Speech therapists have a challenging, but rewarding job. They make a difference in the lives of children, adults with disabilities, and senior citizens. If you are exploring career choices, and considering becoming a speech pathologist, these questions might help you decide.
Are you patient?
If you get frustrated easily, a career as a speech therapist is probably not for you. Speech-language pathologists much be extremely patient. It can take weeks, months, even years, before they see notable results in their client’s speaking abilities. It is essential that you be an easy-going and calm person to become a speech therapist.
Are you a “people-person”?
Do you enjoy helping people? Are you comfortable with one-on-one interaction? If so, speech pathology is a career choice to explore. It is helpful for speech pathologists to have a bubbly, outgoing personality.
Do you like to play?
Speech therapists use various techniques to help their patients develop communication skills. Often times they will play with their young clients. For examples, watch these Youtube videos here and here.
Do you have excellent verbal skills?
No, you don’t need a perfect, Hollywood voice to become a speech therapist. But, you must be able to articulate well. You must possess excellent communication skills.
Do you want to teach?
Speech therapists are teachers. They teach their clients how to communicate, how to make sounds, and more. They teach in a one-on-one setting. You must have a desire to teach in order to become a speech pathologist.
Are you a good listener?
Speech therapists must be good listeners. If you have difficulty hearing, it is probably not a good career to pursue.
Are you creative?
Speech pathologists must be somewhat creative. They will need to come up with quick ideas in many situations, such as when a patient is very grumpy. Some children do not want to attend speech therapy sessions and can be resistant.
Can you empathize?
Speech therapists must be able to empathize well with patients in tough situations. If you cannot put yourself in the shoes of someone with a disability, then this career is not for you.
Can you handle extensive schooling and training?
Speech-language pathologists must complete a master’s degree. They also must pass a test to become licensed. If you don’t want to go to graduate school, this career is not for you.
These are just a few questions to consider before deciding if you would like to become a speech pathologist. It can also be very helpful to meet with a speech therapist and ask her/him questions. Read “How to Find a Job Shadow Experience” for more details. Also, search for “speech therapy” on Youtube to watch helpful videos.
The demand for speech pathologists is expected to continue to grow. But, this career choice is not for everyone. If you think speech pathology is the career field for you, consult with your school or college adviser.
If you are exploring career choices, take a look at “Jobs for People Who Like to Help Others”, “Is a Career in Social Work Right for You?” and “High Demand Science Jobs that Pay Over $60,000 a Year.” Some other articles to read are “Jobs that Pay Over $100,000 a Year” and “Jobs in the Medical Field Without a Bachelor’s Degree.” Good luck as you make decisions for your future!