Speech-Language Pathology SLP

| 22 December 2022

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

Eleven Career Paths for a Speech-Language Pathologist

speech pathologist with child patient in SLP Masters program practicum

Earning a master’s degree in speech-language pathology may sound narrowly focused, but it can lead to a wide range of speech pathology career opportunities, from research-focused roles to hands-on clinical treatment positions.1

Once you gain clinical expertise, you can expand your reach to teach students, create policy, develop innovative products, raise money for nonprofit organizations or even curate social media tools that help individuals with speech and language disorders.

Let’s take a look at the top paths for speech pathologist education.

What Does a Speech Pathologist Do?

In clinical practice, speech-language pathologists, or speech therapists, work to prevent, diagnose and treat language and speech disorders associated with:2

  • Vocal communication skills, including speech therapy, language, voice, and fluency
  • Swallowing

A speech-language pathologist (SLP) will assess patient needs and goals, consult with other care team members, create and monitor a treatment plan and evaluate the patient’s progress and rehabilitation.

Where Do Speech-Language Pathologists Work?

SLP jobs are available across the nation. In terms of practice settings, speech language pathologists are often employed in:3

  • Educational settings – Including Preschool, K–12, and collegiate universities
  • Health care settings – Such as hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities
  • Corporate settings – Including private businesses and other professional organizations
  • Municipal settings – Governmental organizations such as public health departments

Top Speech-Language Pathologists’ Jobs

Due to the field’s occupational diversity, there are various jobs on the market that can meet personal goals and interests. Below, we’ve detailed eleven speech pathology careers in communication sciences, based on jobs held by MS-SLP graduates, as well as corresponding average annual base salaries and salary ranges.

#1 General Speech-Language Pathology

A general speech-language pathologist works in a range of clinical and social services settings to diagnose and treat various speech and language disorders in both adults and children. These positions include:4

  • Speech therapists – $61,205 ($45k – $84k)*
  • Speech-language pathologists – $63,206 ($49k – $83k)
  • Senior speech pathologists – $72,121 ($52k – $100k)

#2 Pediatric Speech-Language Pathology

From stuttering, cleft palate reconstruction recovery, autism-related human communication difficulties and more—there are many interventions for children with specific conditions or facing general challenges during speech development.

A pediatric speech-language pathologist generally makes $64,246 (range $52k – $80k) annually.4

Eleven Career Paths for a Speech-Language Pathologist

#3 Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology

Bilingual SLPs work with patients who aren’t fluent in English, often in connection with an underlying communication disorder or challenge.

Bilingual speech pathologists make $65,305 (range $53k – $80k) on average.4

#4 Research Coordinator or Analyst

If you have an interest in conducting clinical trials and testing intervention models pertaining to speech-language treatments, you can explore the following two career paths:4

  • Clinical research coordinator – $60,617 (range $46k–$77k)
  • Data analyst – $76,569 (range $58k–$99k)

#5 Speech-Language Pathology Management

If you can bring a blend of coaching, advocacy and administrative oversight to the SLP field, you might consider SLP management positions, such as:4

  • Speech-language pathology supervisor – $71,690 (range $55k – $93k)
  • Speech-language pathology manager – $79,700 (range $60k–$105k)
  • Speech-language pathology director – $82,403 (range $60k – $110k)

#6 Department and Facility Leadership

You may want to advance your career by managing multiple teams or an entire facility.

This level of leadership may appeal to SLPs with fiscal and diplomatic skills who enjoy coordinating across specializations from a patient-first perspective:4

  • Director, clinical services – $80,445 (range $57k–$118k)
  • Longterm care administrator – $96,620 (range $71k–$129k)
  • Regional rehabilitation director – $116,683 (range $98k–$138k)

#7 Executive Leadership

Looking for a reserved parking spot and stock options? There are opportunities for executive leadership positions for SLPs in both healthcare and private industries:4

  • Vice president (VP), operations and administration – $90,445 (range $63k–$126k)
  • Vice President (VP), services – $111,576 (range $82k–$152k)
  • Executive director – $117,941 (range $76k–$184k)
  • Chief operating officer (COO) – $138,343 (range $92k–$203k)

#8 Nonprofit Leadership

Nonprofits need healthcare professionals with clinical backgrounds to communicate with their stakeholders and facilitate the treatment of underserved patient populations.

A SLP program manager for a nonprofit organization can make $67,314 (between $50k – $92k) a year on average.

A Director of Development, Non-Profit Organization can make $93,091 (between $65k – $133k) on average.4

#9 SLP Trainer

If you are a natural teacher, consider training others in SLP principles, services or product use:4

  • Training coordinator – $84,714 (range $60k – $119k)
  • Training manager – $75,153 (range $53k–$105k)
  • Training & development manager – $88,461 (range $66k–$119k)

Eleven Career Paths for a Speech-Language Pathologist

#10 Sales and Business Development

If you’re gregarious and driven, you can make a comfortable living in healthcare sales and sales management:4

  • Sales consultant – $61,140 (range $38k–$93k)
  • Business development director – $81,784 (range $54k–$118k)
  • Regional sales manager – $95,010 (range $66k–$128k)

#11 Marketing

Every clinic, professional medical organization, hospital and business has a marketing department and many hire professionals with a clinical background.

Consider marketing if you are a wordsmith, or have an interest in messaging and advertising:4

  • Customer success manager – $54,952 (range $41k–$75k)
  • Content writer – $71,654 (range $52k–$98k)

What Is the Career Outlook for Speech-Language Pathologists?

Between 2021 and 2031, the demand for speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 21%, which is significantly higher than the 5% average growth rate for all occupations.5

Launch Your Career with an MS-SLP Degree

Choose an immersive, collaborative program to earn your Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP). At the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS), you’ll join a collaborative cohort of peers and learn alongside expert faculty-practitioners.

Prepare for leadership and clinical practice with simulations and real patients in state-of-the-art labs. You’ll use high-tech tools, including endoscopy equipment—a rare opportunity. At USAHS, we don’t require GRE scores for admission, and we offer three intake options in spring, summer, and fall.

If you’re entering the program without the necessary undergraduate coursework, we offer SLP leveling courses to complete the prerequisites.

Learn more and start your application today!


*Disclaimer: Data used for this salary information comes from online salary surveys conducted by PayScale, which evaluates demographics, worker characteristics, and labor market traits to calculate pay ranges and estimates. PayScale’s data is limited to its own surveys and is self-reported by survey respondents. Individuals’ compensation may vary depending on their experience level, responsibilities, geographic location, education level, and other criteria within their field.


  1. “About Speech-Language Pathology Careers,” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, last modified 2022, https://www.asha.org/students/about-speech-language-pathology-careers/
  2. “Speech-Language Pathologists,” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, last modified 2022, https://www.asha.org/students/speech-language-pathologists/
  3. “Employment Settings for SLPs,” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, last modified 2022, https://www.asha.org/students/employment-settings-for-slps/
  4. “Master of Science (MS), Speech-Language Pathology Degree,” Payscale, last modified Jan. 10, 2023, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Science_(MS)%2C_Speech-Language_Pathology/Salary
  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Speech-Language Pathologists,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, last modified September 2022, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm


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