What Does an SLP Do? 5 Things I Love Most About Being an SLP (2023)

There’s no such thing as a job completely free of stressors. But there are some jobs that seem to have that magic blend of professional growth opportunities, flexibility, good pay, and personal satisfaction.

We talked to a couple seasoned SLPs that aren’t just tolerating their job or waiting for something better to come along— they love the work, and love the people they work with.

Lindsey Spilecki, who works in the public schools, and Briana Ralph, who works for a private clinic and provides in-home services, are a couple of board-certified (CCC-SLP) SLPs working in very different parts of the field. What they have in common is a genuine love for the profession.

Responding to one simple question, here’s what they had to share about the best part of being an SLP: What do you love most about being an SLP?

<!- mfunc feat_school ->

Understand how to become a professional, certified speech pathologist by learning more about the following online programs. Through these Master’s degree tracks, you’ll be able to gain the knowledge base and credentials to deliver proactive, direct care. Discover more about your future in speech pathology today.

Sponsored School(s)

(Video) Speech Pathology Career Profile

Featured Programs:

<!- /mfunc feat_school ->

(Video) 5 things you didn't know about being a Medical SLP

It feels good to be part of a team working toward common goals…

Working in a collaborative environment has its perks. Working alongside other like-minded professionals – occupational therapists, PTs, applied behavior analysts, psychologists, teachers, counselors and social workers – is not only something that helps put the SLP component of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or therapy regimen into context, if you love the folks you work with it also provides plenty of opportunities for camaraderie, support and laughs.

Lindsey Spilecki, CCC-SLP, who works for Hancock County Schools in West Virginia, has come to rely on collaboration as a way to create a support system for her students that stays in place even after they leave her resource room. Lindsey says that she can go to anyone in the school, from the janitors to the school psychologists, and fill them in on the unique needs of her students, so that support is comprehensive and continual throughout the entire school day.

Lindsey says she can go to her fellow faculty members at any time to let them know if a certain child is having issues that require some additional support. Lindsey says it may be something as simple as someone saying to the child, “Hey, repeat that again, so I can understand you.”

“Everybody’s there for these students, and they understand that there’s more going on than just what they see.” As a matter of policy, all teachers who have kids in class with an IEP must be familiar with all aspects of the plan, not just the ones that pertain to accommodating the student in their own classroom. This helps ensure teachers fully appreciate all of the accommodations, individualized approaches to teaching, and therapy taking place throughout the school day.

Lindsey says she gets emotional when she thinks about the school’s staff coming together for the benefit of the children. “I have an entire staff of people who are here just for these students.”

Briana Ralph, CCC-SLP, who works with a small community hospital in West Virginia but also provides home care services for her patients, which range from newborns to toddlers as old as three., also collaborates with physiotherapists and OTs.

We have a lot of kids come in and have all three disciplines [SLP, occupational therapy, physical therapy] so sometimes we co-treat. If there’s a feeding issue, PT works on positioning them, OT works with hand-to-mouth, and I’m working on feeding.”

Briana says sometimes collaboration is a little more informal. For example, if the physical therapist is working on a child’s walking, she may sit a few feet away and entice the child with a toy. It’s all about teamwork with these speech-language pathologists, and the children reap the rewards.

(Video) Preparing For Your First SLP Interview

Nothing is as rewarding as seeing someone become confident in their own voice…

It’s not always a rosy picture, and successes are often a long time in the making, but throwing in the towel is never an option. It may be the same exercises over and over for days, weeks, even months, but these pros are in it for the long haul.

When asked about how she handles the students she can’t reach, Lindsey simply says, “I just don’t give up…we collaborate, and we never give up. There are endless ways, endless possibilities, so we just have to find the one that works.” And when it does, there is nothing more rewarding.

Lindsey lights up when she tells the story of a boy she started working with at age three. At that time, she said his vocabulary was limited to just two sounds: ‘ooh’ and ‘eee.’ Thanks to intensive early intervention services, this same boy is now a talkative third grader. Lindsey laughs, saying, “Now we can’t get him to stop [talking]—ever!”

