A Speech Therapist, also known as a Speech Language Pathologist, is a medical professional who focuses on patients who have two types of problems. The first is with those who exhibit speech issues which relate to speaking, voice articulation, language difficulties, and communication clarity. The second has to do with patients who have problems primarily with swallowing, eating and drinking that in turn have impacts on their communication abilities. Regardless of the type, the average annual Speech Therapy salary was $72k.

Average Speech Therapist Salary

Speech therapist average annual salary is $74k in 2014. The hourly wage at the 10th percentile was $22 compared to $53 in the 90th percentile. This is mainly due to experience, so when you’re starting out, do expect to earn an income closer to the lower/mid range. As you gain more skills and expertise, your goal should be to earn a salary in the upper percentile.

Hourly Wage$21.59$26.78$34.04$42.88$52.79
Weekly Wage$863$1,071$1,362$1,715$2,112
Monthly Salary$3,742$4,642$5,900$7,433$9,150
Annual Salary$44,900$55,700$70,800$89,200$109,800

Industries with the Highest Speech Therapy Wages

The only industries with an annual Speech Therapy salary over six figures is the mgmt. of companies ($161k per year) and medical/diagnostic laboratories ($154k).

RankIndustriesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Management of Companies and Enterprises$77.40$3,096$13,417$161,000 1,200
2Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories$74.18$2,967$12,858$154,30050
3Social Advocacy Organizations$43.94$1,758$7,617$91,400N/A
4Home Health Care Services$43.51$1,740$7,542$90,500 5,000
5Offices of Physicians$43.22$1,729$7,492$89,900 1,000
6Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities$42.98$1,719$7,450$89,400100
7Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)$42.21$1,688$7,317$87,800 5,000
8Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly$42.12$1,685$7,300$87,600800
9Nursing and Residential Care Facilities$41.78$1,671$7,242$86,900 7,000
10Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers$41.73$1,669$7,233$86,800200

Highest Paying States for Speech Therapists

The highest salary for Speech Therapists is California at $86k. Next was New Jersey with an annual salary of $85k and Colorado at $84k. Find a list of states by going to the speech therapist salary by state chart.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1California$41.39$1,656$7,175$86,100 10,000
2New Jersey$41.06$1,642$7,117$85,400 5,000
3Colorado$40.34$1,613$6,992$83,900 3,000
5Maryland$39.13$1,565$6,783$81,400 2,000
6Connecticut$38.85$1,554$6,733$80,800 2,000
7New York$38.70$1,548$6,708$80,500 10,000
8District of Columbia$38.46$1,538$6,667$80,000300
10Massachusetts$37.31$1,492$6,467$77,600 4,000

Lowest Paying States for Speech Therapists

Excluding Puerto Rico, every state had a Speech Therapy salary of at least $51k with the lowest being in South Dakota.

RankSalaries by StatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1South Dakota$24.38$975$4,225$50,700400
2North Dakota$26.97$1,079$4,675$56,100600
3Louisiana$28.41$1,137$4,925$59,100 2,000
4Oklahoma$28.51$1,140$4,942$59,300 1,000
5Mississippi$28.80$1,152$4,992$59,900 1,000
6Nebraska$28.94$1,158$5,017$60,200 1,000
7West Virginia$29.33$1,173$5,083$61,000 1,000
10Tennessee$30.91$1,237$5,358$64,300 2,000

Top Metropolitan Cities for Speech Therapy

New York, White Plains and Wayne in New York and New Jersey were the top paying major cities with an annual salary of over $89k.

RankMetropolitan CitiesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ$42.69$1,708$7,400$88,800 5,000
2Nassau-Suffolk, NY$42.50$1,700$7,367$88,400 2,000
3Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA$42.31$1,692$7,333$88,000 1,000
4Edison-New Brunswick, NJ$42.12$1,685$7,300$87,600 2,000
5Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA$41.78$1,671$7,242$86,900600
6Newark-Union, NJ-PA$41.06$1,642$7,117$85,400 1,000
7San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA$41.01$1,640$7,108$85,300500
8Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$40.72$1,629$7,058$84,700 1,000
9Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA$39.95$1,598$6,925$83,100 2,000
10Camden, NJ$38.70$1,548$6,708$80,500900

Top Non-Metropolitan Areas for Speech Therapists

The salary of Speech Therapists were higher in top non-metropolitan areas. Western Colorado averaged nearly $93k annual speech therapist salary, followed by Eastern Mexico with $89k.

