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Updated on April 2, 2024
Boluwatife Oluwasegun

Written by Boluwatife Oluwasegun

Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology

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Are you interested in speech therapy and curious about how much a speech therapist earns? Several factors can influence the salary of a speech therapist, such as their education, certification, specialization, and location. With the increasing demand for speech therapy services, now is a great time to consider pursuing this fulfilling career path.


Humans depend heavily on communication; therefore, finding it difficult to explain ourselves can be frustrating. Consider a scenario when you are in a social or academic context and find it challenging to communicate. This kind of communication difficulties can be a significant roadblock to success. For people who encounter these obstacles, speech therapy offers hope. This is precisely where speech therapists come in.

A speech therapist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating communication difficulties. These conditions can vary in severity, from lisping and stuttering to more severe problems like aphasia, which impairs one’s capacity for language comprehension and production. It is important to remember that speech therapists assist patients of all ages regain the abilities necessary for efficient communication.


Speech therapy can be helpful for a wide range of patients, including adults with neurological disorders, including stroke or traumatic brain injury, and newborns experiencing difficulty eating. Children who suffer from speech and language impairments could find it difficult to succeed academically, read, write, and speak, which could affect their chances in the future. They can achieve this in school and beyond by learning the skills required for efficient communication through speech therapy. Speech and language impairments can result in social isolation and a lower quality of life for those who have had a stroke or other neurological illnesses. Speech therapy might assist them in regaining their capacity for interpersonal interaction and communication.

A speech-language pathologist’s duties include evaluating and diagnosing speech and language impairments, creating customized treatment programs, and conducting therapy sessions to enhance communication skills. They employ a range of strategies, including articulation therapy, language intervention, and social communication skills training, to assist people in overcoming communication obstacles. Becoming a speech-language pathologist allows you to positively impact people’s lives and care, as well as flexible work schedules and great job opportunities.


Depending on the type of patient you are working with, your responsibilities as a speech therapist may differ. Yet, there are specific essential tasks that you must complete.

  • Determine the patient’s speech, language, or communication challenge. 
  • Perform assessments using clerking, observations, evaluations, and diagnoses. 
  • Create an individualized therapy strategy that meets the patient’s specific communication needs. 
  • Whenever necessary, involve other medical specialists in treating your patient’s speech, language, or swallowing issues.
  • Closely monitor your patient’s progress and make necessary adjustments to treatment programs. 
  • Treat patient information, diagnosis, and progress reports as confidential documents. 


A speech therapist’s range of practice might encompass the following for various populations: 

Children and adults who have any of the following conditions

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Hearing impairment
  • Stuttering
  • Voice disorders
  • Developmental language disorder. 
  • Autism
  • Adults who have issues with speech, eating, and swallowing after neurological impairments and degenerative diseases, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and head trauma 

Speech therapists typically treat individuals who present with these conditions: 

  • Articulation Disorders: Difficulty producing sounds appropriately during speech. 
  • Disorders related to language, cognition, and communication
  • Phonological disorders 
  • Resonance disorders
  • Social communication disorders
  • Speech impairments impair speech output, such as dysarthria, stuttering, ankyloglossia (tongue tie), and childhood apraxia of speech. 
  • Fluency disorders
  • Voice disorders (dysphonia)
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) 


Before determining how much a speech therapist makes, you must be aware that several variables may impact the salary you receive. Several of these factors would be;

Education and Certification

Academic Background: To become a speech therapist, you must finish your undergraduate studies in communication science and disorders. Subsequently, a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited institution would be required. This degree would give you practical experience through internships and clinical practicums by a licensed speech-language pathologist.

Licensure: To practice professionally in the United States, speech therapists must hold a state license. State-specific standards for licensing differ, but generally speaking, they entail earning a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, finishing a predetermined number of hours of supervised clinical work, and passing a national exam, such as the Praxis exam.

Certification: Besides having a license, you can obtain further certification from associations for professionals like the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The advanced clinical knowledge and abilities in speech-language pathology are demonstrated by the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by ASHA.


Certain speech-language therapists seek advanced education or certification in specific practice areas, like voice therapy, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), pediatric speech therapy, or dysphagia treatment. With this additional training, you can become an expert in specialized fields and provide superior services to a broader range of clientele.

Employment Setting

Private Practice: Speech-language therapists who own businesses or work in private offices may make more money, particularly if they have a good referral base and a consistent client. Private practitioners are also accountable for overseeing business operations and overhead costs. 

Healthcare Facilities: Competitive pay and benefits are frequently offered to speech therapists in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare settings. These environments could provide chances for professional growth, career progression, and access to specialist tools and resources.

Schools: The pay scale for speech therapists employed in educational environments, including public schools or special education programs, is usually determined by the compensation schedule of the school district. Schools may provide employment security and advantages like summer vacation. Still, the pay may be less than that from other work settings.

Geographic location 

Geographically, speech therapist salaries might differ significantly. Due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for their services, speech therapists in urban areas or other places with larger population densities may be able to command higher salaries. On the other hand, professionals who work in underserved or rural areas can see less competition.

Demand and Job Outlook for Speech Therapists

Speech therapy services may be more in demand in areas that are seeing population growth, demographic shifts, or a rise in awareness of communication difficulties. Speech therapists may be better able to bargain for competitive employment packages and higher pay in these locations. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment possibilities in speech-language pathology will expand by 29% between 2020 and 2030, significantly surpassing the average growth rate for all occupations.


