Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a speech pathologist was $79,120 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,840 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $121,260.
The top paying industry was nursing and residential care facilities, where the median annual salary was $95,250. This is followed by hospitals, where median annual salary was $85,420. Next was offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists ($83,550) and then educational services ($70,290).
Autonomy and Flexibility
Like many jobs, the level of autonomy and flexibility for a speech pathologist depends on their level of experience and knowledge. Speech pathologists in their early career are likely to be supervised by more senior members of staff. This means that they are likely to have less control over their decisions and less flexibility over how they plan their day. As they get more senior and have more experience, speech pathologists will have greater control over the treatment they give and how they plan their day.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a speech pathologist, based on salary and total number of jobs available, were:
- West Virginia, where the average annual salary is $76,794
- Maine, where the average annual salary is $81,374
- New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $75,609
- Connecticut, where the average annual salary is $76,257
- North Dakota, where the average annual salary is $72,470
The worst states for speech pathologists, according to Zippia, were Hawaii, Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota and Montana.
38% of speech pathologists in the United States were employed by educational services. 23% were employed by office of physical, occupational and speech therapists and audiologists, 14% by hospitals, 5% by nursing and residential care facilities and 4% by self-employed workers.
Speech pathologists may work in one location (e.g., an office in a school or at a hospital), or they may travel between different locations (e.g., to different schools, care homes or hospitals). They may work closely with other medical professionals, such as occupational therapists or physicians.