A month or so ago, I saw a post on Instagram from Jordyn Carroll (jrc_theslp) where she talked about the need for more SLPs to discuss what we’re paid in our speech therapy salary. I agreed and decided to dig through the archives and share my exact salaries for the first 5 years I was an SLP.
Now, just to preface all of this info. This was the first 5 years I was an SLP. This is in Madison, Wisconsin – which has a reasonable cost of living. This is also in pediatric settings – public schools and an outpatient clinic. I know all of these details matter a lot when comparing speech therapy salary numbers so please keep all of that in mind! Oh, and this was all between ~2014-2019 in case you’re reading this further in the future!
–Full-time, year-round position
I started my SLP career at a pediatric outpatient clinic. It was a highly supportive environment where I was able to work closely with other skilled SLPs, OTs, and PTs. My speech therapy salary began at $42,125 but went up slightly as I took on some extra shifts/days and got small raises during my time there. Benefits were okay although we relied mostly on my husband’s benefits at this time.
–Paid hourly, 30 hours a week for 179 student days a year
After burning out hard, I wanted to work 4 days a week (to have a day during the week for Speechy Musings) so I started a contract school job in December (mid school year). They were desperate for help and when I started I was the only SLP for the district (that should have 2-3 SLPs) for a period of time. So while the work was a little wild, the pay was good and set me up for success in applying for my next job. I also should mention this came with no benefits and I was not paid during breaks or other days off.
–Full time position, ~10 months a year (paid year-round)
After finishing the school year in my contract position, I applied to an amazing school district in our area and was thrilled when I was offered the job. I worked primarily with 5th and 6th graders in a middle school. The benefits were good which provided some increased work flexibility for my husband. The biggest downside was the time off – only 2 days per school year were provided for vacations for fulltime employees.
One of my side passions to SLP is financial independence. I was one of those people that buckled down hard after graduating in order to pay off my loans from both undergrad and grad school. My husband also graduated with significant loan debt so this was 100% a team effort! We learned a ton about FIRE (financial independence, retire early) methods and went hard at chipping away at our debt!
One thing I definitely did right was to advocate for myself and my SLP salary each time I took a new job. 💰
If you want to learn more about finances and financial literacy for SLPs, check out @speechgoods on Instagram! She shares some great info if this is a topic of interest for you too.
I hope this information is helpful for you! Happy negotiating!
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