Associate's Degree Programs in Speech Pathology

Working as a speech-language pathologist allows you to help people gain the ability to effectively communicate. While associate's degrees in speech pathology are not available, you can earn an associate's degree in speech-language pathology assisting. Learn about the program's curriculum and career outlook. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Do With an Associate's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting?

An associate's degree program in speech-language pathology assisting can prepare you to work in the offices of speech pathologists and to qualify for state licensing, where required. These programs are typically called speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) programs. As an SLPA, you would help a certified speech-language pathologist screen patients, implement treatment plans, maintain equipment, and keep patient records. SLPAs are increasingly responsible for clerical and other office work, and you might take on managerial or supervisory roles.

Job DescriptionImplement treatment plans, keep patient records, screen patients, maintain equipment
Common CoursesSpeech and language development and disorders, behavior management, learning disorders, linguistics, sign language
Job SalaryMiddle 80% of speech-language pathology assistants make about $27,000-$62,000 a year*

Source: *Payscale.com

What Can I Learn?

The courses you take in a speech-language pathology assistant program can teach you about speech and language development and disorders. You can also learn how people speak and hear anatomically. Additional courses discuss learning disorders and how they relate to language development. Dealing with different types of patients, such as the behaviorally challenged and children, is also covered.

Linguistics, intercultural communication, diction, sign language, and behavior management are also sometimes included in the core curriculum. Most programs also include fieldwork and hands-on experiences that can give you essential practice working directly with patients. Some programs are designed to give you the option to transfer your credits into a bachelor's degree program upon earning your associate's degree.

What Might My Career Be Like?

According to PayScale.com, the middle 80% of speech-language pathology assistants earned roughly $27,000-$62,000 per year, including bonuses and overtime, as of January 2016. It was noted that pay can vary greatly depending on where you work. You can often find work in hospitals, schools, private offices, and other places where speech-language pathologists practice.

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't give information specific to SLPAs, occupational therapy assistants perform similar duties and must receive the same type of training, and many work in speech pathology offices (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that occupational therapy assistants could see job growth of 43% between 2014 and 2024, though some of that increase is due to an aging population. Another big reason for the faster-than-average rate of job growth is related to the drive for lower health costs. Therapists and other medical professionals hire qualified assistants to help them serve patients and oversee treatment plans once diagnosis is complete and a course of action has been established.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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