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The “Going Rate” for Private Speech Therapy Doesn’t Matter… and Here’s Why

“What is the going rate for private speech therapy services in my area?”

Every single day, someone asks that question in the SLP Private Practice Beginners Facebook Group.

People are looking for a magic number.

An easy answer.

A shortcut.

Sure, I’ve asked in parent FB groups what the going rate is for babysitters in my area… BUT THAT IS FOR BABYSITTERS!

We are not babysitters!

We are clinicians… with Master’s degrees!

You shouldn’t determine an hourly rate for your services as a skilled clinician in the same way people decide whether to give a babysitter $12 or $18 bucks per hour!

If you’re going to start and run a private practice, you have to think more logically than that.

You have to think about yourself as a product and ask, “How well does MY product serve my population?”

Asking about “the going rate” is a good question… but it’s not the RIGHT question.

Promise me this:

Don’t base your rate on an arbitrary number or someone else’s value.

Base your rate on YOUR value and what YOU bring to the table.

*end rant*

Every speech therapy private practice owner needs to make a very important decision: 
how much to charge for private speech therapy services.

It’s dangerous to base your rate off of someone else’s rate… and here is why:

1.) You know nothing about their level of experience.

2.) You know nothing about their clinical expertise.

3.) You know nothing about the quality of services they are providing – or what population you’re serving.

4.) It can be construed as price fixing, which is illegal. (Click here to read ASHA’s stance on this.)

If you want to start a speech therapy private practice, you need to make sure you’re doing it the smart way.

Basing your rates on the the rates of other professionals is not smart.

So… What Should You Base Your Private Pay Rate On?

What YOU bring to the table.

Your rate needs to be set based on factors unique to you and the individual needs of your practice.

It should be based on factors like:

  • YOUR years of experience
  • YOUR level of expertise
  • YOUR advanced training, etc.
  • The cost of running YOUR private practice (ex. travel time, overhead costs, etc.).

Base your private therapy rate on what YOU bring to your clients and the clinical and functional benefits you provide.

Repeat after me: do NOT base your price on what other people are charging!

Keep In Mind…

If you put your rate too low, you’re leaving money on the table.

If you set your rate too high, you might not have as many clients.

While I can’t tell you a specific “magic” rate – I can help you determine what rate makes the most sense for you and your practice.

Your Task: Set An Hourly Rate That’s Fair to You AND Your Clients

Most clinicians are scared of charging too much for their services, so they sell themselves and their services short and charge less than they should. You have a Master’s degree and are a clinical specialist. Don’t be afraid to charge a fair rate!

If you’re speech therapy private practice is providing valuable services, private clients will pay for them. Families are willing to exchange money for services if you are effectively communicating the value of what you provide.

People want to “get better” (whatever that means to them) and are willing to pay for it.

Need Help Deciding On Your Hourly Rate?

One of my favorite things to do is help people figure out what to charge.

Can I help you through this process as well?

Click here to learn more about the process that I’ve walked 548+ speech-language pathologists through to set their rate.

Hint: If you read the post above, you’ll know that it’s NOT based on any “going rate”

Jena H. Castro-Casbon, MS, CCC-SLP, is a private-practice consultant who has helped thousands of speech-language pathologists start and grow their own private practices through her company, The Independent Clinician.  She has written articles for The ASHA Leader and Presented at ASHA Connect (2017).

You’ll find her online in the SLP Private Practice Beginners Facebook Group and in her premium programs, The Start Your Private Practice System and the Grow Your Private Practice Coaching Program.

Jena lives in Boston, MA and is a wife and mama to two young boys. ​​


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