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Occupational Profile

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists work with children and adults to prevent, assess, diagnose and provide treatment and counselling for speech, language, voice, fluency and swallowing disorders.

  • Avg. Salary $83,390.00
  • Avg. Wage $55.50
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 2,300
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Language Therapist, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner, Speech Therapist, Speech Pathologist, Communication Consultant

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

55%
55%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Speech-Language Pathologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Speech-Language Pathologists
NOC code: 3141.2
METHODICAL

Interest in administering tests and examinations and observing patients to diagnose and evaluate speech, voice, resonance, language, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating research programs; in conducting research on speech and other communication disorders and on the development and design of diagnostic procedures and devices; and in establishing group and personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing patients by planning and implementing remedial programs to correct speech, language and voice disorders

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Speech-language pathologists work with people ranging in age from infants to adults. They help clients restore and improve their ability to communicate or swallow properly.

In general, speech-language pathologists:

  • use a variety of formal and informal tests and procedures to assess and identify language, speech, voice, resonance, fluency and swallowing disorders
  • develop and implement treatment plans
  • provide consultation and intervention services
  • counsel clients and families regarding communication and swallowing disorders
  • design and employ augmentative and alternative communication strategies and devices
  • consult with others (for example, educators, caregivers) regarding speech and language stimulation, communication strategies, and teaching strategies for children and adults who have communication disorders
  • consult with and advise other health professionals
  • educate and supervise students, professionals and support personnel in a variety of work settings
  • work with multidisciplinary teams to assess and treat clients
  • participate in research and public education activities.

Intervention for developmental or medical conditions may involve a variety of activities including one-to-one therapy, group therapy or consulting with parents and others. Intervention goals vary depending on the situation. For example, the goal may be to make a client's speech understandable, foster language development or restore language use after a stroke.

Speech-language pathologists may specialize in working with people who have a particular type of disorder (for example, stuttering) or with a particular age group (for example, pre-school children). They often work in teams which may include audiologists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, teachers, educational assistants, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, recreational therapists or speech-language assistants.

Working Conditions
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Speech-language pathologists generally work standard weekday office hours, although some weekend or evening work may be required. They also may be required to travel to a variety of locations (for example, community health centres, day care centres, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, schools, clients' homes).

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Speech-language pathologists need the following characteristics:

  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • the intellect and perseverance required to complete the training
  • sensitivity to client needs
  • creative problem solving skills
  • the ability to set priorities and deal with multiple demands
  • the ability to concentrate and pay close attention to details
  • the ability to work effectively in a team environment.

They should enjoy working with people and their families, and exploring problems in depth.

Educational Requirements
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Universities and colleges throughout Alberta offer four year bachelor's degree programs that can provide suitable preparation for a master's degree program in speech-language pathology.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, rehabilitate and prevent communication and oral motor and pharyngeal dysfunctions and disorders, and teach, manage and conduct research in the science and practice of speech language pathology.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Profession Regulation, registration with the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of speech-language pathology to others or supervise speech-language pathologists who provide professional services to the public. Only registered members of ACSLPA may use the protected titles and designations of speech-language pathologist, speech therapist, speech pathologist, SLP and R.SLP in Alberta.

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated speech-language pathologists, see Speech-Language Pathologist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Education

Registration requires (1) a master's degree from an approved speech-language pathology program and (2) recent education or current qualifications in the profession. Successful completion of an approved examination may be required. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ACSLPA website or contact ACSLPA.

Working in Alberta

Speech-language pathologists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered speech-language pathologists in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated speech-language pathologist, see Speech-Language Pathologist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
209, 3132 Parsons Road
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6N 1L6
Phone number: 780-944-1609
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-800-537-0589
Fax number: 780-408-3925
Website: www.acslpa.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Most speech-language pathologists are employed as clinicians by:

  • private practice offices
  • regional health authorities, including hospital settings, community health centres and home care 
  • schools.

Some are employed as researchers in hospitals, universities and government agencies (a doctorate usually is required) or as administrators of speech and hearing programs.

Private practice fees are not covered by Alberta Health Care Insurance but many private insurance plans and other sources of government funding cover specific services.

Speech-language pathologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3141: Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Oct 20, 2014

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
NOC code: 3141

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $31.19 $115.00 $46.18 $40.26
Overall $36.54 $125.00 $55.50 $49.46
Top $41.58 $125.00 $59.31 $53.50

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Educational Services
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

55%
55%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
    • Biology
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 20, 2014

Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) website: www.caslpa.ca

Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) website: www.acslpa.ab.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 11, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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