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Career and Education Opportunities for Speech and Language Teachers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for speech and language teachers in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 6,280 people work as speech and language teachers in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 16% to 7,290 people 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. In general, speech and language teachers assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders.

Speech and language teachers earn about $31 hourly or $64,630 annually on average in Illinois and about $30 hourly or $62,930 per year on average nationally. Earnings for speech and language teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Illinois and better than general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Speech and language teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: speech clinician, public school speech clinician, and speech therapist.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a speech and language teacher. The most common level of education for speech and language teachers is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be 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 Chicago include:

  • Certified Prosthetist. Assist patients with disabling conditions of limbs and spine or with partial or total absence of limb by fitting and preparing orthopedic braces or prostheses.
  • Chiropractor. Adjust spinal column and other articulations of the body to correct abnormalities of the human body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system. Examine patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. Manipulate spine or other involved area. May utilize supplementary measures, such as exercise, rest, and nutritional therapy.
  • 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

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has an associate's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated eight students in 2008.

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 3 areas of study related to Speech and Language Teacher. They are:

  • Communication Disorders, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.
  • Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Audiology/Audiologist & Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist, doctor's degree.

Governors State University - University Park, IL

Governors State University, 1 University Pky, University Park, IL 60466-0975. Governors State University is a medium sized university located in University Park, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,457 students. Governors State University has 2 areas of study related to Speech and Language Teacher. They are:

  • Communication Disorders, bachelor's degree.
  • Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist, master's degree.

Rush University - Chicago, IL

Rush University, 600 S. Paulina St. STE 440, Chicago, IL 60612. Rush University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,764 students. Rush University has a master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated eighteen 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-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.