Speech and language therapist

Speech and language therapists help children and adults who have speaking and communication problems.

Average salary (a year)

£24,214 Starter

to

£43,772 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become a speech and language therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll need a degree in speech and language therapy that's approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

If you've a degree in a science or language-based subject, you could do a 2 year fast-track postgraduate course in speech and language therapy.

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

More information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapist from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

For some roles you'll need to visit clients in their homes, so you'll need a driving licence.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • talking to clients, observing them and using tests to assess specific difficulties
  • planning and developing therapy programmes
  • supporting clients through treatment
  • working closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers
  • coaching parents and carers to continue their therapy at home
  • keeping detailed progress records
  • working with groups or individuals to improve the way they communicate

Working environment

You could work at a school, in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre, in a nursery or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in areas like:

  • helping children with special educational needs
  • helping eating, drinking and swallowing disorders (dysphagia)

With further training, you could move into teaching and research. You could also become self-employed.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a speech and language therapist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Health Science

  • Provider: Burton and South Derbyshire College
  • Start date: 16 September 2019
  • Location: Burton on Trent

NOCN Certificate in Progression to Further Studies in Health Science L2 - Pre Access to Health Science

  • Provider: Bishop Auckland College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Bishop Auckland

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