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Career and Education Opportunities for Speech and Language Teachers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a speech and language teacher, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 4,250 people work as speech and language teachers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 8% to about 4,600 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for speech and language teachers are expected to grow by about 18.5%. In general, speech and language teachers assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders.

A person working as a speech and language teacher can expect to earn about $30 hourly or $62,850 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $30 hourly or $62,930 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for speech and language teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Pennsylvania and better than general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Speech and language teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: oral therapist, speech and language specialist, and educational speech-language clinician.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a speech and language teacher. Given that the most common education level for speech and language teachers is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be 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 Pittsburgh 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.
  • Recreational Therapist. Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
  • 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

Geneva College - Beaver Falls, PA

Geneva College, 3200 College Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010-3599. Geneva College is a small college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,931 students and an admission rate of 81%. Geneva College has a bachelor's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated seven students in 2008.

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Disorders which graduated twenty-two and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated twenty-four and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Audiology/Audiologist & Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist which graduated thirty-five, thirty-seven, and thirteen 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-Language Pathologist

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Speech-Language and Hearing Examiners Board, 116 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 783-1389
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Speech-Language and Hearing Examiners Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.