Speech-Language Pathologist Salary Guide

Speech-language pathologists specialize in evaluating and treating conditions that affect one’s ability to speak and swallow. Speech-language pathologists are also called speech therapists, or abbreviated as SLPs. Their work helps people improve and regain functions related to speech, language, vocalization, communication, swallowing, and more.  

In this guide, we’ll discuss the average salary, how to find the highest-paying speech therapist jobs, how to maximize your SLP pay, and more.  

This rewarding career path is needed in all 50 states, and demand is only projected to grow. Check out Trusted’s Speech-Language Pathologist Career Guide to learn how to get started in this rewarding career path. Now, let’s talk about speech and language pathologist salary.  

How Much Does a Speech Pathologist Make?

The average speech pathologist salary is $89,290 annually, or $42.93 per hour.  

  • The highest-earning 10% of SLPs earn $129,930 annually or more, which is approximately $62.47 per hour.
  • The lowest earning 10% of SLPs earn approximately $57,910 annually, equal to $27.84 per hour.  

What Type of Speech Pathologist Makes the Most Money?

Your speech-language pathologist salary will vary depending on the environment you work in. SLPs have the flexibility to work in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Currently, the highest-paid speech therapists work in:

  • Civic and social organizations- $130,620 per year
  • Home health care services- $121,410 per year
  • Management- $112,110 per year
  • Child care services- $109,110
  • Skilled nursing facilities- $108,640

Here are even more types of speech pathologist work settings and the average salaries for each:

  • Specialty hospitals- $105,830 per year
  • General hospitals- $ 98,790 per year
  • Healthcare offices- $96,540 per year
  • Education and schools- $83,720 per year

Speech-language pathologists are skilled healthcare providers needed in a wide variety of clinical environments. Each work setting allows you to specialize in a certain area of speech therapy, allowing you to gain experience, grow your skillset, and increase your salary as a speech-language pathologist.

Speech-Language Pathologist Salary by Experience

To be a speech-language pathologist, you must have a master’s degree in speech pathology. Additionally, SLPs must be state-licensed and nationally certified through the American Speech-Langage-Hearing Association (ASHA).

What is a speech pathologist salary with a master’s degree? Since all speech pathologists hold master's degrees, the wages of master’s prepared SLPs are the same as those listed above. Here’s a brief review:

  • The average speech pathologist salary with a master’s degree is $89,290.  
  • The highest earning 10% of SLPs earn $129,930.
  • The lowest earning 10% of SLPs earn $57,910 annually.  

On average, it can take six years or more to earn a master’s degree and get started in speech therapy. First, a bachelor’s degree is needed, which takes approximately four years. After that, your next step is a master’s degree, which takes an average of two years to complete.

How much does an SLP make as they gain experience?

As you gain experience in speech and language pathology, you can expect your salary to increase. The number of years worked in this field will translate to higher pay. Learning advanced skills, expanding your expertise, and moving into leadership and management roles are great ways to earn more.

What are the Top-Paying States for Speech-Language Pathologists?

The top-paying states for SLPs, by average yearly salary, are:

  • California- $112,030 per year
  • Washington, DC- $111,110 per year
  • Colorado- $107,780 per year
  • Hawaii- $106,790 per year
  • New Jersey- $102,820 per year

SLP pay varies by geographic region and location. In general, areas of the country with higher costs of living pay more than areas with lower costs of living. Larger, urban cities tend to pay more than smaller, rural ones.

SLP Salary Range Considerations:

Many other factors affect speech-language pathologist pay, including work setting and location. Obtaining voluntary certification can unlock opportunities for career advancement, increase job mobility, and boost earning potential.

Don’t forget that gaining experience, taking on additional responsibilities, growing your skills, and expanding into leadership or management roles are all great ways to increase your speech therapy salary in addition to certification.

What is the Job Outlook Like for SLPs?

Speech and language pathology has an impressive 19% projected growth rate over the next ten years! This is much faster than average compared to all professions, with an expected 33,100 additional speech therapists needed to meet demand by 2032.

As healthcare needs continue to grow, the demand for skilled and experienced speech therapists will only increase. Staff and travel SLPs will be needed to fill this gap, and becoming a travel SLP is one of the most effective ways to increase your speech therapist salary.

Travel SLP Salary

Trusted Health's current median travel speech therapist salary is $2130 weekly. Working at this rate for 50 weeks annually would net you approximately $106,500 annually!

Travel speech therapists are expert healthcare providers who can work in a wide range of SLP roles with minimal orientation and guidance. Consequently, travel SLP pay is often higher than SLP pay. Travel SLPs are experts in their field and can hit the ground running to ensure patients’ healthcare needs are promptly met despite regional staffing shortages.

Find a Speech-Language Pathologist Job with Trusted Health

Taking your skills on the road as a travel speech-language pathologist is a great way to maximize your earning potential! It is also an excellent way to see the United States, enjoy new experiences, and expand your speech-therapist career.

Trusted Health proudly offers the industry’s highest-paying travel SLP jobs, outstanding benefits, and unmatched clinical support. Becoming an allied health traveler is the start of the adventure of a lifetime, and Trusted Health is here for you every step of the way.

Get started by searching our current travel speech language pathologist jobs today!

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