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

There are many career and education opportunities for speech and language teachers in the Huntsville, Alabama area. There are currently 930 working speech and language teachers in Alabama; this should grow 16% to about 1,080 working speech and language teachers in the state by 2016. 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. Speech and language teachers generally 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 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 hourly or $62,930 per year on average. Earnings for speech and language teachers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Alabama and better than general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: speech and language specialist, speech therapist, and educational speech-language clinician.

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as a speech and language teacher. Speech and language teachers usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 starting with 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 Huntsville 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

Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL

Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has an associate's degree program in Audiology/Audiologist & Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated one student in 2008.

Alabama A & M University - Normal, AL

Alabama A & M University, 4900 Meridian St, Normal, AL 35762. Alabama A & M University is a medium sized university located in Normal, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,124 students and an admission rate of 49%. Alabama A & M University has a master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated nine students 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: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.