Speech-Language Pathologists

What they do:

Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

On the job, you would:

  • Monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly.
  • Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.
  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.
  • Instruct clients in techniques for more effective communication, such as sign language, lip reading, or voice improvement.
  • Teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw, face muscles, or breathing mechanisms.
  • Develop speech exercise programs to reduce disabilities.
  • Consult with and advise educators or medical staff on speech or hearing topics, such as communication strategies or speech and language stimulation.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Conduct lessons or direct educational or therapeutic games to assist teachers dealing with speech problems.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.

Knowledge

  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Clerical
  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Learning Strategies
  • Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Instructing
  • Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities

  • Speech Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Hearing Sensitivity
  • The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Fluency of Ideas
  • The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Work Activities

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies
  • Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Interests

  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Styles

  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others
  • Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control
  • Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation
  • Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.