Illinois Speech Language Pathology Schools - IL
The state of Illinois employs over 6700 speech language pathologists (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are employed in a range of settings, including clinics, physician offices, schools, and as educators in speech language pathology programs at colleges and universities. The average annual salary in Illinois is $100,000 (Indeed.com), which places this state well above the 90th percentile for salary nationally. In a comparison of neighboring states, Missouri’s average annual salary is $100,000, Iowa’s is $95,000, Wisconsin’s is $75,000, and Indiana’s is $96,000.
Speech Language Pathologist Education in Illinois
Majoring in speech language pathology or communication disorders is highly recommended for a bachelor’s degree, but if the university you choose to attend does not offer such a program, then majoring in a science field and focusing your courses heavily in the sciences (i.e. physiology, psychology, anatomy, biology, social and behavioral sciences) will more than adequately prepare you for the next stage.
A master’s degree earned online or through campus based speech pathology schools in Illinois is the basic requirement. It is also necessary that the program be approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), as this makes the process easier when applying for state licensure (this requirement will be discussed in more detail in another section). Currently eleven (11) programs in Illinois offer a master’s degree (Master of Science or Master of Arts) in speech language pathology. Programs vary in length from 1-2 years and include classroom education as well as internship and clinical requirements. During the internship/clinical rotation, students are mentored by practicing clinicians and gain experience in the field as they apply their classroom knowledge. These can also be great networking opportunities for potential employment.
An additional degree, the doctorate degree, is not a requirement to practice as a speech language pathologist but is an available option. This degree is particularly beneficial for those who are interested in teaching in the field or focusing on research. There are currently no universities in Illinois that offer a doctoral program in speech language pathology. There are however two (2) universities offering research doctorate degrees in the related field of speech and hearing sciences and five (5) that offer clinical doctorate degrees in the related field of audiology.