But in this field, successes certainly aren’t limited to the youngest patients. In fact, Briana says some of her cases with the oldest patients have proven to be the most rewarding. She said seeing the happiness on the faces of her nursing home patients when they could move from thin liquids to more satisfying foods was great.

But one of her most rewarding cases involved a patient who had her larynx and tongue removed due to laryngeal cancer. Briana said her patient couldn’t make any sounds at all, eliminating the use of devices like artificial larynxes. So, she gave her an augmentative communication device, which allowed her to type what she wanted to say and hit enter, and then a digital voice would speak her text.

She said she was typing something funny about her husband, and he laughed. This amazing moment brought the patient to tears because she could finally say something and have her husband hear it. “It was so sweet, it was the best thing,” says Briana.

You got to love a career that offers a lot of specialties and practice settings…

A master’s in speech-language pathology along with the clinical preparation that accompanies it, can be used to prepare you to enter any number of a wide array of practice areas.

Have an interest in education? You’re not alone. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (AHSA), about 56 percent of all SLPs are employed in educational settings, including K-12 schools, preschools, early intervention programs, and colleges and universities.

(Video) Speech Pathologist Salary | We don't make enough

But your degree certainly won’t limit you to the confines of the classroom. In fact, ASHA estimates that about 39 percent of all SLPs are employed in healthcare settings. Choose this path and you’ll find jobs in residential healthcare facilities, hospitals, non-residential facilities, hospitals, and private practice.

That’s not all. Some SLPs work through local, state, and federal government agencies, including public health departments.

Your practicums and internships provide no shortage of opportunities to experience what it’s like working in these settings. But don’t think that because you choose to work in one setting upon graduation that you’ll be pigeonholed there for your entire career. One of the cool things about this field is that changing it up is always an option.

For example, Briana’s current job in a hospital has provided her with opportunities to work in an outpatient clinic and an inpatient clinic, in early intervention services, and in-home healthcare. She says that she may decide to go into the schools once she decides to have kids, an option that would allow her to work a more regular schedule.

Lindsey, on the other hand, chose to work in a school setting and has remained there since her clinical fellowship. According to Lindsey, “I don’t think I’ll ever leave; I think I’ll retire here. If I could, I would. This is my dream job.”

It sure is sweet getting a nice paycheck…

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nationwide, the average annual salary for speech-language pathologists was $74,680 as of May 2016.

The BLS reported that SLPs working in nursing homes and residential care facilities made the most, earning $92,220 on average, followed by those working in hospitals ($81,090), and private practice ($80,580).

I really enjoy the stability that comes with being in a high-growth field…

We all want to find a career that we love – that’s a given. But it’s also important to choose a career that will go the distance. Lucky for you, the SLP profession continues to experience faster-than-average growth.

(Video) Sam Smith - How Do You Sleep? (Lyrics)

In fact, between 2014 and 2024, the number of jobs in the field is projected to increase by 21 percent.

Why? According to ASHA, several factors are in play…

  • Post-stroke patients and those with medical conditions like Parkinson’s that are common among the aging Baby Boomer population often result in problems with speech, language, and swallowing.
  • The survival rate of premature infants and victims of trauma and stroke also continues to increase.
  • Better methods of assessment resulting in early diagnoses and interventions means an increase in services for the youngest of children.

With a growing demand coming from every patient population – from newborns to the elderly – the number of contract services in hospitals, schools, and assisted living facilities continues to increase, creating a growing demand for SLPs that will only continue.


What do you love about being an SLP? ›

In addition to being able to work in a variety of settings, SLPs get the chance to work with diverse clients across different settings. No two clients are ever the same.
We serve clients with diverse needs.
  • Communication (understanding/expressing language)
  • Voice.
  • Speech.
  • Swallowing.
  • Cognitive/thinking skills.
May 30, 2017

What are 5 areas within the scope of practice of a SLP? ›

In addition, five domains of professional practice are delineated: advocacy and outreach, supervision, education, research and administration/leadership.

