How Much Do Speech-Language Pathologists Make?
A Speech Language Pathology salary is one of the reasons many individuals get into the field. In addition to helping people in an extremely rewarding career, SLPs also enjoy exceptional salaries. The median annual salary for SLPs was reported to be $75,000 by ASHA’s Annual Salary Report. For those SLPs who either owned or co-owned private practices, the median annual salary was higher, $77,240.
According to bls.gov, the average median pay for SLPs has seen a marked increase recently, jumping from $66,920 in 2010 to $73,410 in 2015. Despite this advancement in the field, there is still variation in earnings. U.S. News reported that the best paid SLPs made more than $114,840, while the lowest paid SLPs made less than $46,000.
Factors that can impact how much you make at your SLP job include:
- Experience and Education
How much do Speech-Language Pathologists make in different states?
Data from 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional association for SLPs and an authority on information in the field. ASHA’s Annual Salary Report indicates how much location can have an impact on median annual salaries.
Top 5 States for SLPs
New York: $87,640
Top 5 Cities for SLPs
Redding, CA: $122,660
Watertown, NY: $107,810
Sacramento, CA: $106, 520
Fairbanks, AK: $104,310
Staunton, VA: $102,540
Another great resource for finding the best Speech Language Pathology Salary is SalaryExpert.com. Their tool calculates entry level SLP salaries vs senior level SLP salaries and shows average yearly salary, hourly pay, bonuses and education level.
Experience and Education
As in most professions, SLPs with more experience generally earn higher annual salaries. According to ASHA’s Annual Salary Report, speech-language pathologists who have been practicing for 1-3 years make average salaries around $63,603 and those practicing with over 16 years of experience make $90,000.
Payscale.com reports median earnings that confirm the importance of experience. SLPs starting out tend to bring in about $63,000, while those with 5-10 years of experience have a higher average of $71,000, and the numbers continue to climb as a clinician gains more experience.
According to SalaryExpert.com senior-level SLPs earn over $30,000 more than their entry-level counterparts ($91,559/yr compared to $59,342/yr).
The education factor, on the other hand, tends to be a little more complex. There is no rule saying that the higher your degree, the higher your wages or salary as a speech-language pathologist, at least not in medical or school settings. 97% of the SLPs that participated in ASHA’s salary survey reported master’s as their highest degree. The small percentage of SLP professionals that did report having a PhD had a higher salary average of $88,022. It is, however, important to keep in mind that those with more advanced degrees are more likely to work in administrative positions that pay higher wages. Statistics show that approximatly 64% of all Speech Language Pathologists hold masters degrees. Meanwhile, only 28% have a bachelor and the remaining 9% have doctorates.
Setting: School vs. Medical
The type of facility or setting you work in will impact a Speech Language Pathologists salary greatly. In terms of medical settings, the ASHA salary survey reports the following averages:
- SNF, VA, LTAC, General Medical: $90, 0000
- Rehab Hospital: $79,693
- Home Health: $75,000
- Pediatric Hospital: $74,000
- Clinics and Offices: $68,000
If you’re already knee-deep in SLP research, you’ve most likely read and heard a lot about the contention between those on the school side and those on the medical. Well, we are going to do our best to try and make up for schools’ bad rep!
The average academic year salaries for SLPs working in preschools and elementary schools is $60,000, and $71,000 for those practicing in secondary schools. Salaries for SLPs that worked in school settings were higher for those with more experience. Now, these salaries are pretty good, but there are other reasons to go for a position in a school setting!
Why Work at A School?
- Awesome vacation days! Everyone loves the academic calendar’s days off.
- You get more flexibility with your daily schedule.
- You have the opportunity to follow a student for extended periods of time, sometimes years, and watch the incredible impact of your work.
- In a school setting, you will have access to a population in which you can diagnose and treat the 9 major treatment areas (such as language, articulation, social communication, etc.).
- SLPs who have their CCCs (Certificate of Clinical Competence) tend to earn salary supplements or bonuses.
- Contract and traveling SLPs make more working at schools than in medical settings! In fact, traveling therapists tend to get better compensation packages than those working in permanent positions in all settings. With all that extra cash you could take your summers off. If you're feeling extra ambitious you could take a medical contract during the break and increase your take home even more!
Exclusive benefits of traveling as an SLP:
- Free Private Housing (or non-taxed housing subsidy)
- Full Medical Coverage On Day One
- CCC and Licensure Reimbursement
- Mentorship for CF's
- And More!