RankNon-Metropolitan AreasHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Western Colorado$44.66$1,787$7,742$92,900100
2Eastern New Mexico$42.93$1,717$7,442$89,300100
3Central Indiana$41.97$1,679$7,275$87,300100
4Northern Mountains Region of California$41.73$1,669$7,233$86,80040
5Mother Lode Region of California$41.44$1,658$7,183$86,20040
6Southeast Arizona$41.06$1,642$7,117$85,40030
7Central Washington$40.48$1,619$7,017$84,20030
8Southcentral Idaho$39.71$1,588$6,883$82,60050
9North Central Colorado$39.47$1,579$6,842$82,100N/A
10Southwestern Oklahoma$38.37$1,535$6,650$79,80040

Highest Speech Therapist Employment Level by States

Texas employed 11k speech therapists at was #1 in the US. New York and California were tied for the second spot with 10k a piece.

RankStatesHourly WageWeekly WageMonthly SalaryAnnual SalaryEmployment Level
1Texas$35.14$1,406$6,092$73,100 11,000
2New York$38.70$1,548$6,708$80,500 10,000
3California$41.39$1,656$7,175$86,100 10,000
4Illinois$35.63$1,425$6,175$74,100 8,000
5Florida$35.53$1,421$6,158$73,900 7,000
6Ohio$34.71$1,388$6,017$72,200 5,000
7New Jersey$41.06$1,642$7,117$85,400 5,000
8North Carolina$33.56$1,342$5,817$69,800 4,000
9Pennsylvania$36.68$1,467$6,358$76,300 4,000
10Massachusetts$37.31$1,492$6,467$77,600 4,000

Job Outlook

There were 134,000 Speech Therapists in the United States, and this figure is expected to grow 19% to 160,000 by 2022. This is nearly double that of what is expected for all occupations.

Employment Projections Data Speech Therapist, 2012-2022 
Employment, 2012134,100
Projected Employment, 2022160,100
Employment Difference:26,000
Speech-language pathologists (Speech Therapists)19%
Health Diagnosing and treating practitioners20%
Total, All Occupations11%

Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Speech Therapist Job Description

speech therapy salary dataSpeech Therapists will often need to do an in depth analysis of the scope, depth and type of problems faced by the specific patient.

Based on this review, the therapist would then be able to design a specific treatment plan that provides methods to reduce the intensity of the problem, while offering steps to gradually rectify the causes and thereby eliminate it over time.

In most cases the therapist has to work closely with family members or friends who can participate and support the patients in their treatment program. The therapists will also need to interact with other medical professionals such as psychologists and physiotherapists to address both the mental and physical causes of the patient’s conditions.

Finally, as with all medical practitioners, they will need to maintain detailed patient case files which will track the treatment progress, individual coaching sessions and discussions, as well as developmental and environmental conditions that need to be addressed.

A Speech Therapist has to look at the patient, as well as his or her lifestyle and surroundings in order to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment. As a result the work is not limited just to a hospital setting and can include visits to speech and hearing clinics, rehabilitation centers, as well as the patient’s home and local community.

With such a demanding career, these professionals are deserving of the high Speech Therapy salary.

How to Become a Speech Therapist

To become a qualified Speech Therapist it is necessary to first seek a Master’s degree in speech therapy. This degree has to be from a college or university that has received accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in the field of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology.

This is important because it is needed in order to qualify for the required certification to be licensed to practice as a therapist. The key certification that needs to be obtained is the CCP-SLP, or the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. This is provided through the main certification body in this medical field which is the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). This body ensures that all candidates are put through a rigorous certification process that includes first formal study and examination.

Secondly, a Clinical Fellowship is required wherein the candidate has to provide details of work experience with a speech therapy professional certified by ASHA. This professional will provide a detailing rating of the candidate as part of the certification process.

speech therapist salary infoOnce the certification has been obtained this is valued both for government licensing, as well as certifying the ability and qualification of the speech therapist to his or her patients.  It should be noted that the certification is reviewed every three years and the speech therapist has to ensure a minimum number of hours of professional development to maintain this certification.

In this way, ASHA ensures that its certified professionals are always well informed with the latest developments in its field, which can only result in continuing improvement in treatment for patients. Having the proper up-to-date certification will ensure that you receive the  highest Speech Therapy salary possible.