How Much Does a Speech Pathologist Make?
|Speech Pathologist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand
Speech Pathologist Salary Determinant Factors
Salaries for speech pathologists vary worldwide as reported by Payscale.com, country-specific employment websites, and professional organizations. The greatest influences on salary are geographic region, professional experience and education, and work setting. Further details on select countries are provided in the following paragraphs.
1. How Much Does a Speech Pathologist Make by Country?
Speech Pathologist Salary in US
In the US, speech pathologists earn a median income of $58,370 per year, Salaries range from nearly $43,000 to just under $80,000, and bonus and profit sharing opportunities can further increase earnings to more than $101,000 annually. Geographic region within the US affects overall earnings as well with those in Los Angeles earning about 18% more than the national average for this career field, followed by New York and Atlanta at 8% more, while those in Seattle earn about 2% less than the national average. Advanced education at a Master’s degree level is necessary to practice as a speech pathologist; however, those with a Ph.D. may receive pay that is more than 30% above their counterparts who hold only the basic required Master’s degree.
Speech Pathologist Salary in Canada
Speech pathologists in Canada earn just over C$66,000 annually. Those beginning their careers in this field can expect an annual starting salary of about C$36,000, increasing to C$90,000 with experience. Bonus potential can further increase pay by nearly C$16,000. Speech pathology is a growing career field with approximately 75% of current professionals holding nine years’ experience or less.
Speech Pathologist Salary in UK
Many speech pathology experts work through the National Health Service in the UK. Newly trained speech pathologists earn between approximately £22,000 and £28,000 per year and are classified at Band 5. With further training and experience, advancement to Band 6 is achieved and annual incomes can increase to between about £26,000 and £35,000. Those who are the most experienced may reach Band 7. Their earnings would surpass £41,000 per year. High-cost-of-area stipends are common for those employed in or near London.
Speech Pathologist Salary in Australia
Speech pathologists in Australia earn approximately AU$61,000 per year. Entry-level professionals typically earn a starting salary of about AU$40,000 per year, increasing to more than AU$100,000 annually. An additional AU$30,000 in bonus potential can further boost overall earnings. Careers in speech pathology are relatively young as only about 10% of the country’s professionals have 20 years’ or more experience, indicating those with the most experience are earning the highest pay.
Speech Pathologist Salary in New Zealand
Many speech pathology positions in New Zealand are offered through the District Health Board. The median annual salary for speech pathologists is NZ$60,000. Starting salaries are about NZ$45,000 per year, increasing to more than NZ$63,000 annually. Those who have chosen a career with the Ministry of Education have a similar starting salary, but earnings for experienced professionals can exceed NZ$75,000 per year.
2. How Much Does a Speech Pathologist Make According to Experience?
Salaries for speech pathologists vary worldwide, but experience is an important factor in every country reviewed in this guide. Canada and Australia have the widest margin between starting salaries and earnings for experienced professionals at 150% and 125%, respectively. Those with the most experience in the US and UK earning about 86% more than their peers who are just beginning their careers, and earnings in New Zealand grow about 67% with experience.
To practice as a speech pathologist, an undergraduate degree followed by advanced education equating to a Master’s degree is required. Certification and licensure requirements vary worldwide. In the US, most states require successful completion of a licensing exam and good standing of the license, while requirements may vary in other states. Other countries require ongoing professional development and registration with the appropriate governing board.
3. How Much Does a Speech Pathologist Make According to Work Environment?
Speech pathologists work in schools, hospitals, physician offices, clinics, and nursing homes. Some also are self-employed in private practice. Those who work in private, for-profit organizations typically earn higher salaries and have the potential for greater bonus payments compared to those employed in the public sector.
Speech pathologists usually work a full-time schedule Monday through Friday during typical business hours. Those who work in schools may have a schedule that reflects the school hours and holiday breaks. Some evening or weekend work may be necessary, particularly for those working in hospital or nursing home settings. Most who work in this career field express a high level of job satisfaction and positive work-life balance with low stress.
Bonuses and Benefits
As with many other healthcare related careers, speech pathologists often receive a full benefits package. This includes medical, dental, and vision coverage. Speech pathologists who work in private practices may have a greater potential for higher earnings. However, they may be responsible for covering their own healthcare benefits. Bonus and profit sharing pay may be offered by some employers, with the greatest opportunities available for those in the private sector. Some organizations offer stipends for ongoing training and education, and it is common for those in and near London, UK, to receive a high cost of living supplement.
Demand for professionals in speech pathology is growing worldwide. This increased demand is due to an aging population, some of whom have experienced strokes and are in need of rehabilitation. Another factor which influences this growth is an increased awareness of successful treatment for accident victims. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21% increase in job growth between 2014 and 2024. In New Zealand, the government is actively recruiting experienced professionals from other countries to meet the growing demand for speech pathologists in that country. This growing demand will very likely maintain strong salary levels.
Speech pathologists are in a growing career field that is young in some regions of the world. They enjoy a high level of job satisfaction and work-life balance while earning solid salaries and benefits. And while income levels may be lower than some other healthcare professions, the education, training, and work hours also are often less in comparison.