How Much Do Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Make?

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists have fairly different roles but often work together, tracking the progress of clients, making adjustments to any medical devices, and providing the appropriate therapy.

Audiologists are concerned with diagnosing, managing, and treating a patient’s balance, hearing, and any other ear-related problems. They use computers, audiometers, and related devices to test patients’ balance and hearing ability. They determine the extent to which a patient’s hearing ability may be damaged and also investigate its cause. More specifically, they measure the volume at which a patient may begin to hear sounds as well as how well they can distinguish between different sounds.

Typical duties of an audiologist may include:

  • Examining patients who have balance, hearing, or ear problems
  • Assessing the results of the examination and diagnosing problems
  • Determining and administering treatment to meet the goals of patients
  • Treating patients for tinnitus, a condition that might cause ringing in the ear
  • Fitting and dispensing hearing aids
  • Teaching patients and families to communicate using different technology or lip reading
  • Recording patient progress
  • Researching the causes and treatment of balance and disorders
  • Educating patients about the ways through which hearing loss can be prevented

Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent swallowing and communication disorders in adults and children. Language, swallowing, and speech disorders might result from various causes, such as brain injury, a stroke, hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease, developmental delay, autism, or a cleft palate. Speech therapists work with patients who may be experiencing difficulty understanding language and speech, or those who may have voice disorders such as a harsh voice or an inappropriate pitch.

Typical duties of speech-language pathologists may include:

  • Evaluating levels of language, swallowing, or speech difficulty
  • Identifying treatment options
  • Creating and carrying out individualized treatment plans, addressing specific functional needs
  • Teaching adults and children how to make sounds and improving their voices and maintaining fluency
  • Helping individuals in improving vocabulary
  • Working with adults and children to strengthen the muscles that are used to swallow
  • Counseling individuals and their families on how to cope with swallowing and communication disorders

In general, here is a breakdown of the 147,470 speech-language pathologists’ and 13,240 audiologists’ salaries in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021):

Speech-Language PathologistsAudiologists
Number of Professionals Employed147,47013,240
Annual Mean Wage$85,820$86,050
10th Percentile$51,310$58,920
25th Percentile$61,970$71,390
50th Percentile (Median)$79,060$78,950
75th Percentile$100,200$99,340
90th Percentile$125,560$120,210

Some states do not require audiologists or speech-language pathologists to be certified. However, employers typically prefer hiring certified professionals. Certification can be obtained through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This organization awards the Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) certification for audiologists and the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) for speech-language pathologists.

Speech-language pathologists also have the option of earning a specialty certification in swallowing, child language, or fluency. Three organizations offering specialty certifications are the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders, the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. Audiologists may also be credentialed through the American Board of Audiology.

Self-reported data from shows speech-language pathologists to be highly satisfied with their jobs with a score of: 

The same website ( 2022) states the average salary for speech-language pathologists is $63,529, and for an audiologist as $70,226, and the following percentiles:

Speech-language pathologistAudiologists
10th percentile$48k$56k
50th percentile (median)$64k$70k
90th percentile$85k$92k

US News & World Report (2022) ranks speech-language pathologists at number three and audiologists at number 22 in its “Best Healthcare Jobs.” Those seeking careers as speech-language pathologists or audiologists also can look forward to bright job prospects, as demand for these professions in the United States is growing.

In fact, both these occupations are among the fastest-growing in the United States. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021) shows that the need for speech-language pathologists is growing at a rate of 29 percent, while the need for audiologists is growing at a rate of 16 percent (2020 to 2030). An estimated 45,400 new speech-language pathologist positions are expected to be added by 2030, while an estimated 2,100 new audiologist positions are expected.

To become a speech-language pathologist, a professional typically needs at least a master’s degree, while a doctoral degree in audiology (AuD) is required to become an audiologist.

Read on to learn how much audiologists and speech-language pathologists make, where they are employed, the top-paying clinical specializations, and the top-paying industries.

Top-Paying Cities for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

Below is a list of the top-paying cities and their corresponding metropolitan areas with the highest salaries for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Also shown is the estimated number of employed professionals (not including self-employed workers), and the annual average salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021).

Speech-language pathologists:

Metropolitan areaNumber of SLPs employedAnnual mean wage
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA1,590$118,260
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA640$111,120
Salinas, CA140$107,160
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA110$106,710
Modesto, CA300$106,130
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA13,140$106,030
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA150$104,550
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA800$103,740
Urban Honolulu, HI180$103,420
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA90$102,940


Metropolitan areaNumber of audiologists employedAnnual mean wage
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA100$121,170
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA70$117,810
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA180$116,450
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA30$101,440
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA510$101,370
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO270$101,280
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA70$100,960
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN130$99,440
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA260$98,460
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX100$98,320

Top-Paying States for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

The list below shows the states with the highest average salaries for speech-language pathologists and audiologists and the estimated number of employed professionals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021):

Speech-language pathologists

StateNumber of SLPs employedAnnual mean wage
New York13,150$98,850
New Jersey5,440$98,270
District of Columbia360$98,240


StateNumber of audiologists employedAnnual mean wage
NevadaNot available$109,690
District of Columbia110$106,720
North Dakota30$103,700

Top-Paying Specializations for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

In order to earn higher salaries, speech-language pathologists and audiologists can specialize in a specific related area. The list below shows five speech-language pathologists and audiologists’ specializations and their correlating salaries, based on self-reported data from 2022:

Speech-language pathologists

SpecializationAverage salary
Home Health/Home Care$71,038
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)$67,629
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning$64,259


SpecializationAverage salary
Clinical Supervision$82,880
Clinical Research$79,672
Clinical Assessment$71,058

Top-Paying Industries for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

The list below shows the top-paying industries for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, based on data from BLS (May 2021).

Speech-language pathologists

IndustryEmployment of SLPsAnnual mean wage
Management of Companies and Enterprises410$113,190
Home Health Care Services5,010$110,850
Individual and Family Services3,530$102,610
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)5,030$101,210
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly500$100,120


IndustryEmployment of audiologistsAnnual mean wage
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments ManufacturingNot available$102,760
Outpatient Care Centers550$102,460
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals1,680$90,720
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals200$90,020
Elementary and Secondary Schools890$89,060
Farheen Gani

Farheen Gani


Farheen Gani is a writer and research expert in healthcare degrees. She has written about healthcare career scholarships, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and reproductive health specialists, among other topics, since 2019. She writes about healthcare, technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).

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