The ASHA 2023 SLP Health Care Survey’s national average salary statistics for speech-language therapists (SLPs) employed in healthcare settings highlight the following important points: 

The median salary for SLPs working full-time in healthcare settings was $87,000. 

The median pay for SLPs who work primarily in clinical settings was $82,000. 

The median salary for SLPs who saw patients in addition to administrative or supervisory duties was $100,000; the median salary for SLPs who worked only in administrative or supervisory roles was $113,000. 


Depending on the kind of facility, the median yearly salary for full-time employees ranged from $83,500 in offices or outpatient clinics to $97,100 in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The following are the annual salaries for speech-language therapists (SLPs) based on various facility types, as reported in the ASHA 2023 SLP Health Care Survey:

  1. General Medical/Veteran Affairs (VA)/LongTerm Acute Care (LTAC)/University Hospital:

Lower-end range: $81,600 Median range: $95,000; Upper-end range: $111,000

  1. Home Health/Client’s Home:

Lower-end range: $71,000 Median range: $85,160; Upper-end range: $95,680

  1. Outpatient Clinic/Office:

Lower-end range: $71,000 Median range: $83,500; Upper-end range: $100,000

  1. Pediatric Hospital:

Median range: $87,000

  1. Rehab Hospital:

Median range: $85,100

  1. Skilled Nursing Facility/Subacute Care:

Lower-end range: $76,000 Median range: $97,100; Upper-end range: $106,000


Speech-language therapists (SLPs) work in various school/ educational settings, including preschools, elementary, secondary, special day, or residential schools, and combinations of schools. In 2022, the average yearly compensation for SLPs working in schools was $69,000, with an average hourly wage of $51.00. Furthermore, almost 25% of SLPs working in educational institutions stated they were paid extra for having the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). 


The ASHA 2023 SLP Health Care Survey sheds light on regional differences in the pay for speech-language therapists (SLPs) in the United States. The following are the main conclusions of regional differences in salaries: 

Midwest and South: In healthcare settings, the median annual payment for SLPs working full-time in these regions was $85,000. 

West: With an average annual full-time pay of $96,500, SLPs in the West area earned the highest median salary. 


Experience levels affected salary as well; for example, 

SLPs with 13 years of experience would get $74,000, while those with 28–30 years would make $104,000. 

The population density also has an impact on salaries. In 2023, median salaries ranged between $80,000 in rural areas, $87,000 in suburban areas, and $88,000 in cities or metropolitan areas. 


We can compare the median annual earnings for speech-language therapists (SLPs) in various industries to highlight the growing trend in SLP compensation. The data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2022 and the ASHA 2023 SLP Health Care Survey provides the following information:

1. ASHA 2023 SLP Health Care Survey: Years of experience, location, and kind of facility were among the variables that influenced the median full-time yearly earnings for SLPs working in health care settings. 

The median salary for SLPs with 1-3 years of experience was $74,000, while the median salary for those with 28-30 years of experience was $104,000. 

The median salary for different facilities ranged from $83,500 for offices and outpatient clinics to $97,100 for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

Geographical location also mattered; the West had the highest median wage at $96,500, while the Midwest and South had median salaries of $85,000. 

2. According to the US Bureau of Statistics (May 2022), the median yearly salary for SLPs across a range of businesses was as follows: 

  • $101,320 for nursing and residential care facilities 
  • Hospitals: $96,830 (public, private).
  • Audiologists’ and physical, occupational, and speech therapists’ offices: $93,600
  • Public, private, and state education services: $77,310


The ASHA survey data shows a growing trend in SLP compensation over time, with higher median salaries in specific locations or facility types and for SLPs with more experience. 

SLPs working in nursing and residential care institutions had the highest median income, which is in line with the highest salaries listed in the ASHA study when compared to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics. As mentioned above, the comparison highlights the growing trend in the median compensation of speech-language therapists, particularly in healthcare settings where SLPs typically receive higher wages. 


For SLPs or speech-language therapists, the following are other variables that impact the pay of speech therapists: 

Career Advancement

Career progression is a significant factor in raising an SLP’s income potential. Acquiring specialized certificates, going after advanced degrees such as a Ph.D. or EdD, assuming leadership roles, or moving into administrative posts are all ways to advance oneself. You can advance into managerial or supervisory positions with more training and credentials, often with higher pay.

Impact of Work Hours and Flexibility on Earnings

The length of work hours and scheduling flexibility may also impact the pay of speech therapists. The choice between full-time and part-time employment, taking on extra duties or shifts, and providing services after hours can all affect total revenue. Furthermore, flexible employment arrangements that allow for numerous venues or teletherapy might lead to higher income prospects.

There are a lot of prospects for both patients and practitioners in the speech therapy profession. Speech therapists are essential in improving quality of life, from helping adults restore communication abilities following neurological diseases to assisting children to overcome language hurdles. A speech therapist’s salary can be affected by various factors, including geography, specialization, and educational background. 

Despite all these factors, one thing is sure: speech therapy has a considerably more significant impact than just financial gain. It is about allowing people to express themselves, interact with others, and lead more complete lives. It is, therefore, imperative to remember the immense value of excellent communication, whether you’re considering pursuing a profession in speech therapy or looking for support for a loved one or yourself.