Over 126,000 speech-language pathologists are currently certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association; over 2500 are licensed in the state of Connecticut. More than 57% of certified speech-language pathologists work in educational facilities, 38% are employed in health care facilities and almost 15% are employed in nonresidential health care facilities including home health, private practice offices and speech and hearing centers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations, because:
- As the members of the baby-boom generation continue to age, the possibility of neurological disorders and associated speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing impairments increases.
- Medical advances also are improving the survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, who then need assessment and sometimes treatment.
- Employment in educational services will increase with the growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of students with special education needs.
- Greater awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of speech and language disorders in young children will also increase employment.
- In addition to job growth, a number of job openings in speech-language pathology will be due to retirements of the baby boom generation.
- Opportunities should be particularly favorable for those with the ability to speak a second language, such as Spanish.
There is a national shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists, which is increasing annually:
- Shortages are reported in 72% of schools in 2008, compared to 68% of schools in 2006, 62% in 2004 and 51% in 2001
- There has been a 39% increase in job openings between 2000 and 2010
There is a current shortage of Speech-Language Pathologists in Connecticut.
- The CT State Department of Education has named Speech-Language Pathology a “Teacher Shortage Area”
- The SLP shortage rank for CT schools is ranked as one of the highest level shortages
Pay levels for Speech-Language Pathology services are rising nationally.
- According to data collected by ASHA, salaries for SLPs professionals have outpaced inflation for the last ten years.
- Salaries for full-time speech-language pathologists in schools have increased 45% in this time period
- Salaries for SLPs in health care settings grew 44.4% in the same period
- The U. S. Bureaus of Labor Statistics reports median pay is $62,000