With graduation fast approaching in the coming weeks for many SLP students, we have invited guest blogger Matt Honaker from Advanced Medical, a therapy staffing company that provides travel physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language therapy jobs in specialties and locations nationwide. We hope this will give new graduates some practical advice on job-seeking in today’s market. Enjoy.
Career Advice for New SLP Grads
For most novices to Speech-Language Pathology, the stress of grad school doesn’t disappear on graduation day. While classes are over, your brand new career is just starting, and now, applying for jobs is on the agenda. But before diving into the application process, there are several things to consider. For instance, in many cases, the job you get now will set the standard and act as a basis for all other work to come. So, it pays to do just a little bit more homework and pave out a pathway to future success in your field. Choosing your job setting, position style, and career focus can help you better design a plan for your future that both suits your professional interests and supports your personal needs.
Job settings for Speech-Language Pathologists often come in the form of a school or a hospital. Understanding the expectations of each can help you gauge your interest in one or the other. SLPs in hospitals tend to work with adult patients with acquired disorders, while therapists who work SLP school jobs work with children with developmental disorders. Of the two, hospitals also necessitate a faster pace, heavier caseload, and less flexible schedule. However, hospitals also offer higher salaries.
In the way of position style, traveling speech pathologists often gain more freedom than those in permanent positions. However, travel positions do only last 3-months at a time. Still, there are far more benefits to starting out in a travel position than diving right into a permanent job. In addition to the substantial pay and all-inclusive benefits, traveling speech therapy jobs allow therapists to try various job settings before choosing one. It also provides an opportunity for newly graduated SLPs to do some traveling while they continue to enhance their role as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Finally, if your career focus has not already been determined, keep an open mind. Set a five-year plan, but don’t force yourself to actualize everything on your agenda. Ultimately, your career focus should be based on what interests you most and what will make you the SLP you’ve dreamed of being. For example, if you grew up bilingual, feel comfortable teaching and counseling others, and are happy doing so, then focus your career around language disorders. Even if you are working in all facets of SLP in your day job, your interests and outside study should still be actively pursued. Be true to yourself and focus in on a career track that best suits you.
Advanced Medical, is a therapy staffing company that provides travel physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language therapy jobs in specialties and locations nationwide. By focusing on quality and integrity, Advanced Medical has emerged at the forefront of the travel therapy staffing industry.