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Speech and language therapist

Alternative titles for this job include

Speech and language therapists help people with speaking and communication problems and those with eating and swallowing difficulties.

Average salary (a year)

£25,655 Starter

to

£53,219 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a speech and language therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You'll need a degree in speech and language therapy that's approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

If you've got a relevant degree, you could do a 2-year fast-track postgraduate course in speech and language therapy.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has useful resources to help you prepare for a career in speech and language therapy.

You may be able to get additional student financial support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

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.

If you are already working as a speech and language therapy assistant you may be able to apply to do the degree apprenticeship with your current employer. You would need to meet all their entry requirements for the apprenticeship.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has more information on this apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

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.

You may also find relevant volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

More Information

Registration

Career tips

When applying for degree courses and apprenticeships, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) for professional development and networking opportunities.

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of psychology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

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

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day tasks, you could:

  • talk to clients, observe them and use tests to assess specific difficulties
  • help a patient who has had a stroke to learn to speak again
  • support families to communicate with loved ones who have had a brain injury
  • plan and develop therapy programmes
  • help children and adults with eating difficulties to learn how to swallow
  • work with children with language delays or disorders
  • support clients through treatment
  • work closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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 and run your own business.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current 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 Higher Education Health Science Professions

  • Provider: LUMINATE EDUCATION GROUP
  • Start date: 12 September 2022
  • Location: Keighley

Access to HE (Health Sciences)

  • Provider: HAVANT AND SOUTH DOWNS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Waterlooville

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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