A speech pathologist works with a group of young children

Pros and Cons of Being a Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists help to treat and counsel people with speech and communication disorders. As is the case with any job, speech pathology comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Is it right for you?  Let’s examine some of the many facets of this fascinating field together and see.

Pro: Speech pathology can be a very rewarding career.

Nothing is more contagious than that rush of excitement you get when making someone’s life a little easier. In the world of speech pathology, this can take many forms, such as helping someone with a communication disorder correctly pronounce “asparagus” for the first time.

Con: You will spend a lot of time in school.

With all of the education and certification requirements that tag along with speech pathology, you could achieve most other career goals, many of which would be more financially sound and less time-consuming.

Pro: It’s a growing field.

As far as job outlook is concerned, speech pathology is a rapidly increasing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for the field in the next decade is 19%, which is a fair amount higher than average growth rate (11%) and significantly higher than the growth rate of milkmen (0%).

Con: It really is hard work.

This is definitely not a job that you can just coast your way through. It takes dedication and perseverance. You are, after all, changing the way that someone else communicates with the world around them. That’s some pretty heavy stuff.

Pro: You are doing meaningful work.

Some of your friends may talk about how they volunteer at a soup kitchen once every other month, but you’re helping people on a daily basis. You are making life that much brighter for someone else. You deserve a pat on the back.

Con: This work is time-consuming.

If you think you’re going to have a lot of free time as a speech pathologist, you may want to sit down for this part. This is not a job that you leave at the office; it takes lots of outside preparation, much like professions in education or law.

Pro: You are now part of a close-knit community.

Congratulations!  You have just been adopted into the speech pathology family. Speech pathologists stick together. Not only will you be able to rely on the people you work with directly, there is also a greater community of speech pathologists with forums to help provide tips and strategies, share on-the-job stories, and allow you to relax (if even for a brief moment) by bonding over similar experiences.

Con: You’ll have paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork.

There are a lot of documents required to keep track of the diagnosis and progress of your clients - and guess whose job it is to fill them out? That’s right. All of the paperwork can interfere with your ability in the workplace if you let it.

Pro: You’ll have job security.

This is a highly specialized field, and many people don’t want to jump through all of the hoops required to get certified. So, since you put in the time and energy to get this far, as long as you try to do all that you can for your students, you are almost completely guaranteed to stay in your position.

Con: You may have to take on outside responsibilities.

Since many people are confused about what it means to be a speech pathologist, they may expect you to work on tasks that aren’t in your job description (especially in schools). This could include anything from tutoring to social work, so it’s important to assert your boundaries early-on.

Last Updated: August 27, 2015