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Therapy jobs in educational settings : speech, physical, occupational & audiology(JN)
 9781422218266, 1422218260, 9781422220474, 1422220478

Table of contents :
Chapter 1. Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools?
Chapter 2. Therapy Careers in Education
Chapter 3. Job Opportunities
Chapter 4. Education and Training
Chapter 5. Job Outlook
Further Reading
Find Out More on the Internet
Picture Credits
About the Author
About the Consultant

Citation preview

New Careers for the 21st Century: Finding Your Role in the Global Renewal

Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings: Speech, Physical, Occupational, & Audiology

New Careers for the 21st Century: Finding Your Role in the Global Renewal Careers in Green Energy: Fueling the World with Renewable Resources Environmental Science & Protection: Keeping Our Planet Green Freelance and Technical Writers: Words for Sale Green Construction: Creating Energy-Efficient, Low-Impact Buildings Media in the 21st Century: Artists, Animators, and Graphic Designers Medical Technicians: Health-Care Support for the 21st Century Modern Mechanics: Maintaining Tomorrow’s Green Vehicles The Pharmaceutical Industry: Better Medicine for the 21st Century Physicians’ Assistants & Nurses: New Opportunities in the 21st-Century Health System Social Workers: Finding Solutions for Tomorrow’s Society Tomorrow’s Enterprising Scientists: Computer Software Designers and Specialists Tomorrow’s Teachers: Urban Leadership, Empowering Students & Improving Lives Tomorrow’s Transportation: Green Solutions for Air, Land, & Sea 21st-Century Counselors: New Approaches to Mental Health & Substance Abuse Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings: Speech, Physical, Occupational & Audiology

New Careers for the 21st Century: Finding Your Role in the Global Renewal

Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings: Speech, Physical, Occupational, & Audiology by Camden Flath

Mason Crest Publishers

Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings: Speech, Physical, Occupational, & Audiology Copyright © 2011 by Mason Crest Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. MASON CREST PUBLISHERS INC. 370 Reed Road Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008 (866)MCP-BOOK (toll free) First Printing 987654321 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Flath, Camden, 1987Therapy jobs in educational settings : speech, physical, occupational & audiology / by Camden Flath. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4222-1826-6 ISBN 978-1-4222-1811-2 (series) ISBN 978-1-4222-2047-4 (ppb) ISBN 978-1-4222-2032-0 (series ppb) 1. School health services I. Title. LB3405.F53 2011 371.7’1—dc22 2010021727 Produced by Harding House Publishing Service, Inc. Interior design by MK Bassett-Harvey. Cover design by Torque Advertising + Design. Printed in USA by Bang Printing.

Contents Introduction…6 Chapter 1: Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools?…9 Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education…17 Chapter 3: Job Opportunities…29 Chapter 4: Education and Training…39 Chapter 5: Job Outlook…53 Further Reading…59 Find Out More on the Internet…60 Bibliography…61 Index…62 Picture Credits…63 About the Author/About the Consultant…64


Introduction Be careful as you begin to plan your career. To get yourself in the best position to begin the career of your dreams, you need to know what the “green world” will look like and what jobs will be created and what jobs will become obsolete. Just think, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following jobs are expected to severely decline by 2012: • word processors and data-entry keyers • stock clerks and order fillers • secretaries • electrical and electronic equipment assemblers • computer operators • telephone operators • postal service mail sorters and processing-machine operators • travel agents These are just a few of the positions that will decrease or become obsolete as we move forward into the century. You need to know what the future jobs will be. How do you find them? One way is to look where money is being invested. Many firms and corporations are now making investments in startup and research enterprises. These companies may become the “Microsoft” and “Apple” of the twenty-first century. Look at what is being researched and what technology is needed to obtain the results.


Green world, green economy, green technology—they all say the same things: the way we do business today is changing. Every industry will be shaped by the world’s new focus on creating a sustainable lifestyle, one that won’t deplete our natural and economic resources. The possibilities are unlimited. Almost any area that will conserve energy and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels is open to new and exciting career paths. Many of these positions have not even been identified yet and will only come to light as the technology progresses and new discoveries are made in the way we use that technology. And the best part about this is that our government is behind us. The U.S. government wants to help you get the education and training you’ll need to succeed and grow in this new and changing economy. The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a series of initiatives to support and promote green job creation. To view the report, visit: earthday_reportA.pdf. The time to decide on your future is now. This series, New Careers for the 21st Century: Finding Your Role in the Global Renewal, can act as the first step toward your continued education, training, and career path decisions. Take the first steps that will lead you—and the planet—to a productive and sustainable future. Mike Puglisi Department of Labor, District I Director (New York/New Jersey) IAWP (International Association of Workforce Professionals)


One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect. —Mark Twain

ABOUT THE QUOTE As you think about what you want to do in life, your grades and aptitudes may help shape your career goals. But also pay attention to your emotions. What moves you? What excites you? What are the things you care about most? Those are the things that will keep you committed to whatever career you choose, more than prestige or salary.


Chapter Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools? Words to Know

least restrictive environment: The school setting where a student with special needs can succeed while experiencing something that is as close as possible to “regular” education. due process: Following a set of rules and regulations, fairly and consistently.


rom the time they’re four or five (or even younger) to the time they’re eighteen, people spend a lot of time in school. Some students love school, others dread classes and homework, and then there are some students who have difficulty simply handling the basic routine of school because of illness, intellectual disability, or other problems. These students require special attention to help them be successful. They receive this extra academic attention from teachers, special education teachers, and teaching assistants. However, some of these students need additional help from therapists.


Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Therapists who work in school settings include occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and audiologists. These specialists work with those students who have a variety of problems, including physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities.

