a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 

Of the States that regulate licensing (44 for speech-language pathologists and 49 for audiologists), almost all require a masterís degree or equivalent.  About 235 colleges and universities offer graduate programs in speech-language pathology.  About 115 colleges and universities offer graduate programs in audiology in the United States.  

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists held about 105,000 jobs in 1998. About one-half provided services in preschools, elementary and secondary schools, or colleges and universities.  

See also the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association web site. 


Copyright by Jack Winters.
For problems or questions regarding this web contact Jack Winters.
Last updated: January 17, 2001.