Answered By: Linda Kern Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017 Views: 9303
Regarding the use of the hyphen, this isn't a grammar or spelling issue, but what they are officially named. The first thing I did was to Google speech-language pathologist to see how they refer to themselves. The term is hyphenated on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website, so I would use the hyphen. This is the credentialing organization for speech-language pathologists.
Capitalization is a matter of grammar and academic style. According to APA style, common nouns aren't capitalized; only proper nouns are capitalized (APA p.102). The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a common noun as "a noun that may occur with limiting modifiers (as a or an, some, every, and my) and that designates any one of a class of beings or things." On the other hand, a proper noun is "a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English."
Therefore a speech-language pathologist is a common noun and not capitalized.
Thanks for asking!