Choosing the Right Career The young adults of today will be the job force of tomorrow, so choosing a career that will best fit with the needs of the changing world will be important to job satisfaction and a successful life. With the vast array of career and job options, young adults need to understand which work will be the best match for their interests, talents, goals, and personality types. If you are ready for a challenging but extremely valuable career—one that will help every student achieve the success he deserves—a career as a therapist in an educational setting might be right for you. Certain job industries are expected to gain importance within the early decades of the twenty-first century. The opportunities and the projected job growth for therapy careers will vary, depending on the type of therapist you wish to become. However, in general, job opportunities are projected to be favorable for therapists in educational settings. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth statistics for each type of therapy occupation. For all the categories, employment is expected to grow by an average of 25 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average projected growth of 11 percent for all occupations during that same time.

Chapter 1: Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools?

Who Needs Special Education? Students may qualify for extra educational support if they have one or more of the following disabilities: • learning disabilities • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) • emotional disorders • intellectual disability • an autism-spectrum disorder • hearing impairment • visual impairment • speech or language impairment • developmental delay

Special Education and IDEA Though students with disabilities deserve the same educational opportunities as other students, this was not always the case in the United States. In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the first special education law, requiring “free appropriate public education” be provided to all students with disabilities. Prior to the



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

signing of this “Education for All Handicapped Children Act,” as many as one million students with disabilities were excluded from the opportunity to receive a public education. The law was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, in 1990, and was then revamped in 1997, and again in 2004. The goal in renaming the law was to refocus its purpose from simply providing access, to providing each student

The signing of the first special education law in 1975 made it the right of every child with a disability to receive a free and appropriate public education. Since then, the numbers of children receiving special education under federal programs has increased almost every year.

Chapter 1: Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools?

with the best possible education in the least restrictive environment possible. IDEA 1997 states the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by: (A) having higher expectations for such children and keeping them in regular classrooms as much as possible; (B) increasing the role of parents in the education of their children at school and at home; (C) coordinating IDEA with other local, educational service agencies, as well as State and Federal school improvement efforts, in order to ensure that such children benefit from these efforts and that special education can become a service for such children rather than merely a place where they are sent; (D) providing appropriate special education, related services, and aids or supports in the regular classroom whenever appropriate; (E) supporting high-quality, intensive professional development for all personnel who work with such children in order to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to enable the students: (i) to meet developmental goals and expectations; and (ii) to be prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives; (F) providing incentives for whole-school approaches and prereferral intervention to reduce the need to label children as disabled in order to address their learning needs; and



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

What Kind of Person Are You?

Career-counseling experts know that certain kinds of people do best in certain kinds of jobs. John L. Holland developed the following list of personality types and the kinds of jobs that are the best match for each type. See which one (or two) are most like you. The more you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to make a good career plan for yourself. • Realistic personality: This kind of person likes to do practical, handson work. He or she will most enjoy working with materials that can be touched and manipulated, such as wood, steel, tools, and machinery. This personality type enjoys jobs that require working outdoors, but he or she does NOT enjoy jobs that require a lot of paperwork or close teamwork with others. • Investigative personality: This personality type likes to work with ideas. He or she will enjoy jobs that require lots of thinking and researching. Jobs that require mental problem solving will be a good fit for this personality. • Artistic personality: This type of person enjoys working with forms, designs, and patterns. She or he likes jobs that require selfexpression—and that don’t require following a definite set of rules. • Social personality: Jobs that require lots of teamwork with others, as well as teaching others, are a good match for this personality type. These jobs often involve helping others in some way. • Enterprising personality: This person will enjoy planning and starting new projects, even if that involves a degree of risk-taking. He or she is good at making decisions and leading others. • Conventional personality: An individual with this type of personality likes to follow a clear set of procedures or routines. He or she doesn’t want to be the boss but prefers to work under someone else’s leadership. Jobs that require working with details and facts (more than ideas) are a good fit for this personality.

Chapter 1: Why Are Therapists Needed in Schools?

(G) focusing resources on teaching and learning while reducing paperwork and requirements that do not assist in improving educational results. IDEA 2004 made further updates related to Individualized Education Plan (IEP) content, IEP processes, discipline, due process procedures, private schools, highly qualified special education What Is an IEP? An IEP, or Individualized teachers, surrogate parents, early Education Plan, is an intervention services, and universal education plan created design. In addition, the Elemenfor an individual child that tary and Secondary Education Act sets that child’s goals for a school year, and outlines (ESEA), commonly known as “No any special support that Child Left Behind,” requires greater is needed to help the child accountability for the academic achieve the goals. progress of all children, including those with disabilities. All these laws require that schools work harder than ever to ensure that students with disabilities are getting the same quality of education as all other students. As a result, job opportunities will be excellent for teachers and other workers active in the special education system.


Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose. —Leonardo da Vinci

ABOUT THE QUOTE Do you ever think about why you exist? Do you believe you were created to excel at whatever you do? Or do you find your reason for existence in your ability to help others? Or both? If you had your choice, which would you choose to do: make a million dollars—or discover a way to diminish human suffering? Finding honest answers to these questions are important steppingstones toward discovering the right career for you. You will probably never be rich from the salary you earn in one of the educational therapy careers—so if your purpose in life is to make money, this is not the right career for you! But if you want to make a difference in the happiness and well-being of individuals, these careers are options you might want to consider.


