Professional opportunities for audiologists and speech-language pathologists are bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for these professions is predicted to climb between 16-29 percent in the decade between 2020-2030. That represents an average of approximately 800 openings for audiologists and 15,200 openings for speech-language pathologists each year over the decade. 

Double-Digit Career Upswing

Between 2019-2029, job growth is expected to rise by 25% for Speech-Language Pathologists and 13% for Audiologists versus 8% for all other professions.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists work across a wide range of environments, focusing on different skills, disorders, technologies, and goals.

A few facts about these careers:

  • Audiologist was ranked the #1 Best Job in America by Time magazine (2015)
  • Speech-language pathologist was named #8 in Best Jobs in America by Glassdoor (2020)
  • Audiology was ranked #12 in highest-paying jobs working fewer than 40 hours a week by Business Insider (2020)
  • Speech-language pathologist was #6 IN Best Healthcare Jobs by U.S. News & World Report (2020)

Career Resources for UI Graduate Students

The Graduate College offers robust professional development services, including career guidance, national grants and fellowships support, and Iowa's Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL). For more information on graduate student professional development services, visit the Professional Development page in the Graduate College.

School Speech-Language Pathology

School speech-language pathologists (SLP) are dedicated to helping students overcome communication challenges, enabling them to effectively participate in academic, social, and everyday activities. They are part of an interdisciplinary team that is essential in promoting inclusive and successful learning environments for all students. School SLPs’ work includes prevention, assessment, intervention, and program design efforts that are integrated within a school setting.

Speech-language pathologists who wish to practice in the schools must be licensed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). The BOEE has two licensing options for school speech-language pathologists. Both options require a master's degree in speech pathology.

Option 1: Professional Service License (PSL). The individual applying for this license must be recommended by the university to the BOEE  based on completion of the university's state-approved program for the School Speech-Language Pathology endorsement. The curriculum of this program is offered in partnership with the College of Education, and is detailed here. This option allows the individual to hold an administrator license and/or endorsement after additional coursework. Option 2 does not allow for this career path.

Option 2: Statement of Professional Recognition (SPR). The individual applying for the SPR must have the license issued from the Professional Licensure Division of the Iowa Department of Public Health. The special education director (or designee) of an area education agency or an administrator in a local school district can submit a letter to the BOEE requesting that an SPR (statement of professional recognition) be issued.

For more information on school licensure in speech-language pathology, contact Krista Davidson, School Licensure Liaison.