Careers in Communication Disorders

The personnel who work in the field of communication disorders are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. These professionals, evaluate, treat and conduct research into human communication and its disorders. The practice and work of these individuals may take place in many types of settings: hospitals, schools, universities, private practice, research laboratories and industry. These individuals may collaborate with medical specialists, educators, engineers, scientists and other allied health professionals and technicians.

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Help those who stutter to increase fluency
  • Assist with developing control of vocal and respiratory systems for correct voice production
  • Treat people who have experienced brain trauma to regain language, speech and swallowing ability
  • Improve the oral and written language skills of children
  • Help individuals use assistive systems of communication
  • Counsel individuals and families so that they may better cope with communication disorders
  • Offer advice on prevention of communication disorders 


  • Measure hearing ability of children and adults
  • Provide aural rehabilitation, including counseling to reduce the effects of hearing loss
  • Assess hearing aids and instruct in their use and care
  • Initiate public and private hearing conservation programs
  • Administer and interpret special diagnostic tests such as electrophysiological response audiometry and electronystagmography
  • Initiate clinical and basic research related to hearing loss and its effects
  • Serve as consultants on environmental and noise-induced hearing loss     

Speech, Language, and Hearing Scientists

  • Investigate processes underlying human communication
  • Explore psychological, social, and psychophysiological aspects of communication
  • Collaborate with physicians, dentists, engineers, and educators to develop new treatment approaches
  • Apply newly discovered basic knowledge and emerging technology to issues of clinical practice