University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Careers in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Careers in Communication Sciences and Disorders

What are some potential career paths for communication sciences and disorders graduates?

Students in communication sciences and disorders often pursue careers as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. Both require advanced degrees and professional certification. Employment as a speech-language pathology assistant in schools or other settings is possible without graduate work. Students also go on to advanced study in fields such as linguistics, psychology, physical therapy, neuroscience and other medical fields.

Speech-Language Pathologist

    What they do:
  • Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders
  • Treat speech, language and cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders
  • Direct public school or clinical programs
  • Teach future professionals
  • Research and develop more effective treatments
    Where they work:
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • State and local health departments
  • Research laboratories
  • Community clinics
  • Private practice offices
  • Colleges and universities

*See the ASHA Fact Sheet for more information.

Audiologist

    What they do:
  • Study normal and impaired hearing
  • Identify and assess hearing and balance problems
  • Help with prevention of hearing loss
  • Design hearing instruments and testing equipment
  • Research normal hearing and treatment of disorders
    Where they work:
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Health departments
  • Community hearing and speech centers
  • Industry with hearing conservation programs

*See the ASHA Fact Sheet for more information.

What is the expected job growth and median salary?

For audiologists, employment is expected to grow 37 percent from 2010-2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. This will be caused in part by an aging population and greater awareness of the importance of early diagnosis of hearing problems. Median annual wages of audiologists were $66,660 in May 2010.

Employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2010-2020, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. Increased awareness of speech and language disorders, such a stuttering, in children, should lead to a need for speech-language pathologists. Median annual wages of speech-language pathologists were $66,920 in May 2010.

For More Information

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook for Audiologists
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook for Speech-Language Pathologists
American Medical Association: Careers in Health Care

Last modified June 06 2012 11:29 AM