Jump to content

Checking out the job market -- Pediatric vs. Adult


Recommended Posts

Hi all :-) I've been trying to find some interesting volunteering opportunities for the summer and upcoming academic year, and it's got me thinking... I had been strongly considering volunteering at the local community college or public library as an ESL tutor/ general tutor for adults prepping for the GRE -- it sounded rewarding and reasonably relevant to my SLP interests. The thing is, I've also been checking out SLP job listings in my geographical area to get an idea of what's out there on the other side of all this school, and almost every listing I've seen has been pediatric (early intervention/ schools/ private pediatric clinics/ childrens' hospital). I like kids, but ideally I'd prefer to work with adults (professional voice users)... but now I'm wondering if it might be more pragmatic to get some experience with kids, given the way the job market seems to be going? (Side note: Is that an accurate assessment of the way the job market is going?) I'd heard the field is expanding most in terms of children and the elderly, thanks to modern medicine, so maybe it would be smart, from a career strategy perspective, to have a really solid pediatric background. I'd rather be an SLP who has a job working with kids than an unemployed SLP, you know?

Also, as a way out-of-field applicant, I'm also considering how to craft solid resume/ grad school application. Would it be better to just stick with adults and create a more focused, cohesive snapshot of myself (opera singer who wants to work with professional voice users) for an admission committee? Or should I find some way to work with kids (homework helper/ reading tutor) to diversify my experiences a bit and be more versatile/ open to the entire SLP field, not just a narrow focus?

Thanks! :-)

Edited by SopranoSLP
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a Reddit post that got several responses about the job market for SLPs (2-year-old post, but should still be fairly accurate): https://www.reddit.com/r/slp/comments/2k891i/honesty_about_the_slp_job_market/?st=j0y2x1fu&sh=e2f02d8c

The general consensus seems to be that medical (& more generally adult) settings are somewhat more competitive than schools, but that it varies a lot by region of the country. 

So it sounds reasonable to count on working in that setting if you have a little flexibility or live in the right area, but since you'll be working with all populations through grad school, I would say it would be a good idea to aim for diversity of experiences.

Edited by lily48slp
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know too much about the job market for SLPs, but in my Audiology class this past fall they mentioned that the need for SLPs/Audiologists who can treat adults is growing due to all of the aging Baby Boomers. What @lily48slp says above about it being more competitive makes sense to me since it seems that SLPs in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and private practice tend to have higher salaries than those who work in schools.

Wanted to offer my two cents on your resume for grad school as well since I'm also way out-of-field and completed undergrad in 2009. I went to the ASHA Convention this past fall and was able to snag a spot with one of the resume reviewers. She told me not to bury my work experience, even though it's in an unrelated field, and recommended updating the bullet points to show what skills I use in my current role that would translate to SLP. For example, I work in project management now, so I adjusted the wording of one of the bullets to say something about how I work with clients to set goals and target milestones to hit (just like an SLP would with a client). She also suggested looking up SLPs on LinkedIn to see how they phrase their job responsibilities in order to get some ideas. I guess that all seems obvious, but once I started doing that it was easy to remove some bullets that would have been important if I was applying for another project management job but aren't really impressive or relevant for speech pathology.

Also, I think any relevant research or volunteer experience is helpful and shows your commitment to the career change. I'd prefer to work with adults as well, but the only volunteer opportunity that worked with my current full time work schedule was one at a non-profit for kids who stutter. It gave me something to talk about in my statement of purpose and in one of my interviews and was a great experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard from one of my teachers (who is on the admissions committee for my school) that they prefer someone well rounded with diverse experience. They're not looking for 1000s of experiences that only last 2 weeks but more so several months with different populations to show you've had a range of experiences. This is only one school out of many but it was a helpful perspective for me when deciding whether to continue with my volunteer "research" position or find something new. I was told "if you're not evolving in your position (learning new skills, getting different experiences) then move on." I was also told that "relevant" work could mean being a receptionist for an SLP medical facility or an event coordinator in a nursing home or really anything. It doesn't mean you have to be standing under an SLP all day seeing exactly what they do. They are more concerned with your interaction with people of various backgrounds who may have disabilities. I hope this helps!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2017 at 9:27 AM, SopranoSLP said:

Hi all :-) I've been trying to find some interesting volunteering opportunities for the summer and upcoming academic year, and it's got me thinking... I had been strongly considering volunteering at the local community college or public library as an ESL tutor/ general tutor for adults prepping for the GRE -- it sounded rewarding and reasonably relevant to my SLP interests. The thing is, I've also been checking out SLP job listings in my geographical area to get an idea of what's out there on the other side of all this school, and almost every listing I've seen has been pediatric (early intervention/ schools/ private pediatric clinics/ childrens' hospital). I like kids, but ideally I'd prefer to work with adults (professional voice users)... but now I'm wondering if it might be more pragmatic to get some experience with kids, given the way the job market seems to be going? (Side note: Is that an accurate assessment of the way the job market is going?) I'd heard the field is expanding most in terms of children and the elderly, thanks to modern medicine, so maybe it would be smart, from a career strategy perspective, to have a really solid pediatric background. I'd rather be an SLP who has a job working with kids than an unemployed SLP, you know?

Also, as a way out-of-field applicant, I'm also considering how to craft solid resume/ grad school application. Would it be better to just stick with adults and create a more focused, cohesive snapshot of myself (opera singer who wants to work with professional voice users) for an admission committee? Or should I find some way to work with kids (homework helper/ reading tutor) to diversify my experiences a bit and be more versatile/ open to the entire SLP field, not just a narrow focus?

Thanks! :-)

I'm currently at UW as a MedSLP student and I actually listed three very different areas that I had an interest in (based on my background) in my SOP.  I remember worrying that I might appear as though I had no focus, however many people assured me that if anything, most do not have a clear picture of an area they want to specialize in at this stage of the game.  They also mentioned that it is not unusual in our grad program for a student to pick one area of research for the (optional) master's thesis, but go on to pursue research in a different area later on.  That said, I'm sure it goes both ways - if you already have a specific passion, don't be afraid to let it show!  Our class is pretty diverse in terms of educational background - many have undergrad degrees in other areas ranging from neurobiology to finance, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.