How to Become a Speech Therapist
What is a Speech Pathologist?
Steps to Becoming a Speech Pathologist
There are three common steps that every aspiring speech therapist should follow in order to become a working SLP professional. Below, we have outlined the process that is typically followed to become a speech therapist:
- Bachelors Degree Program:
First, it is recommended to gain a bachelor’s degree from a reputable higher education institution. Although it is common for speech-language pathologists to come from a wide variety of backgrounds, it doesn’t hurt to demonstrate interest in the field by earning or holding a degree related to the field of speech therapy. A few examples of popular undergraduate majors for future speech-language pathologists are: communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, language development, education, psychology, and english.
- SLP Masters Degree Program:
A master’s in Speech-Language Pathology that’s accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is a non-negotiable component for a role as a speech therapist in most states, whether you’re working in a clinic or a school setting. Master’s programs typically are paired with clinical or internship experiences to ensure that students are getting a well-rounded and practical learning experience. Common coursework might include language development and anatomy and physiology classes to name just a few of the many curriculum options. In the modern era, many working professionals are opting to pursue online speech pathology programs to gain an advanced degree without having to sacrifice location or current income.
- Pursue Licensure:
SLPs must also be licensed a process that varies by state, and requires supervised clinical experience. For SLPS who want to work in schools, teaching certification may also be necessary, depending on the state.