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The Professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are concerned with evaluation, treatment and research in human communication and its disorders. The master's degree is the entry-level degree for speech-language pathology; a doctorate is the entry-level degree for audiology.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2002-2003 Occupational Outlook Handbook suggests speech-language pathology and audiology will be among the hottest professions in the country in the next decade. The professions were ranked among the top 30 fastest growing occupations, with the number of audiology positions expected to grow 45 percent and the number of speech-language pathology positions to climb by 39 percent from 2000-2010.

In 2011, CNN Money rated speech-language pathology as one of the best jobs for working parents.

Speech-Language Pathology

The bachelor's/master's programs in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois University prepare students for careers as speech-language pathologists. Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, grade schools, rehabilitation settings, nursing homes, and home health care.

In 2001, a survey of the American Speech and Hearing Association's members reported 66 percent of certified speech pathologists were employed in a school setting; 12 percent worked in hospitals. Speech-language pathologists work with children and adults. Speech-language pathologists treat such disorders as:

  • Stuttering
  • Delayed Language Development
  • Speech Dysarthria and Apraxia
  • Aphasia
  • Swallowing Problems
  • Voice Disorders
  • Articulation Problems.


The bachelor's program in Communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois prepares students to pursue a graduate degree at another university in audiology. Audiologists specialize in prevention, identification, assessment and rehabilitation of hearing disorders. They may prescribe and dispense hearing aids and instruct individuals with hearing loss in the use of the aid. Audiologists also are involved in programs of hearing conservation, particularly in industry, and serve as consultants to government in such areas as noise abatement.

A 2001 survey of the American Speech and Hearing Association's members reported most certified audiologists were employed in either a non-residential health care facility, such as a clinic or physicians office (50 percent), or in a hospital setting (23 percent).