FAQs about Communicative Disorders

Q: What is a speech-language pathologist, and what does the job of a speech-language pathologist entail?
A: A speech-language pathologist works directly with individuals to prevent, identify and/or facilitate the recovery of clients with communication disorders. Types of communication disorders include fluency disorders (stuttering), voice disorders, speech sound production disorders, language disorders, cognitive-linguistic impairments and swallowing impairments.  A speech-language pathologist can work with a variety of populations from adults, who have had a brain injury or stroke and have lost their ability to speak, to children, who have not acquired the ability to speak or substitute one sound for another.  Learn more by visiting the ASHA Careers Web pages.

Q: What is an audiologist, and what does the job of an audiologist entail?
An audiologist evaluates clients with suspected or known hearing impairments to identify the nature and degree of a hearing loss.  Audiologists can work in many different settings involving hearing conservation, amplification of residual hearing, fitting of ear molds and hearing aids, and evaluation and screening of populations including newborn infants to geriatrics. Learn more by visiting the ASHA Careers Web pages.

Q: What kinds of clients do speech-language pathologists and audiologists serve?
Speech pathologists and audiologists work with clients from ages of birth to geriatrics with communicative disorders.

Q: Do I need a masters degree to get a job in this field?
 A masters degree is required before an individual can be certified as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. For students beginning academic studies at this time, a doctorate of audiology is required for certification in audiology.

Q: Are jobs readily available in this field?
Jobs in the field of communicative disorders are readily available and work settings range from schools, home health, hospitals, nursing homes, preschools, universities, long-term acute care facilities, out-patient rehabilitation centers and private practices. Additionally, their are individuals employed in professional settings in both part time and full time capacities some in salaried positions and some in hourly and/or contractual positions.