Speech-Language Pathologist Salary: Your 2024 Salary Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Speech pathology is a career focused on helping others. Learn more about this rewarding career and how much speech pathologists can earn.

[Featured Image] A blonde, female speech pathologist works with a young male student using flashcards.

A speech-language pathologist diagnoses and treats children and adults who struggle with speech impediments, processing language, pronouncing words or sounds, or swallowing and eating. These issues may result from a development delay, injury, illness, or aging. Speech-language pathology is an in-demand field, offering many opportunities for growth and flexibility within the profession.

Speech-language pathologists can work in various settings, remotely from home or in an office, as freelancers, or as full-time employees. A speech-language pathologist's salary will vary with work location, schedule, certifications, and more. 

Speech-language pathologist salary information

Canadian wage statistics show that speech-language pathologists earned a median wage of $44.00 per hour as of January 2023 [1]. The highest median wages are found in Alberta and Nova Scotia, at $52.58 per hour and $50.55, respectively.  

Factors that can impact earning potential 

A speech pathologist may work in various environments and with different populations, so where you work and who you work with will affect your salary. 

Some speech pathologists work as freelancers or contract workers, travelling to people’s homes or working from home. Others may have a position within a medical facility or school. 

Work environment and employer 

Speech-language pathologists can choose to work in nursing homes, hospitals, physicians' offices, educational facilities, and more.


Your location within Canada can significantly influence your earning potential as a speech pathologist. Some of the highest-paying territories or provinces for speech-language pathologists include Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba. In contrast, some of the lowest-paying territories or provinces include Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick [1]. Working in a metropolitan area may also afford you more opportunities for higher-paying positions, depending on the area where you work. 


Speech-language pathologists need certification in some provinces and territories, but not all. In addition to potential regional certifications, most are members of Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC), the national association for speech-language professionals and audiologists. Being a member of SAC isn’t required to work in the industry, but it opens doors for professional development and networking. 

SAC offers three certifications for speech-language pathologists to demonstrate their skill level:

  • Provisional Certification 

  • Certification

  • Certification with Professional Interest

Outside of SAC, you can earn specialized certifications through organizations that advocate for and provide research for certain conditions or through colleges and universities that offer courses and certifications. For example, the Lee Silverman Treatment Certification (LSVT-LOUD) certification for speech-language pathologists prepares you to work with patients with Parkinson’s or other neurological disorders. On Coursera, you can also find courses to earn certificates, like Voice Disorders: What Patients and Professionals Need to Know


The more experience you gain and the longer you work in speech pathology, the more you will likely earn. If you’re new to the profession, try to gain as much experience as possible to highlight your skills and capabilities as a speech pathologist. It’s not just the amount of time you’ve worked in the field but also the reputation you build.

Job outlook for speech-language pathologists

The job outlook for speech-language pathologists is bright. Job Bank Canada reports a moderate to very good outlook for the next three years in most provinces and territories nationwide. Saskatchewan has the greatest need for speech-language pathologists [2]. 

Future demand for speech pathology professionals 

Demand will continue for speech-language pathologists as people need these health care professionals across all stages of life. People may rely on the help of speech pathologists when injured, diagnosed with a disorder that affects their language processing skills, or unable to eat and drink properly. 

Parents may also seek these professionals’ help when their children struggle with speech and language development or even picky or disordered eating. The need for speech pathologists is so far-reaching that the demand will likely only continue to grow as people age and the population increases. 

A few other specific reasons why demand will continue for this profession include an aging population who may be more at risk for neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, increased diagnoses of autism and other language processing disorders, new medical advances that are helping stroke survivors live longer, and more awareness around speech disorders like stuttering. 

Certification may increase opportunities.

Earning certification through SAC may increase your available opportunities. It may provide more employment options and increase your earning potential within certain industries. 

Earning Provisional Certification is the first step in the process. To maintain this level, you’ll need to earn 20 CEEs in one calendar year. Once you've achieved this, you transition into the Certification program, where you’ll need to earn 45 CEEs in three years to maintain certification. 

The optional third level is Certification with Professional Interest, which demonstrates your interest in a more specialized topic of study within the overall umbrella of speech-language pathology. To gain Certification with Professional Interest, you must complete an additional 20 CEEs during your three-year Provisional cycle in your declared interest. 

Path to becoming a speech-language pathologist

The path to becoming a speech-language pathologist may vary depending on your territory or province’s licensing requirements and whether you plan to pursue additional certification. In general, speech-language pathologists must earn a master’s degree in speech pathology. 

Educational path

Earning an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related field is your first step to becoming a speech-language pathologist. After you’ve obtained your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to apply for an accredited speech-language pathologist master’s program. The application process will vary from school to school. Prepare to take the GRE and prepare your application, including all relevant coursework and personal and educational references. 

Pass the CETP exam

You must pass the Canadian Entry-to-Practice Exams (CETP) to become licensed as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. The CETP requirements will vary depending on the regulating body with which you’re applying for licensure. The test assesses your proficiency in the field by demonstrating your skills and subject knowledge. 

Become licensed and certified.

Depending on the regulations where you plan to become licensed, you may need to complete an SAC certification before you gain licensure from your applicable board. 

To become licensed, contact your province’s certification board to ensure you meet all prerequisites and apply. Whether your regulating body requires it or not, many employers prefer speech-language pathologists to complete certification through SAC. 

Next steps

If you’re interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist, research accredited graduate programs and consider which population you’d like to work with and what type of therapy you’d like to offer. 

Speech-language pathologists can help people learn to communicate better or overcome oral motor challenges, a life-changing skill. Find your pathway to this rewarding career today. 

To learn more about this profession, consider taking the Voice Disorders: What Patients and Professionals Need to Know course on Coursera, where you'll be exposed to current concepts on the physiology of voice production and learn how vocal inefficiencies can lead to the development of voice disorders. 

You might also be interested in Introduction to Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders Specialization where you'll have the opportunity to learn about the anatomy and pathophysiology of the auditory pathway and explore disorders of the outer, middle, and inner ear.

Article sources


Job Bank Canada. “Speech Therapist in Canada, https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/wages-occupation/22734/ca.” Accessed April 12, 2024.   

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