Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to increase by 18% from 2016-2026, or by nearly 26,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program. More SLPs will be needed to meet the needs of the aging baby-boomer population, including treatment of communication and swallowing disorders associated with strokes, dementia and other conditions associated with an aging population. SLPs are also in greater demand to address the social and communication needs of children with autism, a population that has grown significantly in recent years. Medical advances that have improved survival rates for premature infants, as well as victims of stroke or head trauma, have led to the need for more SLPs, as has an increased awareness of speech-language disorders and the availability of treatment for these conditions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) lists the median salary for speech-language pathologists as $77,510 per year, with a median hourly wage of $37.26. Illinois ranks within the top five states in terms of number of SLPs employed.
Life after Lewis
Graduates of the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology program at Lewis University are qualified to work as entry-level speech-language pathologists in many settings, including:
- Early intervention centers
- In-home early intervention
- Preschools and daycare facilities
- Elementary, junior high/middle, and high schools
- University clinics
- Healthcare facilities, including all levels of supportive care
- Memory care facilities
- Rehabilitation clinics
- Speech-language therapy clinics
- Community agencies providing speech-language therapy
- Home-based therapy providers
- Traveling therapy agencies