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Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Hampden County: 330
  • Entry Level Salary:$25/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$24/hour

Hampshire Franklin Counties

  • Entry Level Salary:$25/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$44/hour
  • Education Needed: Masters degree
  • Learn more at

Occupational Employment and Wages Statistics, May 2016, EOLWD

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat these communication disorders, as well as swallowing and other language-related disorders.

It is estimated that between 6 and 8 million people in the United States have some form of language impairment, and by first grade, about 5% of children have noticeable speech disorders. Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat these communication disorders, as well as swallowing and other language-related disorders.

Speech-language pathologists work with people who

  • Have had a stroke that causes them to have difficulty understanding or expressing language
  • Cannot make speech sounds, or cannot make them clearly
  • Have speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering
  • Have voice quality problems, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice
  • Have problems understanding and producing language
  • Wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent
  • Have cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders
  • Have oral motor problems causing eating and swallowing difficulties

Speech-language pathologists also

  • Interact with patients and their families around both medical and emotional needs
  • Help develop new diagnostic criteria and treatments by participating in clinical research

Employment opportunities can be found in

  • Public and private schools
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Community clinics
  • Colleges, universities and research laboratories
  • Private practice
  • Home care
  • Centers for persons with developmental disabilities

Education and training requirements

A graduate degree is required for certification by the Council For Clinical Certification of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In order to be eligible for certification, speech-language pathologists must also successfully complete the required clinical experiences and pass a national exam.

Speech-language pathologists are also expected to have

  •  Excellent academic skills, especially in science, math and English
  •  Patience, persistence and the ability to work well with others
  •  Cultural competence and sensitivity
  •  The ability to communicate effectively (both orally and in writing)

1441 Main Street, First Floor
Springfield, MA 01103

The REBHC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities, Verizon Telephone Relay Service: TDD/TTY: 1-800-439-2370 Voice: 1-800-439-0183

An Initiative of

This website was funded in part by Workforce STAT (Skills, Talent, Awareness, Training): Transforming Regional Capacity for Healthcare Education, Grant # CB18820. Workforce STAT was a $1.66 million Community Based Job Training Initiative through the U.S. Department of Labor. The website is also funded in part by a Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by Commonwealth Corporation.