Do you know how to become a speech pathologist? Speech pathologists are professionals who help people with communication disorders. They diagnose, treat, and prevent communication disorders in adults and children. In today’s post, I will tell you how to become a speech pathologist in Texas, Georgia, California, and Florida. Here, I’ve explained the duties, skills, and salary of a speech pathologist. Make sure you even check out different types of speech pathologists to work in private practice but with professionals. Without wasting much time, let’s check out how to become a speech pathologist a bit more in detail.

How To Become A Speech Pathologist?

Follow this step-by-step procedure to know how to become a speech pathologist.

Step 1: Earn Bachelor’s Degree

Step 2: Earn A Master’s Degree 

Step 3: Complete Clinical Fellowship 

Step 4: Pass Praxis Examination

Step 5: Obtain ASHA Certification

Step 6: Obtain State Licensure

Step 7: Apply For Professional Certification

A speech pathologist is one of the most fulfilling and desirable jobs in the medical field. Here, candidates get to enjoy significant job stability and high pay. They even play a direct role in improving the lives and well-being of their clients.

If you’re interested to know how to become a speech-language pathologist, then keep on reading.

Step-By-Step Guide To Become A Speech Pathologist

In this section, I will explain the complete procedure of becoming a certified speech pathologist.

Step 1: Earn Bachelor’s Degree

The first step toward starting your career as a speech pathologist will be completing a bachelor’s degree. There are two degrees that are closely related to this field. This includes the Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and the Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Both these programs are excellent to know whether you would like to pursue a career in speech pathology. Other Bachelor’s degrees like degrees in education, psychology, or linguistics can also work.

You can keep on reading to know how to become a speech pathologist with a psychology degree.

Step 2: Earn A Master’s Degree

After completing your Bachelor’s degree, the next step is enrolling in a post-graduate program. You have to earn a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathologist to gain in-depth knowledge of this field. Make sure this degree program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation. This course is blended with an academic course load and practical clinical exposure. In fact, this coursework incorporates about 400 hours of clinical experience. 25 of 400 hours must be in the form of guided clinical observation. And the remaining 375 hours must involve direct patient contact.

Step 3: Complete Clinical Fellowship

Once you complete your Master’s degree, you’ve to complete 1260 hours of clinical experience. Here, you get to work under the guidance of a certified mentor for a span of two years. This work experience helps candidates progress from supervised to independent practice. During this, you can also obtain a temporary license from the board of speech pathology in your state. You’ll need a master’s or doctoral degree and a mentor-approved plan for the completion of your clinical fellowship.

Step 4: Pass Praxis Examination

While completing your clinical fellowship, you should take the Praxis exam in Speech Pathology. This exam is administered by the Education Testing Service (ETS). In this Praxis exam, the candidates must score at least 162 points out of 200 to pass and move forward toward certification. Securing this certification is very important to become eligible for the final steps.

Step 5: Obtain ASHA Certification

ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) handles the certification process. Following are the four requirements that you must meet to obtain your certification in speech pathology.

  • Transcript from graduate school verifying your graduation date and degree.
  • Praxis score sent directly from ETS
  • Clinical fellowship report stating your completion of 1260 hours of clinical experience and 36 weeks of full-time experience.
  • Documentation of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience composed of direct patient contact and clinical observation.

This is the most important step in this journey as you get to secure your official credentials as a speech pathologist.

Keep on reading to know how to become a speech pathologist in CT.

Step 6: Obtain State Licensure

To work as a certified speech pathologist, you need to obtain a state license. Every state has its own guidelines for state licensure. There are a few states that have specific requirements such as education, telemedicine, or others. You can check on the ASHA State-By-State resource page for more information about particular state licensure.

Step 7: Apply For Professional Certification

Just like other medical courses, even speech therapists continue to learn and grow professionally. There are a few states where you have to complete a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain your licensure. However, it is not compulsory to push yourself to complete this additional coursework. But it will definitely empower you to stay on top of trends and developments in the field.