Chapter Therapy Careers in Education Words to Know

fluency: The ability to speak or write smoothly, easily, and clearly. cerebral palsy: A disorder caused by a brain injury before or during birth and causing lack of muscle control, as well as sometimes speech difficulties and learning disabilities. orthopedic: Having to do with the bones, the skeletal system, or the related muscles and tendons. spina bifida: A birth defect in which the spinal column does not close completely, so that part of the spinal cord or its covering may protrude from the opening. Spina bifida can cause paralysis or other neurological problems. cochlear implants: Devices that are surgically attached to the auditory nerve in order to directly transmit sound to the brain, allowing people with certain types of deafness to hear.


ur world has never been more active, more mobile, and more quickly paced than it is now. Students need to receive an education that will prepare them for a successful life in this new world, so classrooms are becoming more technologically advanced, and academic


Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

standards are higher. Some of the new educational standards are hard for the average student to attain, and students with disabilities face additional obstacles to their success. As the world in general becomes easier for many to navigate, with information a click away, students with disabilities have trouble with daily tasks others take for granted. Besides requiring extra academic support from teachers, special education teachers, teaching assistants, and other school staff, students with certain disabilities may need to spend time with therapists to prepare them to more fully participate in school. It is the responsibility of their teachers and parents to develop an appropriate IEP that is tailored to their needs and abilities. If necessary, the IEP will include plans for time with speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or audiologists.

Speech-Language Pathologists Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, work to diagnose, treat, and prevent disorders that affect communication. They specialize in issues related to speech, language, voice, swallowing, fluency of speaking, and understanding of communication. Speech-language pathologists work with children who either cannot produce sounds clearly or cannot produce them at all. They may work with students who have problems with the rhythm or fluency of their speech (which may include stuttering), those who have issues with pitch and volume of their voice, or students

Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education

Speech and Language Disorders Speech disorders include the following problems, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): • Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly. • Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering. • Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice. • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders include difficulties with eating and swallowing. Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive: • Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language. • Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in an appropriate way.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

who have trouble understanding communication. These students may have trouble with memory, attention, or problem-solving that prevents them from learning or understanding communication correctly. Speech-language pathologists also work with children who have trouble swallowing.

An important part of working with young children is choosing toys, games, or books that are age appropriate.

Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education

Issues related to speech, language, and swallowing can be caused by brain injury, developmental problems, learning disabilities, hearing loss, emotional difficulties, or medical conditions (such as cerebral palsy). Problems can be present from birth or acquired later in life. Speech-language pathologists must use special equipment, as well as tests and observation in order to diagnose speech, language, or swallowing issues. When working with young children, speech-language pathologists need to use age appropriate treatments. They will apply a variety of techniques, including language intervention activities, articulation therapy, and oral motor/feeding therapy. Language intervention includes interacting with the child using pictures, books, objects, or other things that will stimulate language development. Language intervention also includes using repetition and demonstrating correct pronunciation. Articulation therapy also includes demonstrations of correct sounds and mouth or tongue movements. Again, for very young children, these demonstrations usually occur during age-appropriate play activities. Finally, oral exercises are used to strengthen muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and face in general. These exercises may include facial massage and eating. Speech-language pathologists will need to keep detailed records of each student, including an evaluation of the child and the progress of treatment. They also work with teachers, parents, and other therapists to create IEPs, or ongoing plans of treatment and care for each student. In addition, they may recommend group programs, counseling, or other classroom support



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

activities for the student. Speech-language pathologists counsel students and their families about communication issues and the difficulties in relationships due to speech problems, providing suggestions as to how to cope with certain issues.

Physical Therapists Physical therapists, also called PTs, are experts in diagnosing and treating children who have medical problems, injuries, or illnesses that limit their movement or ability to perform everyday tasks (such as walking, for instance). Physical therapists focus on what is called gross motor function, meaning large muscle movements Did You Know? like standing, walking, lifting, and According to the Bureau of others. These workers may also have Labor Statistics, 109,900 expertise in assisting students with people were employed as physical therapist smaller motor functions such as assistants and aides in grasping and holding things with 2008. This number is their hands (skills that are needed projected to grow by for basic school tasks like writing). 37,900 jobs through 2018, up 35 percent. The goal of physical therapy in schools is to help children complete the daily tasks that are needed to achieve success in school. Physical therapists work with children who have: • developmental delays • cerebral palsy

Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education

• genetic disorders • orthopedic disabilities • heart and lung conditions • birth defects (such as spina bifida) • effects of in-utero drug or alcohol exposure • acute trauma • head injury • limb deficiencies • muscle diseases

Physical therapists use different exercises to strengthen gross motor skills, like walking.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Physical therapists assess and diagnose movement issues by measuring flexibility and strength and by analyzing how the child walks and runs. They also treat problems with techniques that include various exercises, balance and coordination activities, age-appropriate play, water therapy, and methods to improve circulation (massage, ultrasound, or applying heat and cold). In schools, physical therapists observe and analyze the child’s ability to move independently in the school environment. If problems are discovered, physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment; participate in classroom activities; maintain and change positions in the classroom; as well as manage stairs, restrooms, and the cafeteria. Physical therapists evaluate each child as an individual and work with other therapists, parents, and teachers to develop an appropriate IEP.

Occupational Therapists Occupational therapists help people improve their ability to carry out everyday tasks. Students may have mental, physical, developmental, or emotional conditions that may be limiting their ability to succeed in school. Occupational therapists treat students in order to build and maintain daily living skills. Typically, occupational therapists work with a student to improve her fine motor skills, including holding, grasping, and using her hands for detailed movements. Occupational therapists also work with students to improve reasoning skills, so they can carry out more daily tasks. These therapists strive to help students live independent, fulfilling lives.

Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education

Occupational therapists usually specialize in working with people in a certain age group or population. Therapists employed in schools help students improve their daily functioning. Occupational therapists may assess kids for disabilities, provide therapy, and assist in classroom activities if they are needed. They may lead a group of students or meet with students individually. These workers must consult with teachers, students, and parents,

Audiologists use a variety of techniques to diagnose hearing problems in young children.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

as well as school administrators, in carrying out the best treatment plans for the students with whom they work. Occupational therapists may also work with children who are developmentally delayed, meaning they are developing more slowly than other children their age. Occupational therapy for children usually includes work with the hands, developing listening skills, and improving their ability to care for themselves.

Audiologists Audiologists work with people who have trouble hearing, balance issues, or other problems related to the ear. These workers are experts in identifying and treating hearing loss and other auditory problems. Newborn babies have their hearing tested prior to leaving the hospital. If the test is normal, then the child will be retested at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18. Tests are also done at any other time when there is a concern about a child’s ability to hear. Audiologists use different methods to test hearing, depending on a child’s age, development, or health status. Tests may be behavioral—watching a child’s response to sounds and speech—or physiological—testing parts of the hearing system with sophisticated equipment or computers to discover where a problem may be. Hearing problems are often the result of a variety of injuries and illnesses, but they can also be caused by loud noises, aging, or as a side effect of taking some medications. Patients may have been born with some form of hearing loss due to injury during

Chapter 2: Therapy Careers in Education

birth or acquire their hearing loss later in life from an infection. Treatment for hearing loss or damage includes use of hearing aids or cochlear implants. Audiologists also may counsel children and their families on what hearing loss means to them, teach children to use hearing aids, or explain strategies for communication. In schools, audiologists coordinate care with a variety of other professionals, experts, and administrators. They also work with parents in order to devise the best treatment plan and IEP for each child.

If You Have a Social Personality. . .

A therapy job is an ideal field for you to pursue. Careers in these fields will give you many opportunities to help people who need you. Since you’re genuinely and warmly interested in people and their problems, these careers will keep you constantly interested in your work—and that’s a good thing!

If You Have a Conventional Personality. . .

You might like working as an aide to a speech pathologist or an occupational or physical therapist. Your ability to follow directions in an orderly way will be an asset to you in a position like this—but you might feel overwhelmed to be the one who had to have more decision-making responsibilities.


Don’t give up. Believe in yourself and your purpose. —Laurence G. Boldt

ABOUT THE QUOTE If you have a career goal that excites you, believe in your ability to make it happen. As you talk to others in the field and gather more information, you may find that even seemingly impossible obstacles turn out to not be so great as you first thought. Don’t be afraid to take chances sometimes!


Chapter Job Opportunities Words to Know

ambulatory health-care: Any kind of treatment or therapy given in a nonresidential setting, meaning therapy done in schools, clinics, or offices, rather than in hospitals.

Speech Language Pathologists Employment In 2008, 119,300 speech-language pathologists were employed in their field, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Around 48 percent of these workers were employed in schools, providing speech therapy services to students at all levels. Others working in speech-language pathology worked in hospitals, the private practices of speech-language pathologists, nursing homes, home healthcare services, child day care centers, and a variety of other human and health service settings. Almost one in ten speech-language pathologists working in 2008 were self-employed, providing services in schools, doctor’s


Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

offices, hospitals, or as consultants to private companies. Of all the speech-language pathologists working in 2008, around 40 percent were union members or working in positions covered by union contracts.

Work Environment

Did You Know? Speech-language pathologists who Nine percent of all workers work in educational settings typically employed in speechwork with students in the classroom language pathology in or in an office of their own. Speech 2008 were self-employed, according to the Bureau of therapists must be able to pay close Labor Statistics. attention to detail and focus on the needs of several different students at once. In addition, students’ needs (and, in many cases, those of their families) can be emotionally taxing for many workers in speech therapy. Speech-language pathologists who work in medical settings usually care for patients at their bedsides (in hospitals) or in private practice offices. Some speech-language pathologists work in their clients’ homes, traveling to them by appointment or as is needed. Most full-time speech therapists work a standard forty-hour workweek. Around one out of every five speech-language pathologists worked only part-time in 2008. Workers who have more than one job, or provide services on a contract basis, may need to spend additional time traveling between clients or schools.

Earnings The average yearly income of a speech-language pathologist was $62,930 in 2008. The highest paid 10 percent of these workers

Chapter 3: Job Opportunities

made more than $99,220 per year, on average. The lowest earning 10 percent made average yearly earnings of under $41,240. The middle 50 percent of speech-language pathologists made average incomes of between $50,330 and $79,620 per year. Some employers may also pay speech-language pathologists to continue their education, a requirement for many workers in this occupation who are licensed to work by the state.

Blowing bubbles with children is one technique a speech pathologist might use to help strengthen muscles of the face and mouth.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of speech-language pathologists were:  Nursing care facilities  Home health care services  General medical and surgical hospitals  Offices of other health practitioners  Elementary and secondary schools

$79,120 77,030 68,430 67,910 58,140

[From http://www.Bureau of Labor]

Physical Therapists Employment The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2008, around 185,500 workers were employed as physical therapists. This number may be higher than the number of people actually working in physical therapy because many workers in the occupation work multiple jobs. Most physical therapists were employed in hospitals or the offices of other health practitioners. Others worked in schools, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or in home healthcare services. Some of the physical therapists working in 2008 were self-employed and owned their own private practices. These workers see clients by appointment and provide their services to larger medical facilities like hospitals, health clinics or nursing homes, as well providing physical therapy to students in schools. In some cases, physical therapists teach in educational settings and conduct research.

Chapter 3: Job Opportunities

Work Environment Physical therapists work in schools, hospitals, health clinics, and private practices. Work as a PT can be physically demanding due to the amount of lifting, crouching, standing, and kneeling involved in working with patients during their therapy. Physical therapists may need to move heavy equipment, or even lift and move the student or patients they are working with. Full-time physical therapists usually work forty hours a week. Some of these physical therapists also work at night or on weekends in order to best fit the schedules of their patients or clients. Around 27 percent of physical therapists worked part-time in 2008.

Physical therapy exercise can be very physically demanding, both on the child and the therapist.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Earnings The average yearly wages of a physical therapist was $72,790 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paid 10 percent of physical therapists earned more than $104,350 per year, while the lowest paid 10 percent made under $50,350 each year. The middle 50 percent of physical therapists made between $60,300 and $85,540 per year. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of physical therapists in May 2008 were:  Home health care services  Nursing care facilities  General medical and surgical hospitals  Offices of physicians  Offices of other health practitioners

$77,630 76,680 73,270 72,790 71,400

[From http://www.Bureau of Labor]

Occupational Therapists Employment In 2008, occupational therapists held around 104,500 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-nine percent of all occupational therapists were employed in ambulatory health-care services, more than in any other industry. Occupational therapists work in private and public schools at all levels, hospitals, doctor’s offices, the private practices of other occupational therapists, and nursing homes. Some occupational therapists were employed in home healthcare, health clinics,

Chapter 3: Job Opportunities

doctor’s offices, and elderly care facilities. Others (though not many) worked in their own private practices providing services to nursing homes, home healthcare service companies, hospitals, and schools of all levels. These workers also see clients referred to them by other medical professionals.

Work Environment Occupational therapists often work in large rooms or offices equipped with the machines and tools they need to provide a range of care to patients, particularly in hospitals or health care clinics. Occupational therapy can be difficult due the amount of work that must be done standing. Moving clients or medical equipment can also lead to fatigue or even injury. Full-time occupational therapists typically work forty hours a week. Thirty-one percent of all occupational therapists working in 2008 worked in part-time positions. Many occupational therapists work more than one job at once, commuting between care facilities. Occupational therapists who work either full-time or part-time may need to be available after the school day has ended for a variety of activities or appointments with students. In 2008, around 15 percent of all working audiologists were union members or employed in jobs covered under union contracts.

Earnings In 2008, the average yearly wages of an occupational therapist was $66,780, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, the highest paid 10 percent of occupational therapists



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

made more than $98,310 per year, while the lowest earning 10 percent were paid annual incomes of less than $42,820. The middle 50 percent of occupational therapists made between $55,090 and $81,290 per year. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of occupational therapists in May 2008 were:  Home health care services  Nursing care facilities  Offices of other health care practitioners  General medical and surgical hospitals  Elementary and secondary schools

$74,510 72,790 69,360 68,100 60,020

[From http://www.Bureau of Labor]

Audiologists Employment According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12,800 audiologists were employed in their field. Only 14 percent of these workers held positions in educational services, working with students at all levels. The majority of audiologists (64 percent of all those employed in the occupation) were employed in healthcare, either in doctor’s offices, hospitals, or other health clinics. In addition, audiologists are hired to work for state and local governments in some cases.

Work Environment Audiologists usually work out of offices, in schools, private practices, or in hospitals. These workers must have great ability to focus on many tasks at once. Patients of all ages and their fami-

Chapter 3: Job Opportunities

lies may also have demands on audiologists that take an emotional toll on workers in this occupation. Full-time audiologists typically work forty hours a week, though this may include evening or weekend hours in order to meet the needs of their clients. Audiologists who work on a contract basis often spend time traveling between clients or facilities as well.

Earnings The average yearly earnings of an audiologist were $62,030 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest earning 10 percent of audiologists made an average of more than $98,880 per year. The lowest paid 10 percent earned yearly incomes of less than $40,360. The middle 50 percent of audiologists earned between $50,470 and $78,380 per year. In addition, some employers pay audiologists to continue their education, a requirement of many state licenses.

If You Have a Creative Personality. . .

You might be able to find ways to combine your artistic tendencies with a career in one of the educational therapy jobs. Music and art can be useful therapeutic tools for many groups of people (especially children)—but keep in mind that the focus of these careers will not be the arts!

If You Have a Realistic Personality. . .

You might consider investigating educational therapy jobs. These careers will allow you to use specific tools you can see and touch to help people with practical problems.


Learning can be defined as the process of remembering what you are interested in. —Richard Saul Wurman

ABOUT THE QUOTE At this point in your life, you may feel tired of going to school. But you will soon be at the point in your life where you will get to choose the things you study. Take time to discover what really interests you, and the process of preparing for your career will be both exciting and fulfilling.


Chapter Education and Training Words to Know

master’s degree: A graduate degree that may be earned following a bachelor’s degree, usually taking about two years to complete. doctoral degree: The highest graduate degree; usually involves three years of coursework and a dissertation. bachelor’s: The degree earned by a student who completes an undergraduate course of study, usually taking about four years.

Speech-Language Pathologists Most positions in speech-language pathology require that applicants hold a master’s degree. The majority of speech-language pathologists also must be certified or licensed by the state where they live. The requirements for state certification are different in each of the forty-seven states that regulate speech-language pathologists.

Education and Training Speech-language pathologists will need to hold a master’s degree in order to qualify for many (if not all) speech-language therapy


Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Since some speech and language problems are caused by physical problems, speech-language pathologists will need to take anatomy courses and gain a clear understanding of how the mouth and tongue produce sounds and speech.

