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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Speech and Hearing Careers

The Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) undergraduate degree program provides a versatile background for a variety of careers. Graduates are qualified for a wide range of entry-level jobs.

Marketable Skills

Because of their specialized pre-professional education, SHS graduates possess a number of skills in the following areas:

  • Understanding human behavior
: Recognizing normal emotional and psychological growth and behavior; analyzing and comparing the behavior of individuals and groups; recognizing factors that influence behavior; gathering, analyzing, and interpreting historical data.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving: Observing, comparing, and contrasting; analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating; generalizing, summarizing, and synthesizing; leading listeners, readers, or viewers logically from one point to another; knowing historical perspectives.
  • Oral and written communication: 
Active listening; reading and interpreting technical descriptions, articles, policies, and rules; listening and recording information; observing, reporting, and analyzing nonverbal messages and voice tones; controlling emotions; sharing emotions; leading discussions; providing verbal and nonverbal feedback; interpreting and summarizing research reports; reporting and editing; writing technical reports.
  • Organization
: Collecting, retaining, and organizing information; classifying and assessing materials; defining problems; producing on time.
  • Human services
: Providing support; assessing individual special needs; interviewing clients.
  • Research
: Asking questions; using libraries, abstracts, indexes, and references.
  • Computer literacy
: Using a variety of software, including word processing, on-line databases, and the Internet.

Related Job Titles

The following are examples of occupations that utilize the knowledge and skills developed by this degree program. Some may require additional specialized education or training beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Case aidPublic relations representative
Child welfare caseworkerRehabilitation counselor
Clinical intake specialistResidence counselor
Community service agency workerSales representative
CounselorSchool counselor
Day care specialistSpecification writer
FundraiserSpeech-language pathology aide
Group home staffSummer camp director
Human resource technicianTeacher aide
InterpreterTeacher of English as a Second Language
Medical assistantTechnical writer
Peace Corps/VISTA workerTechnology support staff
Personnel managerYouth organization worker

Additional News on SHS Careers

Speech-language pathology and audiology will be among the hottest professions in the country in the next decade, according to recent employment growth projections in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The government expects 26,000 new jobs for SLPs, an increase of 19 percent. Openings for audiologists are expected to grow by 34 percent, or 4,300 new jobs.

Speech-Language Pathology

The profession of speech-language pathologist is ranked tenth on its list of the best jobs of 2014 by

U.S. News & World Report, 2012: Speech-Language Pathologist: #14 of Top 25 Jobs in 2012, predicting about 28,000 new therapist positions in the workplace by 2020.

Speech-Language Pathologist: Job Profile & Salary

Speech-Language Pathologists topped CNN Money’s list as the #1 Best job for Working Parents. The occupation of speech-language pathologist is rated as a fulfilling, high-paying profession, offering flexible schedules to accommodate working parents and rated #29 out of 100 best jobs for 2012! (CNN Money, October 2011)

Best jobs in America: 29. Speech-Language Pathologist

The BLS cites the following factors contributing to the growth in employment within the profession of speech-language pathology:

  • The aging of the baby-boomer population, which will increase the instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as stroke or hearing loss
  • Increased awareness of speech and language disorders, in younger children should also lead to a need for more speech-language pathologists treating that age group
  • Medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants and survivors of trauma (head/brain injuries) and stroke, many of whom need specialized therapy from a speech-language pathologist


Employment of audiologists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations between now and 2020. (U.S. BLS 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook) ranks audiology fifth on its list of the best jobs of 2014.

The following factors were cited by the BLS as reasons for job growth within the profession of audiology:

  • Early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants contributing to an increase need for audiological evaluation and treatment
  • Advances in hearing aid design which may be more appealing now as a means to minimize hearing loss
  • The aging population, specifically those ages 55 and older, which will result in an increased need for hearing evaluations and assistive listening devices