What is rewarding about being a SLP? ›

Speech pathology is rewarding because you get to help people and their families, and make a positive impact in the lives of your patients and students. It is truly a rewarding field. Working with patients through their journey and helping them achieve their goals is a huge benefit of being an SLP.

What motivated you to become an SLP? ›

You wanted to help others communicate and advocate for their wants and needs. You wanted to make a difference on a person's daily needs. Your brain loves the sciences, and you get to use this skillset to help others.

What qualities make a good SLP? ›

SLPs should be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. They should also have strong reading, writing and cognitive abilities to help patients at all skill levels. SLPs need strong communication skills to: Interact with patients, their families and health care professionals.

What is one of the most important things a speech pathologist does? ›

Speech-language pathologists typically do the following: Evaluate levels of speech, language, or swallowing difficulty. Identify clients' goals for treatment. Create and carry out an individualized treatment plan that addresses specific functional needs.

What do the 3 C's stand for in SLP? ›

What Does CCC-SLP Stand For? CCC-SLP stands for Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology open_in_new, a nationally recognized professional credential from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

What are the big nine in SLP? ›

The big-nine areas are articulation, fluency, voice and resonance, language, cognition, hearing, swallowing, social communication, and communication modalities.

What are the roles and responsibilities of an SLP? ›

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

Is speech-language pathology a rewarding career? ›

Working as a Speech Pathologist is a highly rewarding career. The work you do will have an impact on the lives of the clients, families, and communities you work with for a lifetime.

What field of SLP makes the most money? ›

Speech-Language Pathologist Salary by Work Environment

Per the BLS, those who work in nursing and residential care facilities earn the highest average wages, while those working in educational facilities, such as schools, earn the lowest average wages: Nursing and residential care facilities: $95,010 per year.

What is the main goal of speech therapy? ›

Speech therapy can help people who have difficulty speaking to communicate better and to break down the barriers that result from speech impediments. The goals of speech therapy include improving pronunciation, strengthening the muscles used in speech, and learning to speak correctly.

What is the most important aspect of a speech? ›

Introduction. The introduction of the speech establishes the first, crucial contact between the speaker and the audience. For most classroom speeches, the introduction should last less than a minute.

What are core words SLP? ›

Core words are the set of words that make up the majority of the words we use to communicate. Although experts disagree on the exact amount of words that are in this set, it is agreed that we can communicate most of what we want to say with the same 50-400 words (Marden, 2015).

What are at least three responsibilities of the SLP in assessment and intervention? ›

Appropriate roles and responsibilities for SLPs include, but are not limited to (a) preventing written language problems by fostering language acquisition and emergent literacy; (b) identifying children at risk for reading and writing problems; (c) assessing reading and writing; (d) providing intervention and ...

What techniques do SLP use? ›

Oral-motor/feeding and swallowing therapy: The SLP may use a variety of oral exercises — including facial massage and various tongue, lip, and jaw exercises — to strengthen the muscles of the mouth for eating, drinking, and swallowing.

What are basic concepts SLP? ›

Basic concepts are those words that most typically developing children absorb through exposure from listening to parents, reading books, and seeing examples in their environment. When we have a student with a language impairment, they may not understand these basic concepts.

What is a 3 1 model SLP? ›

3:1 Service Model for Speech/Language Therapy

The model, known as a 3 to 1 model, provides students with three weeks of direct service and one week of collaborative services. The 3:1 model is promoted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

What role should an SLP take in the classroom? ›

SLPs become key players in reform efforts in elementary and secondary schools by focusing on helping students with a wide range of speech–language-related problems to meet performance standards. Their work includes prevention, assessment, intervention, and program design efforts that are integrated within a school.

What role should an SLP assume in the classroom? ›

School-based speech-language pathologists help students maximize their communication skills to support learning. The school-based speech-language patholo- gist's goal is to remediate, ameliorate, or allevi- ate student communication problems within the educational environment.

