Speech Pathologist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Speech Pathologist, or Speech Therapist, is responsible for helping people communicate and swallow appropriately. Their duties include assessing patients, diagnosing disorders than can impact swallowing and speaking and providing treatment for their patients.

Build a Job Description

Speech Pathologist duties and responsibilities

Speech Pathologists often work with individuals who experience voice disorders such as harsh voice or inappropriate pitch or who are unable to understand language. They are responsible for completing administrative tasks including documenting billing information and keeping accurate records of initial evaluations, diagnoses, treatment progress and any treatment plan notes. In addition, they are responsible for:

  • Evaluating levels of swallowing, speech and language difficulty
  • Identifying treatment options
  • Creating and carrying out individualized treatment plans addressing specific functional needs
  • Teaching patients how to make sounds while improving their voices and maintaining fluency
  • Helping individuals improve sentence structure and vocabulary used in written and oral language
  • Working with adults and children in developing and strengthening muscles used to swallow
  • Counseling individuals and families on ways to cope with swallowing and communication disorders

Speech Pathologist Job Description Examples:


Speech Pathologist

Miami Valley Hospital DEPT: Speech AND Audiology Support The incumbent provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment to pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients, depending on service area. The therapist meets productivity standards and satisfactorily completes and maintains all required documentation. The therapist maintains a “Patient First” orientation and meets MVH customer service standards. The incumbent serves as a flexible member of both disciplinary and teams, including assisting others as needed and contributing to the overall effectiveness of the department Education: Must be a graduate of an accredited Speech Pathology Program. Licensure: Must possess a valid license to practice Speech Pathology issued by the State of Ohio.

Speech Pathologist

Children’s TherAplay is seeking an experienced, self-motivated, and passionate speech pathologist to help us start and grow a speech therapy program to join our existing physical and occupational therapy programming. For over twenty years, Children’s TherAplay has been serving children with special needs through physical and occupational therapy using the characteristic movements of the horse as a treatment tool. We are very excited to add speech therapy to our program offering to better serve our kiddos and their families. Summary OF Primary Duties & Repsonsbilities: The Speech Pathologist is responsible for evaluating, treating and discharging assigned patients as appropriate and per established policies and procedures; ensuring effective development and application of speech programs and treatment procedures; ensuring optimal assigned patient scheduling and wait list management, satisfaction and appropriate insurance billing and coding. Essential Primary Duties for Speech Pathologist:
  • Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, communication, or swallowing difficulties.
  • Develop and implement effective treatment programs.
  • Provide counseling to patients and patients’ families about results of testing and recommended treatment options.
  • Establish patient understanding, expectations, and goals for treatment.
  • Create accurate documentation and reporting for all patient visits.
  • Delegate duties to support personnel as appropriate.
  • Maintain communication with staff and outside agencies per state guidelines.
  • Refer patients to medical specialists in dentistry, psychology, or other related fields as deemed appropriate.
  • Maintain patient confidentiality at all times, conforming to HIPPA privacy regulations.
  • Other duties as assigned. Prerequisite Skills:
  • Knowledge of Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance plans.
  • Familiarity with a variety of speech and cognitive disorders.
  • Experience or training with Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems.
  • Pediatric feeding strongly preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team (PT & OT).
  • Basic computer literacy.
  • Ability to comply with all regulatory standards.
  • ×

    Speech Pathologist

    Description: Providence is calling a Speech Pathologist (Acute Speech Therapy, Day Shift, 1.0 FTE - 40 hours per week) to Providence Seward Mountain Haven in Seward, Alaska. We are a community of caregivers delivering every day on our Mission to provide compassionate care that is accessible for all - especially those who are poor and vulnerable. $10K Sign-on Bonus Apply Today! Applicants that meet qualifications will receive a text with some additional questions from our Modern system. In this position you will: Assesses, plans, implements and evaluates Speech Language Pathology services under the prescription of a physician licensed in the state of Alaska. Communicates with team members and outside agencies to identify patient needs, changes, overall condition of patient, and determine future levels of care. Collaborates with Case Manager or facility designee to ensure reimbursement. Contacts vendors for durable medical equipment needs. Assists in coordinating discharge plan. Provides patient and family education in a variety of physical settings. Demonstrates competency and knowledge of specific department equipment. Exhibits critical thinking skills and activities relevant to level of education, training and specialty. May require travel to other sites/locations within the service area as necessary. Qualifications: Required qualifications for this position include: Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology Current license to practice Speech Pathology in the State of Alaska CFY candidates will be considered, with commitment of continued employment after certification and full licensure Must have a valid AK Drivers license Current Auto Insurance Must have reliable transportation with current auto insurance and registration IAW state motor vehicle laws Preferred qualifications for this position include: Experience and credentials in sub-specialty About Mountain Haven Providence Mountain Haven is the first Green House® home in Alaska, which is includes 4-lodges, each with 10-Elders. Teams are self-managed, have consistent staffing, and have strong patient to caregiver ratio. Caregivers typically have 5:1 patient ratio and work 12-hour shifts. Nestled against Iron Mountain, in Seward, AK, it is a great home for Elders to live out their later years! [website] About Providence Seward Medical Center Providence Seward Medical and Care Center is a 6-bed critical access hospital and 40-bed long term care facility providing quality health care to residents and visitors. Our team of physicians, nurses, and support staff deliver compassionate, quality care to all patients. We care for the patients ranging from infants to the elderly with services including, primary care, emergency, inpatient, swing bed, lab, radiology, therapies and nursing home care. Located only 125 miles south of Anchorage on Resurrection Bay, Seward offers a small community feel and access to a multitude of world class outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing and hiking. We offer comprehensive, best-in-class benefits to our caregivers. For more information, visit Our Mission As expressions of God’s healing love, witnessed through the ministry of Jesus, we are steadfast in serving all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. About Us Providence is a comprehensive not-for-profit network of hospitals, care centers, health plans, physicians, clinics, home health care and services continuing a more than 100-year tradition of serving the poor and vulnerable. Providence is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Providence does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, veteran, military status, religion, age, creed, national origin, sexual identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. Schedule: Full-time Shift: Day Job Category: Speech Therapy Location: Alaska-Seward Req ID: 295687

    What does a Speech Pathologist do?

