By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
The demand for healthcare providers including speech-language pathologists is not confined to hospitals and clinical settings. SLPs and traveling speech therapists are also needed by elementary and secondary schools. Public school systems are no strangers to employee shortages with the less than abundant supply of teachers (and quality teachers at that) threatening the integrity of a solid education. Similar to teaching, an innate love of the job is a requirement to be a speech-language pathologist or traveling speech-language pathologist on assignment at a school. SLPs working in hospitals and other skilled nursing settings earn an average of $80,000 while those working in schools take in around $53,000.
For speech therapists who love working with children and understand the value of dramatically impacting a child’s future, a school assignment may be a perfect match of passion and paycheck. Speech language pathologists working in the school help children with a variety of communication impediments including stuttering and enunciating of certain sounds or words. They also help to diagnose as early as possible and treat students who experience learning disabilities, hearing loss and developmental disorders such as autism. The steadily rising reported incidences of autism are creating a significant need for speech language pathologists in schools across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a quickly increasing demand for SLPs in the schools to identify and diagnose speech and language disorders as early as possible in a child’s life, to improve their prognosis. If you are either a new or experienced speech language pathologist and are interested in helping children in a school setting, talk to your travel agency allied recruiter about possible assignments in one of the many schools across the country that need your services.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.