Career Outlook

How Many People are Speech-Language Pathologists?

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.

Employment Outlook
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