    Speech Pathologists are typically either employed by an institution like a hospital, school or nursing home, or they have their own private practice where they see patients. They perform duties like assessing, diagnosing, treating and helping to prevent swallowing and communication disorders in adults and children. Swallowing, speech and language disorders result from a variety of causes including autism, a cleft palate, Parkinson’s disease, developmental delay, hearing loss, brain injury and stroke.

    Speech Pathologist skills and qualifications

    Skills and qualifications that will assist individuals looking to enter into a Speech Pathologist career include:

    • Analytical skills for selecting the best diagnostic tools and analyzing results to identify an accurate diagnosis while developing an effective treatment plan.
    • Communication skills for communicating diagnoses, test results and available treatments in terms that clients and their families can understand.
    • Compassion when working with individuals frustrated by the difficulties they are experiencing.
    • Critical thinking skills for adjusting treatment plans as required and identifying alternative ways to help.
    • Attention to detail for maintaining notes on treatment and progress.
    • Listening skills for listening to concerns and symptoms of clients so they can decide the most appropriate course of treatment.

    Speech Pathologist salary expectations

    Speech Pathologists can expect a salary range of $11.10 to $91.65 an hour with the average salary at $41.66 per hour based on 7,554 anonymously submitted salaries to Indeed by Speech Pathologists, Indeed users and past and present Indeed job postings within the last 36 months.

    Speech Pathologist education and training requirements

    Speech Pathologists usually need a minimum of a master’s degree. While master’s degree programs don’t require specific undergraduate degrees for admission, certain coursework is often required to be completed prior to entering a program.

    Graduate programs typically include supervised clinical experience along with coursework in swallowing disorders, alternative communication methods, age-specific speech disorders and speech and language development.

    The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) which is part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is responsible for accrediting educational programs in speech-language pathology. Certification and state licensure require candidates to graduate from an accredited program.

    Speech Pathologist experience requirements

    All states regulate Speech Pathologists, and most require them to be licensed while a few states also require registration. Licensure usually requires a minimum of a master’s degree, supervised clinical experience and passing exams.

    Speech Pathologists can also earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Certification usually satisfies many state licensure requirements and is required by some employers.

    In order to obtain CCC-SLP certification, applying candidates must have a degree from an accredited program, successfully pass an exam and complete a fellowship while being supervised by a certified Speech Pathologist. An additional 30 hours of continuing education is required every three years in order for Speech Pathologists to maintain their CCC-SLP credentials.

    Job description samples for similar positions

    If this job description sample isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, check out the samples for related positions below.

    Frequently asked questions about Speech Pathologists


    What makes a good Speech Pathologist?

    Speech Pathologists are trained professionals who must have extensive education and training to perform their jobs well. Generally, Speech Pathologists share a number of qualities that make them excellent at their jobs: 

    • Communication: Speech Pathologists should excel at all types of communication, including written, verbal and non-verbal to best support their patients. 
    • Organization: Since most Speech Pathologists treat a number of different patients, organization is key to ensure they’re meeting the needs of each individual they work with. 
    • Time management: Most Speech Pathologists have set appointments with their patients. Managing time appropriately during these sessions is vital. 
    • Empathy: Great Speech Pathologists are empathetic of their patient’s situation and treat them with kindness and respect. 
    • Professionalism: Excellent Speech Pathologists are professional in all settings with their patients. 


    What is the difference between a Speech Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist?

    Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists share a similar goal — to help their patients master certain physical abilities to improve their lives. Speech Pathologists focus exclusively on the mouth, throat and face to help patients who struggle with speech or swallowing challenges. Occupational Therapists work with the whole body and treat a wide range of physical disorders and injuries that result in physical challenges for their patients. 


    What are the daily duties of a Speech Pathologist?

    Most Speech Pathologists perform similar duties from day to day, although those duties can vary depending on the environment in which the Speech Pathologist works. For Speech Pathologists who work for a school, hospital, nursing home or other institution, they may spend the majority of their day working with their regular patients and attending meetings with institutional leadership. For Speech Pathologists in private practice, they may evaluate new patients and hold sessions with current patients. 


    What are the different types of Speech Pathologists?

    Speech Pathologists can specialize in certain disorders and types of speech pathology by pursuing additional education and training, usually concluding in a certificate. One of the most common certificates for Speech Pathologists to pursue is the board-certified specialist certification, or BCSC, which allows Speech Pathologists to focus in one of four areas: 

    • Child language disorders: These Speech Pathologists help children who have trouble forming words and speaking appropriately for their age. 
    • Fluency disorders: Speech Pathologists who specialize in fluency disorders help those who suffer from stuttering or similar speech challenges. 
    • Swallowing disorders: A Speech Pathologist who specializes in swallowing disorders helps those who have trouble swallowing. 
    • Audiology: The field of audiology is closely related to that of speech pathology. These Speech Pathologists help their patients with hearing loss or hearing impairment manage their speech. 

    Job Description Examples

    Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

    No search results found

      *Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.