Hearing and speech are two important factors in one of the most fundamental human activities: communication. Many colleges offer Bachelor of Science degree programs in speech and hearing or speech-language pathology, though the minimum requirement for practicing speech pathology or audiology is a graduate degree. However, there are a number of career options for people with speech and hearing undergraduate degrees who aren't planning to pursue graduate studies in the field.
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
People with bachelor's degrees in speech and hearing are qualified for positions as speech-language pathologist assistants. As speech and hearing related problems become more apparent in the population, there is an increased need for additional service providers and support staff in the field of speech-language pathology. In situations where the assistant is properly trained and supervised by a certified speech-language pathologist, speech-language pathologist assistants can perform duties involving service delivery, administrative support or prevention and advocacy.
Research Assistant or Associate
Having a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing can lead to a career in speech or hearing research as an assistant. Speech and hearing disorders affect a diverse population of people from small children, to stroke victims, to the elderly. Therefore, universities, hospitals and other companies involved in making speech and hearing related products are constantly conducting research in an attempt to improve the lives of those affected by speech and hearing disorders. People with a B.S. in speech and hearing are qualified to serve in assistant or associate positions and perform clinical research duties alongside doctors of audiology and speech pathology.
Community Outreach Program or Public Health Associate
After earning a B.S. in speech and hearing, some people choose work in public settings including clinics, hospitals and community outreach programs. Staff members in community outreach programs and other public settings often provide services including presentations on hearing loss, in-services on speech and hearing related products and hearing screening at public health fairs. People with a bachelor's degree in speech and hearing may also qualify to perform evaluations or therapy in daycares or preschools.
Sales, Marketing and Promotion
There is definitely a place for people with a speech and hearing degree in the consumer products industry. Many companies that manufacture speech and hearing related products need, in addition to knowledgeable research assistants, members of their sales, marketing or promotional teams to have a strong background in hearing and speech. Having a B.S. degree in speech and hearing will serve as an advantage to those interested in working for companies involved in making products such as hearing aids and support software.