How to Become a

Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)

The complete career guide to be a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA): salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $36,920
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 11.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Speech Pathology Assistants assist speech pathologists in the assessment and treatments of speech, language and voice diseases or disorders.  They implement speech and language programs and activities as directed by the speech pathologist.  They also will monitor the use of alternative communications devices as well.

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What is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)?

The following responsibilities are common for Speech Pathology Assistants:

  • Assist speech pathologist in conducting patient screenings or assessments of language fluency, articulation or hearing
  • Implements language treatment plans and activities as directed by the speech pathologist
  • Assists speech pathologists in the remediation and development of language skills
  • Documents patients’ progress towards meeting established speech therapy treatment objectives and goals

A Day In The Life

Speech pathology assistants work directly under speech pathologists, assisting them in their daily responsibilities, like assessments, diagnosis and treatments of disorders related to speech and language.

On a daily basis, these individuals implement treatment plan protocols as directed by the speech pathologist.  One of their main responsibilities is to collect, compile and record data to document a patients performance and treatment objectives or assess the quality of treatment.  They also test and maintain all the necessary equipment to ensure they will work properly.  In addition, they also preform other support duties like preparing materials, keeping records, maintaining supplies and scheduling activities.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time position, typically spent in a medical office setting assisting patients.

Projected Job Growth

Job growth for this profession is expected to be much faster than the average over the next few years.

Typical Employers

These individuals work for speech language pathologists, that generally work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and clinics as well as private practices.

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How To Become a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)

There are a variety of ways to become a speech pathology assistant.  Ranging from a two-year, associate’s degree program in a speech pathology assistant program, to certificate programs and baccalaureate programs.  Coursework should include classes such as, communication disorders, normal communication processes, and speech behaviors.  At least a minimum of 100 hours of clinical supervised field work or experience is also required for this profession.  Each state has different requirements when it comes to this specific occupation.  Differences in state vary widely from education requirements only, to prohibiting speech pathologists to employ assistants at all.  Therefore, its vital that a student checks their individual state requirements and availability for this career choice.

Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)'s can make an average annual salary of $36,920, or $18 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $27,540 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #587 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA). a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)s

  • 0.4%   Doctorate
  • 1.7%   Masters
  • 11.2%   Bachelors
  • 10.1%   Associates
  • 28%   College
  • 40.1%   High School
  • 8.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 12,000 jobs for a total of 114,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 11.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #151 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA)s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 31,300 2,200 2%
Federal government, excluding postal service 15,600 -1,500 -2%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 6,700 300 0%

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