Chapter 4: Education and Training

jobs. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation accredits colleges and universities offering majors for speech-language pathology. Many states make graduation from an accredited speech-language pathology program part of their requirements for workers seeking to become state licensed in speech-language pathology. In addition, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association award professional credentials only to speech-language pathologists who have graduated from accredited programs. Graduate-level speech-language pathology programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, human development, speech-language disorders, and how communication affects thinking and Did you know? understanding. Students in these In 2009, around 240 programs will also learn how to colleges and universities offered master’s and diagnose and treat speech-language doctoral degree programs and swallowing disorders. In many in speech-language cases, some students learn these pathology accredited by skills in supervised clinical settings. the American SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association.

Licensure and Certification

As of 2009, forty-seven states regulate speech-language pathologists, requiring that these workers earn a license or certification awarded by the state government. While the requirements for these licenses vary from state to state, most speech-language pathologists will have to hold a master’s degree, have passed a



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

test given by the Educational Testing Service, completed between 300 and 375 hours of supervised work experience, and finished nine months of professional experience after that. In addition, most states require that speech-language pathologists continue to take courses in order to renew their licenses. Most insurance companies will not reimburse patients for their speech therapy unless the therapist is licensed by the state. State licensing of speech therapists is sometimes different for workers employed in schools, as some states regulate these workers through their Departments of Education. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers a voluntary professional credential (the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)) that may meet many (if not all) state licensing requirements. To earn this credential, workers must have a graduate degree, finish thirty-six weeks of fellowship after graduation, and pass the examination administered by the Education Testing Service.

Other Qualifications and Advancement Speech-language pathologists must be able to explain complicated test results, diagnoses, and treatments in a way that can be understood by children and their families. These workers must have good communication skills in order to effectively work with students. Speech-language pathologists must be able to provide support when diagnosing or treating students, as well. Speech therapy can be a long, sometimes frustrating process. Speechlanguage pathologists must be compassionate and patient during therapy, taking the time to listen to their clients.

Chapter 4: Education and Training

Advancement Speech-language pathologists usually advance in their careers by focusing on one aspect of speech therapy, either working with a specific population (such as schoolchildren) or working on a specific disorder (such as the effect of learning disabilities on communication development). Some workers may choose to become certified in a single area of speech-language pathology. Other therapists will work with new workers in the occupation, helping to train or supervise them in their work.

Physical Therapists Education and Training The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), part of the American Physical Therapy Association, accredits programs in physical therapy. In 2009, 212 of these programs were accredited. Of these, twelve were master’slevel programs, and two hundred were at the doctoral level. Only graduate-level programs are accredited by CAPTE. Master’s programs typically last between two and two and a half years, whereas doctoral programs usually last a full three years. Most physical therapist educational programs consist of courses in biology, anatomy, development, and human behavior, as well as training in clinical settings. Courses based in clinical settings may include medical evaluations, tests, diagnoses, and other topics. In addition, students in these programs will need to complete several hours of supervised experience in the field.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Some undergraduate coursework in anatomy, biology, social sciences, and mathematics can serve students in graduate physical therapy programs well. Some programs require that program applicants volunteer in the field before gaining admission.

Licensure All states require that physical therapists become licensed by their state in order for them to provide their services to the public, though the requirements for licensure vary from state to state. In most states, physical therapists must have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program, passed the National Physical Therapy Examination, and completed any further examinations given by the state. Many states also mandate that physical therapists continue their education in order to maintain their license.

Other Qualifications Physical therapists will need to have good communication skills in order to explain diagnoses and treatments to children who may have trouble understanding medical issues. Physical therapists must also exhibit compassion for both the students and their families.

Advancement Physical therapists typically attend courses or workshops in order to further their education and knowledge about their field. In addition, some workers will choose to specialize in one area of physical therapy, increasing their value in the job market. Some

Chapter 4: Education and Training

Good communication skills are important when physical therapists are explaining a diagnosis or teaching a child how to use a piece of equipment, like crutches.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

workers will start their own private practices, providing services for medical facilities or schools.

Occupational Therapists Education and Training Occupational therapists will typically need a master’s degree or higher education in order to qualify for entry into the field. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredits educational programs in occupational therapy. Therapists must attend an accredited program in order to qualify for a state license. In 2009, ACOTE had accredited 150 master’s programs or combined bachelor’s and master’s programs. The council had accredited four doctoral degree programs at that time. Though most students will attend full-time programs in order to get their degree, part-time and weekend programs are being offered more and more. Courses in educational programs in occupational therapy most often include subjects such as physics, biology, and behavioral science, as well as education in occupational therapy topics and techniques. All programs require that students complete at least a few months of supervised work in their field. Students not yet in college should take courses in sciences (from biology to health). Volunteer experience can also help students gain admission in university or college occupational therapy programs. Undergraduate students may consider majoring in biology, sociology, liberal arts, or anatomy (among other majors),

Chapter 4: Education and Training

before entering graduate-level programs in occupational therapy.

Licensure Occupational therapists must be licensed in their state. In order to earn a state license, therapists must have graduated from an accredited program and pass a national test. Therapists will then be given the title Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). The requirements for licensure change from state to state. In some states, the requirements for therapists who work in schools

Occupational therapists work with children’s fine motor skills. For very young children therapy could include playing with blocks.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

or with children in other settings are different from the usual requirements for all other occupational therapists. Typically, these requirements include courses in education or a certification in education.

Certification and Other Qualifications Certification is entirely voluntary. Occupational therapists who want to become certified and designated Occupational Therapists Registered (OTR) must pass a test administered by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy. In some states, this national certification meets the licensing requirements mandated by law, though most have their own examinations. Occupational therapists are usually required to continue taking courses to renew their licenses and maintain their expertise. Workers in occupational therapy must have strong communication skills and be able to work well with others, particularly children and their families. They must also be patient due to the length of time involved in most therapy.

