Many new speech language pathologists begin their careers with the public school system or in the rehab department of the local children's hospital. While these settings provide a wide variety of patients and a guaranteed income, the pay rate can be surprisingly low for a licensed medical professional with a master's degree.
Fortunately SLPs can put their skills to work and earn extra income from a variety of sources.
- See Private Patients. School based SLPs are generally exempt from after school staff meetings and extra curricular duties so they can skip out as soon as the bell rings and see two or more patients after school. Ethics policies prohibit SLPs from seeing patients from the school system privately, but otherwise there are few restrictions on a therapists ability to see patients on the side.
- Register with Temporary Staffing Agencies. School holidays and the long summer are opportune times for SLPs to supplement their income. Many staffing agencies look for qualified therapists to cover maternity leaves, unexpectedly heavy demand for services and acute cases. Just seeing two to three patients a day for a week or two can make a huge difference in making ends meet and paying off students loans.
- Conduct Seminars. While any child with a significant speech delay or impairment needs to be followed by a professional, there's a lot of good parents can do at home. A number of mobile applications make it possible to do home therapy. Therapists who incorporate apps into their practice can offer training sessions to parents. The local autism society or other special needs organization is often willing to host an event for their members and therapists can charge a modest per person fee to compensate for their time.
- Consult. Many companies which market goods and services to the special needs community look for professionals to advise them on products. SLPs may be asked to endorse a product, provide sample lessons on using it or create a how to manual. Associations of this sort are a great way for SLPs to build their reputation and can lead to enough of a following to begin a private practice.
- Develop Original Products. Insurance companies are very stingy with the numer of visits they authorize for speech therapy so there is a growing demand for materials to use outside the school or clinic setting. Articulation cards, PECs symbols and PODD books are just a few of the materials therapists can create with Boardmaker and sell through Teachers Pay Teachers or similar exchanges.
If you are an SLP and interested in earning extra money, contact us and see how your skills can be put to best use.
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