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Career and Education Opportunities for Speech and Language Teachers in Birmingham, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for speech and language teachers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. About 930 people are currently employed as speech and language teachers in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to about 1,080 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for speech and language teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. In general, speech and language teachers assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders.

The income of a speech and language teacher is about $25 hourly or $52,240 yearly on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 hourly or $62,930 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized, people working as speech and language teachers in Alabama earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized nationally. People working as speech and language teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: speech-language therapist, public school speech therapist, and speech and language clinician.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a speech and language teacher, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for speech and language teachers is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become a speech and language teacher if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Speech and Language Teacher

Speech and Language Teacher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, speech and language teachers assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. They also may select alternative communication systems and teach their use.

Speech and language teachers administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect data on type and degree of impairments, using written and oral tests and special instruments. They also write reports and maintain proper documentation of data, such as client Medicaid and billing records and caseload efforts, including the initial evaluation and discharge of clients. Equally important, speech and language teachers have to educate patients and family members about various topics. They are often called upon to monitor patients' progress and adjust treatments accordingly. They are expected to design and implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering and inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, on the basis of own assessments and recommendations of physicians or social staff. Finally, speech and language teachers use computer applications to pinpoint and assist with communication disabilities.

Every day, speech and language teachers are expected to be able to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for speech and language teachers to design speech exercise programs to decrease disabilities. They are often called upon to layout and employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices and strategies. They also design individual or group efforts and programs in schools to deal with behavior or swallowing problems. They are sometimes expected to supervise and collaborate with therapy team. Somewhat less frequently, speech and language teachers are also expected to furnish communication instruction to dialect speakers or students with limited English proficiency.

Speech and language teachers sometimes are asked to conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics, and report findings for use in developing procedures or treatments. They also have to be able to teach clients to control or strengthen tongue, jaw and breathing mechanisms and complete administrative responsibilities, such as coordinating paperwork, scheduling case management efforts, or writing lesson plans. And finally, they sometimes have to administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect data on type and degree of impairments, using written and oral tests and special instruments.

Like many other jobs, speech and language teachers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Occupational Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
  • Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Speech and Language Teacher Training

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated fourteen and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Occupational Hearing Conservationist: The Occupational Hearing Conservationist (OHC; also known as an industrial audiometric technician) can, with supervision, conduct the practice of hearing conservation including pure-tone air-conduction hearing testing and associated duties (related to knowledge gained as described in Section II below).

For more information, see the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation website.

LICENSES

Speech Pathologist

Licensing agency: AL Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
Address: P O Box 304760, Montgomery, AL 36130-4760

Phone: (334) 269-1434
Website: AL Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.