Advancement Occupational therapists may advance in their careers by taking on positions as supervisors or managers. These workers may supervise therapy assistants and aides. They may also move on to become administrators at health clinics or hospitals. Specializing in working with a specific population or area of occupational therapy can also advance a therapist’s career. Some therapists will advance to teach courses in therapy in educational programs.

Chapter 4: Education and Training

Audiologists Education and Training In order to qualify for this license, as well as many positions in audiology, workers must hold at least a master’s degree, and more often a doctoral degree. In 2009, eighteen states required that new applicants for licenses to practice audiology hold a doctoral degree. This typically means four years of courses in a graduatelevel doctoral program in audiology. After completion of these programs, audiologists are given the AuD designation.

An understanding of the anatomy of the human ear is important for audiologists. Therefore, programs in audiology will require courses in human anatomy.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), is responsible for accrediting programs in audiology programs. In 2009, the CAA had accredited seventy doctoral programs in audiology. Many states make graduation from an accredited program a requirement to obtain a license. Students in these programs take courses in anatomy, human development, medical ethics, hearing assessment, and many other subjects. In most cases, students in graduate programs will also be required to complete a number of supervised work hours in a clinical environment.

Licensure and Certification All states mandate that audiologists must be licensed in order to practice. Each state has its own requirements for audiologists who wish to become licensed. In some states, licenses for audiology and the ability to give hearing aids to patients are regulated separately, meaning some workers will need to get a second license called a Hearing Aid Dispenser license. Many states mandate that workers renew their licenses periodically by taking courses to maintain their base of knowledge in their field. The requirements for these licenses are different from state to state. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers audiologists the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). In addition, the American Board of Audiology may credential these workers. These professional credentials may allow workers to bypass some or all of the requirements for State licensure.

Chapter 4: Education and Training

Other Qualifications and Advancement Audiologists must be able to explain clearly test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans to children and their families. They must be able to provide support for clients and their families despite what can often be slow progress during audiological treatment. Good listening and communication skills are a must for workers in this occupation. Compassion for students and a desire to help others will also help workers in audiology cope with what can be emotionally taxing work. Audiologists must always seek to understand new and changing treatments, diagnostic techniques, or technologies used in client care. Many of these workers will need to take courses in order to keep their base of knowledge current. Audiologists may advance in their careers by opening their own practices or being promoted to positions in hospital and clinic management.

If You Have an Investigative Personality. . .

You might enjoy putting your skills to work to find practical answers to people’s hearing, speech, or movement problems. Therapy jobs will give you some opportunities to use math and science in your work, which you will enjoy, and you will need to have a good background in anatomy and physiology.


The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today. —Ebert Hubbard

ABOUT THE QUOTE You may feel as though your adult career still lies far in the future. But right now is the bridge that leads into the future. By consistently doing good work wherever you are now—today in high school, again when you are in college, then when you land your first entry-level position, and so on through the rest of your life—you build the steps that will lead you to new opportunities.


Chapter Job Outlook Words to Know

specialized: Focused in one area or field of study.

Speech-Language Pathologists Employment Change The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of speech-language pathologists will grow by 19 percent through 2018, faster than the 11 percent average rate of growth for all occupations. Employment of speech therapists in educational services is on track to increase due to the growing student populations in both elementary and secondary schools. The increased enrollment of students with special needs, including issues with speech, communication, and swallowing will also lead to increased employment of speech-language pathologists. IDEA guarantees special education services to children with disabilities. This includes speech therapy. As the country gains greater awareness of speech and language disorders, as well as


Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

the importance of early diagnosis of these disorders in children, employment of speech-language pathologists will increase.

Job Prospects The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that speech-language pathologists will have numerous job opportunities due to growth in the occupation and the retirement of currently employed pathologists. Workers who speak a second language are likely to have improved job prospects. Employers’ hiring of speech therapists may vary from area to area, so workers may need to be willing to move to find work in the field.

Physical Therapists Employment Change The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of physical therapists to grow by 30 percent through 2018, much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations. Like speech-language pathologists, physical therapists are likely to see growth in employment opportunities at schools due to IDEA, which guarantees that students have access to services from physical therapists should they need it in order to learn effectively. An increase of the number of children who are receiving special education services and therapy in schools will lead to an increased demand for physical therapists.

Job Prospects Licensed physical therapists will have good job opportunities in all work settings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chapter 5: Job Outlook

Workers in highly populated urban centers will find they face more competition than physical therapists seeking work in rural areas.

Physical therapists who work with children in school settings are expected to have good job opportunities over the next decade, though opportunities will vary depending on the region.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Occupational Therapists Employment Change Employment of occupational therapists is projected to increase by 26 percent through 2018, much faster than the average rate for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational therapists working in educational settings should have high employment growth, due to the increased number of children and young adults attending both private and public schools. In addition, the number of students who are eligible to receive special education and therapy services in schools continues to grow, due in part to changes in federal law. Occupational therapists will be increasingly hired to work with these students, helping them achieve their best in the classroom.

Job Prospects Job opportunities for licensed occupational therapists are projected to be good through 2018. Occupational therapists who have specialized knowledge in a particular kind of treatment will have better chances of finding a job.

Audiologists Employment Change The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of audiologists will grow much faster than the average rate of growth across all occupations. Through 2018, employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 25 percent.

Chapter 5: Job Outlook

Demand for audiologists in schools is also on track to increase over the next few years. As more students enroll in public and private schools of all levels, including many more children with special needs, employment of audiologists in educational settings will increase. The growing elderly population will also require audiology services. Audiologists working with senior citizens will need to primarily treat hearing and balance impairments. Advances in medical technology have spurred increased employment in audiology in several significant ways. First, babies born prematurely and people who have suffered grave injuries have a much greater chance of surviving today than they once did, thanks to modern technology. These patients will need to be evaluated for hearing and ear-related problems. In addition, many of these patients will need treatment. Hearing aid technology has also advanced dramatically since the time when many patients received their first hearing aid. Audiologists will be able to help people with out-of-date hearing aids replace them with newer, smaller, better working versions. Due to their small size and increased effectiveness, hearing aids have become more appealing to many people, another factor driving employment of audiologists.