What are the seven areas of SLP practice? ›

Speech Pathology Service Delivery Areas
  • Fluency and Speech Production. From stuttering to cluttering, helping individuals with fluency is a crucial part of SLP. ...
  • Language. ...
  • Cognition. ...
  • Voice. ...
  • Resonance. ...
  • Feeding and Swallowing. ...
  • Auditory Habilitation/Rehabilitation. ...
  • Elective Services.

What to do after being an SLP? ›

There are so many other non-clinical roles out there for SLPs!
Table of contents
  1. Marketing/sales and communications. ...
  2. Rehab/clinical liaison. ...
  3. Education. ...
  4. Utilization review. ...
  5. Management/leadership. ...
  6. Telehealth.
Nov 1, 2021

Can SLP make 6 figures? ›

To cut to the chase, many people considering speech-language pathology as a career want to know if and how to make $100K. Is it even possible to make 6-figures as an SLP? Short answer: Yes.

Which state pays SLP the most? ›

Geographic profile for Speech-Language Pathologists:
StateEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
California14,150$ 102,650
Texas13,370$ 82,940
New York13,150$ 98,850
Illinois7,710$ 82,590
1 more row

Where is the best place to be an SLP? ›

Our research shows that California is the best state in the country for speech pathologists.
1. California.
Total Speech Pathologist Jobs:2,013
Location Quotient:1.32 You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
3 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

What are the 4 purposes of speech? ›

The four basic types of speeches are: to inform, to instruct, to entertain, and to persuade. These are not mutually exclusive of one another. You may have several purposes in mind when giving your presentation.

What is the main message of speech? ›

The central idea of a speech is very similar to a thesis statement in a written essay. It is a specific and detailed statement which informs the audience of the goal or purpose of the speech. A central idea, also known as the main idea of the speech, represents the specific objective of the speech.

What's the importance of SLP? ›

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

What's it like to be a speech and language therapist? ›

Speech and language therapy is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You'll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Why do I want to study speech and language therapy? ›

As a Speech & Language Therapy professional, you'll help people communicate better, removing barriers that stop them from engaging in society. A degree will give you the skills needed to make a positive impact in a setting such as education, the workplace or healthcare.

How to write a personal statement for speech and language therapy? ›

Writing your personal statement
  1. Evidence of wide and diverse reading to support the applicant's understanding of their choice, which goes beyond more that 'what an SLT does'.
  2. An explanation of why the applicant wants to train as a speech and language therapist and what makes them suitable for this degree and career.

Where do SLPs make the most? ›

Industry profile for Speech-Language Pathologists:
IndustryEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
Offices of Other Health Practitioners36,220$ 90,850
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals17,290$ 91,810
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)5,030$ 101,210
Home Health Care Services5,010$ 110,850
1 more row

Where do speech pathologists make the most? ›

According to the ASHA 2019 salary survey, the highest-paid SLPs worked in skilled nursing facilities, where they earned an annual average salary of $95,000. The BLS also reported a similar annual mean salary for SLPs in this setting, at $94,840.


(Speak from the Heart)
2. 30 Minute Deep Sleep Music: Calming Music, Relaxing Music, Soothing Music, Calming Music, ☯426B
(Yellow Brick Cinema - Relaxing Music)
3. SLP or Teaching? + 5 Things No One Told Me About Grad School
(Jess Massey)
(Speak from the Heart)
5. Learning Videos for Toddlers | Animal Sounds, Farm Animals, Learn Colors, Numbers, Words | Speech
(Songs for Littles - Toddler Learning Videos)
6. Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb
(Guardian News)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Moshe Kshlerin

Last Updated: 04/17/2023

Views: 5979

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Moshe Kshlerin

Birthday: 1994-01-25

Address: Suite 609 315 Lupita Unions, Ronnieburgh, MI 62697

Phone: +2424755286529

Job: District Education Designer

Hobby: Yoga, Gunsmithing, Singing, 3D printing, Nordic skating, Soapmaking, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Moshe Kshlerin, I am a gleaming, attractive, outstanding, pleasant, delightful, outstanding, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.