Primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become increasingly popular across all industries and occupations in recent years. Like many jobs, remote roles for speech-language pathologists provided therapists an opportunity to care for their students when face-to-face visits weren’t always possible. Today, the variety of benefits provided by remote SLP jobs has made the occupation an attractive career path for many in the speech-language pathology field.
In this blog, you’ll learn all about working remotely as an SLP, including remote SLP job qualifications, how it works, and the benefits and challenges of working as a remote SLP.
What is a Remote Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)?
Speech-language pathologists help their students work through speech and language-related problems. SLPs identify and evaluate speech and language conditions, administer speech therapy, assess student progress, and supply students with the tools and skills they need to overcome their speech-related obstacles. SLPs help a wide range of students with a variety of speech problems. An SLP who works remotely performs the same job responsibilities—identifying, assessing, helping—as an SLP who sees students in person. A remote SLP job is a form of teletherapy where an SLP administers speech therapy to their students virtually through a teletherapy platform. The recent advancements and increasing popularity of telemedicine have allowed remote SLPs to help more students, and students needing help are no longer restricted to options geographically accessible to them.
Can You Really Work Remotely as an SLP?
Yes, with the right licensing, you really can work remotely as an SLP! In fact, now is an excellent time to get into the career. The increased awareness of speech and language disorders in recent times is driving a large demand for SLPs, and SLP remote jobs give more people the opportunity to get the help they need. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 21% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than the average growth rate of 5% for all occupations. There will be an estimated 14,000 job openings projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Benefits of Remote SLP Jobs
Working as a remote SLP and providing teletherapy has a number of benefits for both the therapist and the students, including more opportunities for administering or receiving therapy, less time and money spent traveling to and from schools, and the ease and stress-free nature of attending sessions in the familiar comfort of your own home.
Remote SLPs can also utilize digital tools in real-time during sessions with their student, like screen sharing and virtual activities.
Remote SLPs also have the benefit of greater job flexibility with the ability to choose their own schedule and working hours. They can provide services to a larger number of students with limited downtime needed between each session.
The Challenges of Working Remotely as an SLP
SLP remote jobs are not a new occupation. For years, SLPs around the world have helped students limited by their geography, such as those living in very rural areas. Regardless, for many professionals, shifting to remote work is still a big leap. It’s crucial to understand the common challenges of the role and how to overcome each one before considering working remotely as an SLP.
Remote SLPs may experience technical difficulties and sudden network issues, have problems hearing the student over the computer, might not own or struggle to maintain an effective workspace for teletherapy sessions, and might find it challenging to stay up to date with licensure requirements to ensure they can legally administer therapy to a student located in a different state.
If you’re considering a remote SLP job, you should invest in the technology needed to provide your students with the care they deserve. This includes high-quality internet access, a high-resolution camera, and excellent audio equipment. The space you administer teletherapy should be quiet, and noises outside your space should not be loud enough to impact your sessions. It’s essential that SLPs continuously monitor requirements for the role and stay up to date with the certifications needed to practice.
How to Land a Remote SLP Job
Remote SLPs still need to follow all the requirements of in-person SLPs before practicing independently. To become a remote speech-language pathologist, you will need a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. You will also need to pass an examination, receive state licensure, and complete a clinical fellowship year (CFY). For more in-depth information on all the steps required to become an SLP, visit our blog on How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist.
It’s important to note that certifications and licensure requirements for practicing as an SLP vary by state. We recommend visiting the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association guide on telepractice to understand the specific guidelines, certifications, and requirements for remote SLPs in each state.
Whether you’re new to the field or an existing SLP shifting toward remote work, you can improve your chances of landing a remote job by networking with existing remote SLPs and professionals in the industry, joining and engaging in industry associations and online groups, attending informational webinars and conventions in the field, and continuing your education by researching recent advancements in and reports on speech-language pathology.
In conclusion, offering teletherapy services as an SLP means you can provide your expertise to those who need it, regardless of where they live. The work that SLPs do changes lives, giving people the skills and tools that they need to use their voices.
At ProCare Therapy, we recognize and applaud SLPs for the hard work, dedication, empathy, and expertise required to provide exceptional care. That’s why we work closely with SLPs, SLPAs, and those looking for CFY opportunities to find the best role for their needs and career goals.
If you’re looking for school-based opportunities in the speech-language pathology field, we invite you to explore ProCare’s SLP job openings for talented SLPs nationwide. With our wide selection of remote and in-person opportunities, we are sure to have the perfect match for you.