Speech Pathologists provide diagnostic assessment and management of disorders of communication and swallowing through direct intervention, education, consultancy, advocacy, or a combination of these approaches.

    An accredited bachelor or masters degree in speech-language pathology is needed to work as a Speech Pathologist. Many Speech Pathologists complete postgraduate studies.

    Tasks

    • Administers tests and observes patients to determine nature and extent of disorders.
    • Plans and conducts programs of remedial exercises to correct disorders such as stuttering and abnormal articulation.
    • Administers individual and group therapy for rehabilitation of patients with communication problems caused by defective hearing, cerebral palsy, surgery and injury.
    • Advises on treatment for children with difficulties in learning to speak.
    • Counsels and guides language-handicapped individuals, their families, teachers and employers.

    More about Audiologists and Speech Pathologists

    All Audiologists and Speech Pathologists

    • $1,827 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Speech Pathologists

    • 7,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 56% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 34 years Average age
    • 97% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Speech Pathologists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 5,300 in 2011 to 7,300 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a small occupation.
    • Location: Speech Pathologists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Education and Training; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Full-time: More than half work full-time (56%, similar to the average of 66%), but there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 34 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 97% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Speech Pathologists.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance75.8
    Education and Training16.8
    Public Administration and Safety6.1
    Other Services1.0
    Other Industries0.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateSpeech PathologistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW30.131.6
    VIC26.725.6
    QLD20.420.0
    SA8.17.0
    WA10.910.8
    TAS2.02.0
    NT0.51.0
    ACT1.31.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSpeech PathologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.05.0
    20-2410.9-9.39.3
    25-3441.1-22.922.9
    35-4425.4-22.022.0
    45-5414.4-21.621.6
    55-594.8-9.09.0
    60-642.4-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.0-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationSpeech PathologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate27.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree71.8-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.3-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.0-21.121.1
    Year 120.6-18.118.1
    Year 110.0-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

    An accredited bachelor or masters degree in speech-language pathology is needed to work as a Speech Pathologist. Many Speech Pathologists complete postgraduate studies.

    Membership with Speech Pathology Australia may be useful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • first aid certificate
    • be up to date with immunisations

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Audiologists and Speech Pathologists who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. English language

      81% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    2. Education and training

      71% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    3. Psychology

      68% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    4. Customer and personal service

      66% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Therapy and counselling

      66% Skill level

      Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1127.00 - Speech-Language Pathologists.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Contact with people

      97% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    2. Face-to-face discussions

      95% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    3. Teamwork

      93% Important

      Work with people in a group or team.

    4. Electronic mail

      90% Important

      Use electronic mail.

    5. Indoors, heat controlled

      90% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1127.00 - Speech-Language Pathologists.

    go to top