However, you can follow the same procedure to know how to become a speech pathologist assistant. In this coursework, ASHA recommends you complete 100 hours of fieldwork supervised by practicing SLP.

Types Of Speech Pathologists

In this medical field, you’ll find the following two types of pathologists.

  • Educational Speech Pathologist: These professionals work in educational settings to conduct an early intervention. They usually work with children who have disabilities. You can also collaborate with a team to develop customized learning plans for students.
  • Medical Speech Pathologists: These professionals work in hospitals, residential healthcare facilities, and rehabilitation centers. They usually diagnose and treat clients as part of multidisciplinary treatment.

There are a few fields such as research labs, government agencies, and teletherapy where these professionals can consult online. You can also choose to work at a university campus to influence and educate future speech pathologists.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Speech Pathologist?

An aspiring candidate needs a total of eight years to become a qualified speech pathologist. Here, speech pathologists for 6 schooling years will go into completing your education (bachelor’s and master’s degree). And the next 2 years will go into completing your clinical fellowship.

Skills Required To Become A Speech Pathologist

Every profession requires specific hard and soft skills to excel at their jobs. Here is a few skills speech pathologists must possess and practice.

  • They must be active in listening to ensure they meet their patients’ needs.
  • Speech pathologists should be able to adapt to new situations frequently.
  • Being a candidate, you need leadership skills to make informed diagnostic decisions.
  • You must be able to develop innovative tools, activities, and exercises to treat individuals.
  • You must have strong reading, writing, and cognitive abilities to help patients at all skill levels.

Duties And Responsibilities Of A Speech Pathologist

Being a speech pathologist, you have to work with patients whose communication is weak. Below, I have listed the daily duties of speech pathologists.

  • Evaluating and diagnosing levels of speech.
  • Creating treatment plans in order to manage patient needs.
  • Teaching and helping patients to improve their voice quality.
  • Creating challenging sounds to encourage patients.
  • Helping clients to develop and strengthen the muscles required for swallowing.
  • Scheduling counseling sessions for patients and their families to cope emotionally with these disorders.

Let us now finally check out how to become a speech pathologist salary.

Salary Of A Speech Pathologist

The average salary of a certified speech pathologist is $80,480 annually or $38.69 per hour. But the potential income for an SLP is often dependent on location, experience, and their specialty field.

You can Find much more topics on LetBecome

FAQ

What Qualifications Are Needed For Speech Therapy?

Candidates must have studied English, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as their main subjects in 10+2 examinations. Candidates who have completed the 3-year diploma after their class 10 are also eligible to apply for undergraduate Speech Therapist course such as B.Sc in Speech & Hearing.

How Do I Become A Speech Therapist In Australia?

How to become a speech pathologist

  1. Complete a university degree in speech pathology. Straight from high-school.
  2. Register to become a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist. …
  3. Meet the Continuing Professional Development requirements required for ongoing certification.

What Is The Best Major For Speech Pathology?

communication sciences and disorders

A few examples of popular undergraduate majors for future speech-language pathologists are: communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, language development, education, psychology, and english.

How Long Is Speech Therapy Training?

around 4 years

You may be able to do a speech and language therapist degree apprenticeship. The apprenticeship will take around 4 years to complete. If you already have a relevant degree it may be shorter and you may be able to gain a masters qualification as part of the apprenticeship.

Conclusion

In the above post, I have discussed how to become a qualified speech pathologist in detail. These professionals dedicate years of study and preparation to making a career in this field. First, you have to complete graduation in Speech-Language Pathology/Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Moving forward complete your clinical fellowship and take the Praxis examination. Once you complete this fellowship, you can apply for state licensure to work as a certified speech pathologist. You’ve to deal with patients who can’t speak at all. Thus, you’re now ready to start a meaningful career in speech therapy by understanding how to become a speech pathologist.

 

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