Job Prospects Due to the small overall number of people working as audiologists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job seekers will find few openings in audiology. Some positions will need to be filled due to workers retiring or moving into other work, but



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

this number is likely to be small, especially because of the high number of people who work in audiology until they retire. Audiologists who hold an AuD degree are expected to have the best chances finding work in the field. Demand for audiologists and workDid You Know? ers in related careers may be higher The Bureau of Labor in areas where there are many workStatistics projects that, ers who are retiring. New workers by 2018, 3,200 more may need to be willing to move in audiologists will be employed in their field, order to find work in audiology. up 25 percent from 2008 employment levels.

One thing that’s clear: the twentyfirst century will need people to fill therapy jobs, especially in educational settings. If this is an area that appeals to you, it might be a good choice for your future. Go to the library, talk to your guidance counselor, talk to the various therapists who work in your school district. Find out all you can about this career field to determine if it’s the right one for you.

If You Have an Enterprising Personality. . .

You might want to start your career in an educational setting, with the goal of one day, once you have enough experience, opening your own practice. As your own boss, you would have plenty of chances to let your energetic, sociable, and ambitious nature shine. Your dedication and good work at lower-level jobs are usually what allow you to one day attain managementlevel positions.

Further Reading

Further Reading Campbell, Suzann K., Robert J. Palisano, and Darl W. Vander Linden. Physical Therapy for Children. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Saunders, 2006. Hicks, Patricia Larkins. Opportunities in Speech Language Pathology Careers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Jenkinson, Jill, Tessa Hyde, and Saffia Ahmad. Building Blocks for Learning Occupational Therapy Approaches: Practical Strategies for the Inclusion of Special Needs in Primary School. Chicester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Krumhansl, Bernice. Opportunities in Physical Therapy Careers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. Schraeder, Trici. A Guide to School Services in Speech-Language Pathology. San Diego, Calif.: Plural Publishing, 2008. Wallach, Geraldine P. Language Intervention for School-Age Students: Setting Goals for Academic Success. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby, 2007. Weeks, Zona. Opportunities in Occupational Therapy Careers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Find Out More on the Internet American Academy of Audiology The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Audiology Online, “Occupational Therapy”

Disclaimer The websites listed on this page were active at the time of publication. The publisher is not responsible for websites that have changed their address or discontinued operation since the date of publication. The publisher will review and update the websites upon each reprint.


Bibliography, “Audiologists,” (18 May 2010)., “Occupational Therapists,” http://online.onetcenter. org/link/summary/11-9199.10 (18 May 2010)., “Physical Therapists,” link/summary/29-1123.00 (18 May 2010)., “Speech-Language Pathologists,” (18 May 2010). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Audiologists,” http://www.Bureau of Labor (18 May 2010). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Therapists,” http://www.Bureau of Labor ocos078.htm (18 May 2010). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Physical Therapists,” http://www.Bureau of Labor ocos080.htm (18 May 2010). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides,” http://www.Bureau of Labor (18 May 2010). United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Speech-Language Pathologists,” http://www.Bureau of Labor (18 May 2010).



Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

Index American Speech-LanguageHearing Association 19, 41–42, 50 AuD 49, 58 audiologists 10, 18, 26–27, 35–37, 49–51, 56–58 Bureau of Labor Statistics 10, 22, 29–30, 32, 34–37, 53–54, 56–58 degrees bachelor’s 39, 46 doctoral 39, 41, 43, 46, 49–50 master’s 39, 41–43, 46, 49 doctor’s offices 29, 32, 34, 36 health clinics 29, 32–36, 48 hearing aids 27, 50, 57 hospitals 26, 29–30, 32–36, 48, 51 Individualized Education Plan (IEP) 15, 18, 21, 24, 27 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 11–13, 15, 53–54 licenses 31, 37, 39, 41–42, 44, 46–50, 54, 56

No Child Left Behind 15 nursing homes 29, 32, 34–35 Occupational Therapists Registered (OTR) 47–48 occupational therapy 35, 46–48 therapists 10, 18, 24–27, 34–36, 46–48, 56 physical therapy 22, 24, 32, 43–44, 46 therapists 10, 18, 22, 24, 27, 32–34, 43–44, 54 private practice 29–30, 32–36, 46 special education 11, 13, 15, 53–54, 56 teachers 9, 15, 18 speech therapy 29–30, 42–43, 53 therapists 10, 18, 30, 42, 53–54 teaching assistants 9, 18 volunteering 44, 46

Picture Credits

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Therapy Jobs in Educational Settings

About the Author Camden Flath is a writer living and working in Binghamton, New York. He has a degree in English and has written several books for young people. He is interested in current political, social, and economic issues and applies those interests to his writing.

About the Consultant Michael Puglisi is the director of the Department of Labor’s Workforce New York One Stop Center in Binghamton, New York. He has also held several leadership positions in  the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP), a non-profit educational association exclusively dedicated to workforce professionals with a rich tradition and history of contributions to workforce excellence. IAWP members receive the tools and resources they need to effectively contribute to the workforce development system daily. By providing relevant education, timely and informative communication and valuable findings of pertinent research, IAWP equips its members with knowledge, information and practical tools for success. Through its network of local and regional chapters, IAWP is preparing its members for the challenges of tomorrow.