Speech Pathology Schools in Georgia - GA
According to figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2100 speech language pathologists are employed in various settings in the state of Georgia. These settings include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home health care, private practice, schools, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and educational settings such as colleges and universities. The average annual salary for a speech language pathologist in Georgia is $108,000 (Indeed.com), which is approximately $9000 over the 90th percentile of the national average annual salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Speech Language Pathologist Education in Georgia
Education towards a career in speech language pathology begins with an undergraduate degree. Majoring in speech language pathology or communication sciences and disorders is highly recommended, with the suggested courses including biology, physiology, anatomy, psychology, semantics, and social and behavioral sciences. Since there is not a specific requirement as an undergraduate major, any university in the state of Georgia will be acceptable as long as the recommended curriculum is followed.
A graduate (i.e. master’s) degree earned through online or campus based speech pathology schools in Georgia is required. In addition to further classroom studies, the graduate program introduces the student to internship experiences where they are given the opportunity to practice skill sets and techniques relevant to the field. Currently five (5) universities in Georgia offer a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Education degree in speech language pathology. All of these programs are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), which is considered the gold standard of accreditation for speech language pathology graduate programs. These programs run from one (1) to two (2) years in length, and include the minimum requirement of 400 clinical hours. The primary factor to consider when selecting a graduate program is where you wish to go in the field (i.e. research, teaching, or clinical role). For example, one who wishes to focus on research would benefit from attending a graduate program that specialized in research, offered state of the art facilities to do so, and required a thesis prior to graduation.
Although not required, a doctoral degree in speech language pathology is also an educational option beyond the master’s degree level. Two (2) types of doctoral degrees are offered academically; the clinical doctorate and the research doctorate. A clinical doctorate will benefit one who wishes to focus on the clinical (practice and administration) component of the profession while the research doctorate is designed for those who seek to instruct at the university level and/or further pursue research in the field of speech language pathology. There is currently only one (1) doctoral program offered in the state of Georgia and it is a research doctorate program.