Career Opportunities

Students in the pre-professional Communication Sciences and Disorders program are prepared for graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP).

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help people of all ages, from babies to the elderly, develop or regain the ability to speak, read, write and think clearly, and swallow properly. Clients may be children who have Autism, adults who have experienced strokes or brain injuries, children and adults who stutter, people who struggle with production of speech sounds, or those who have language delays or disorders. SLPs also provide extensive patient and family education. Common work environments include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, schools and daycare settings.

Additional Career Options:

The undergraduate degree may be used to obtain a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLP-A) license, which allows the student to provide therapy services in the public school setting, under the supervision of a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. At the completion of the undergraduate degree, other possible career options may include medical sales, medical publications, or the pursuit of a master’s degree in other fields closely related to speech-language pathology (i.e. other health science or health care field, pre-med or medical school, and special education).

Students completing the MS in Speech-Language Pathology at Maryville University will be eligible for American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification (Certificate of Clinical Competence) and for Missouri state licensure (and other state licensures) from the Board of Healing Arts, following one year of full-time employment known as the clinical fellowship year (CFY).

A minor in Spanish is recommended if a student wishes to pursue opportunities as a bilingual speech-language pathologist.


Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median salary of speech-language pathologists is $74,680.

Median Wage for Speech-Language Pathologists In Top Industries

$92,220: Nursing and residential care facilities
$81,090: Hospitals; state, local and private
$80,580: Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists
$65,540: Educational services; state, local and private

As the large baby-boom population grows older, there will be more instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as strokes and hearing loss. More speech-language pathologists will be needed to treat the increased number of speech and language disorders in the older population.

Increased awareness of speech and language disorders, such as stuttering, in younger children should also lead to a need for more speech-language pathologists who specialize in treating that age group.

In addition, medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants and victims of trauma and strokes, many of whom need help from speech-language pathologists.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:                    

Nearly half of all speech-language pathologists work in schools. Most speech-language pathologists work in medical facilities, such as hospitals. Some work in patients’ homes. Industries employing speech-language pathologists include schools, medical practices, hospitals and other nursing and residential care facilities.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Speech-Language Pathologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm.