5 Jobs That Can Help Get You Into A Speech Language Pathology Master's Program
- Resident Assistant At An Assisted Living Facility
- K-12 Teacher
- Special Education Teacher
- Registered Nurse
A Master's in Speech Language Pathology allows you to enter one of the most in-demand and fulfilling careers available today. Admission to most master's programs, however, is aided by relevant work experience. Because you cannot become a speech language pathologist prior to completing graduate school, here are five careers that can prepare you for a speech pathology language master's program.
1. Resident Assistant At An Assisted Living Facility
One demographic speech language pathologists serve more often than others are the elderly. Working at an assisted living facility as a resident assistant gets you used to working with the elderly and seeing to their needs. It will also teach you to be more empathetic for these people and certainly teach you the value of hard work. Prior work experience or a college degree is not usually necessary to get this job, making it a good starter job that will prepare you for your field as you make your way through college.
2. K-12 Teacher
Experience as a K-12 teacher can be invaluable to a career as a speech language pathologist. You will become used to working with children, their different needs and their differing personalities. A successful career as a teacher will look very good on any grad school application because it shows you have experience in helping children learn. It will also demonstrate your dedication to your educational career, because you will have needed to get at least a bachelor's degree in education and go through student teaching before being hired. If you don't want to go through all that trouble, you may be able to work as a substitute teacher instead.
3. Special Education Teacher
Working as a special education teacher perhaps provides even more valuable experience than working as a regular K-12 teacher does. This is because special education teachers work with children who have special needs such as hearing and speech disorders. You will likely already be using some of the techniques you will use in a speech language pathology master's program, and the specific hands-on experience will not only show your dedication to the profession but also your abilities. Like regular teachers, you must have a license from your state to teach special ed.
For students who have not held any relevant jobs prior to looking into a Master's in Speech Language Pathology program, tutoring work can prove useful. You can usually get tutoring work without any sort of degree or even as an on-campus job. Like teaching, tutoring teaches you how to facilitate the learning of others. Tutoring experience in a similar field to speech pathology, such as presentations or healthcare subjects, will be most useful.
5. Registered Nurse
Any job in a healthcare setting may prove to be invaluable experience, but working as a nurse is perhaps the most useful. You will become familiar with how things work in the healthcare field as well as how to interact with patients. Nursing jobs can be very fulfilling, but career advancement into speech language pathology can be beneficial. Nurses can work in hospitals or private clinics. If you want to work with children or the elderly, you could consider nursing in a specialized area such as pediatrics or geriatrics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech language pathology positions are expected to grow 18% through 2026, which is classified as much faster than average. You can obtain one of these careers by working towards a Master's in Speech Language Pathology.