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.
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.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Audiologists and Speech Pathologists, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 56% of people employed as Speech Pathologists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Speech Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
Around 66% of Speech Pathologists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
- Melbourne - Inner South
- Melbourne - Inner East
- Brisbane Inner City.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Speech Pathologists is 34 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 97% of the workforce. This is 49 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Speech Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
An accredited bachelor or masters degree in speech-language pathology is needed to work as a Speech Pathologist.
Registration with Speech Pathology Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Speech Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||27.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
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.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Teaching people how to do something.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
54%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Looking for ways to help people.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
71%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
66%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
66%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
53%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
47%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
44%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
40%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
37%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
32%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
27%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
25%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
24%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
18%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
14%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Read and understand written information.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Tell the difference between sounds.
54%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
See details that are far away.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
74%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
71%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
67%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
66%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
65%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
64%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
64%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
64%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
62%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
62%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
61%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
60%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
60%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
59%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
57%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
55%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
52%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
47%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
44%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
Use electronic mail.
90%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
89%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
83%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
76%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
75%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
74%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Work to strict deadlines.
73%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
73%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
66%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
65%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
62%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
53%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
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.