Speech-Language Pathology SLP

| 12 July 2022

The data in this blog is for general informational purposes only and information presented was accurate as of the publication date.

Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Salary Guide

Masters-in Speech-Language-Pathology-Salary-Guide-USAHS

If you want to help people communicate better, overcome speech and language obstacles, and improve their lives, a career in speech-language pathology may be the right move for you. As a speech-language pathologist (SLP), you will assess, diagnose, and treat speech-related problems and swallowing disorders in children and adults alike. 

Finding a job that ignites your passion is key. Still, if you’re considering a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, salary potential may be one of the top questions on your mind. This short guide will tell you everything you need to know about your earning potential as an SLP.

How Much Do Speech-Language Pathologists Earn?

Of course, before you can become an SLP, you need to: 

  • Nail your graduate school interview (check out this list of SLP interview questions to get prepared).
  • Earn your Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) degree.
  • Complete your clinical fellowship.
  • Pass the Praxis exam.
  • Get licensed in your state. 

Next, it’s time to start job hunting. But how much can you expect to earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for speech-language pathologists as of May 2021 was $79,060/year, or $38/hour1

Of course, some SLPs are earning more than $79,000 annually, and some are earning less. Your exact salary will depend on several factors—one of which is experience.

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Earning Potential by Experience Level

SLPs with minimal experience tend to fall toward the lower end of the pay scale. But even the lowest 10% of earners make around $51,000/year.2

Professional SLPs in senior or supervisory roles can earn upwards of six figures annually. The top 10% of earners make more than $125,560 per year.3

One way to gain more experience (and thus increase your earning potential) is to pursue certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Continuing education is required to maintain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).

Earning Potential by State

Other factors play a role in determining salary, too. Due to variations in demand, cost of living, and funding for SLP positions in public schools, SLPs may have a higher earning potential in some states than others. 

The following states and districts are the top five highest-paying areas for SLPs in the country:4

  • California – As an SLP in the Golden State, you can earn a mean salary of $102,650 per year.
  • HawaiiSLPs living in this Pacific archipelago earn an average salary of $100,120.
  • New York – Expect to earn around $98,850/year in New York.
  • New Jersey – New Jersey–based SLPs have an annual salary of about $98,270.
  • District of Columbia – SLPs in D.C. earn an annual mean salary of $98,240

In some states where the cost of living is lower, SLPs may earn in the range of $69,430 to $77,240 per year5. These states include:6

  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Arkansas
  • Maine
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi

One of the best parts of working as an SLP is the transferability of your job. If you’re willing to relocate, you can apply your skills anywhere in the country and seek out higher wages.

Earning Potential by Industry

Another benefit of pursuing an SLP career is the diversity of the field. Speech-language pathologists can find employment in various industries, some of which pay more than others.

Based on annual mean wage, the top five industries for SLPs are:7

  • Management of companies and enterprises (e.g., owning your own SLP practice or consulting with businesses about communication) ($113,190/year)
  • Home health care services ($110,850/year)
  • Individual and family services (e.g., working in a rehabilitation clinic) ($102,610/year)
  • Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) ($101,210/year)
  • Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities ($100,120/year)

The takeaway here is that, with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, you can decide where your SLP career will take you. Whether you want to work in a school, clinical, or corporate setting, you have plenty of opportunities.

Are Speech-Language Pathologists in Demand?

Given the personal and financial rewards of this profession, you’d would be forgiven for assuming that all speech therapy positions are already full. In reality, the opposite is true: The demand for speech-language pathologists is growing much faster than the average profession.

Between 2020 and 2030, the employment of SLPs is projected to increase by 29%, adding 45,400 new jobs.1 With an aging U.S. population, the need for new SLPs is stemming from two factors at once:

  • Practitioner retirement – As experienced SLPs retire from the workforce, recent graduates are taking their place.
  • Increased support for elderly populations – Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are among the largest employers of SLPs. As more and more Baby Boomers are moving into retirement homes, the demand for SLPs is rising.

Ultimately, the BLS expects 15,200 new SLP positions to open each year between now and 2030. In short: There’s never been a better time to earn your MS in Speech-Language Pathology


The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) program. Designed for working students, the MS-SLP is an online program with four required on-campus residencies on either the USAHS Austin or Dallas campus. The program offers two intakes per year, in January and September. Join a collaborative cohort of peers who learn under the mentorship of expert faculty-practitioners. Prepare to make a difference in the lives of clients across the lifespan with a meaningful career in speech therapy!

For students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than communications sciences and disorders (CSD) or SLP and for students with a CSD or SLP degree whose undergraduate program did not include the required leveling coursework, we offer SLP leveling courses for completing the necessary prerequisites to enter the graduate program.


The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in Speech-Language Pathology {distance education} at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is a Candidate for Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. Candidacy is a “preaccreditation” status with the CAA, awarded to developing or emerging programs for a maximum period of 5 years.



  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Speech-Language Pathologists,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, last modified April 2022: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021: 29-1127 Speech-Language Pathologists,” last modified March 2022: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291127.htm#st
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.




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