Speech therapists play essential roles in helping people of all ages overcome speech and swallowing disorders. More and more organizations, ranging from schools to residential care facilities, have begun adding speech therapists to the team to provide specialized therapies for their populations.

Are you looking to hire a speech-language pathology professional? Use our speech therapist job description below as you develop your job posting.

Understanding the Role of a Speech Therapist

Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLPs), diagnose speech, communication, and swallowing disorders. While people of all ages can require speech therapy, many therapists work with specific age groups, such as premature infants, children, or older adults.

Key Speech Therapist Responsibilities

Speech-language pathologists are responsible for preventing, diagnosing, and treating speech disorders, language impairments, and swallowing difficulties.

Assessment and Diagnosis

A speech-language pathologist diagnoses the following conditions:

  • Language disorders
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Communication disorders

Treatment Planning and Implementation

After diagnosing patients, a speech-language pathology professional moves to developing an individualized treatment plan, monitoring progress, and educating patients. They may:

  • Create treatment plans tailored to the patient
  • Provide counseling and additional resources to help patients adapt to their diagnosis
  • Offer alternative communication systems
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of treatment methods

Collaboration With Healthcare Professionals

Speech-language pathologists may collaborate with physical and occupational therapists, social workers, doctors, teachers, and other professionals, along with the patient’s family members, to address social-communication problems or swallowing disorders holistically.

Many also spend time conducting research to learn medical advances that can support their therapies.

Skills and Qualifications

Speech-language pathologists must meet specific educational criteria.

Education Requirements

A speech therapist must have a graduate degree (master’s degree) in speech therapy or speech-language pathology. To achieve this degree, they must complete supervised clinical experience.

Essential Skills

Speech-language pathologists excel when they also have certain soft skills, such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Analytical thinking skills

Career Path and Advancement

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for speech-language pathologists is projected to grow by 19% between 2022 and 2032 — much faster than the average for other healthcare professionals.

These professionals may seek certifications to specialize in certain health conditions, such as apraxia, cognitive-communication disorders, trauma disorders, or autism.

Speech Therapist Job Descriptions vs. SLP Job Description

While there isn’t a distinct difference between a “speech therapist” and a “speech pathologist” or SLP, you may see more instances of speech therapists in educational settings, where professionals treat speech disorders in students rather than swallowing challenges.

If you’re looking for a professional with the knowledge and ability to treat both types of disorders, use SLP in your communication disorder therapist job description over speech therapist.

Use Our Speech Pathologist Job Description in Your Hiring Process

As you create your speech therapist job description, be sure to mention both the education requirements and soft skills you’re looking for within your private practice, school, or other healthcare work setting.

If you’re looking for a way to better communicate with speech pathologists, teachers, and other support personnel on your team, consider Weave, the all-in-one automation platform. Get a demo today to see what Weave can do for your organization.

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