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).

If you've got 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, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You can do a speech and language therapist degree 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

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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

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

  • talk to clients, observe them and use tests to assess specific difficulties
  • plan and develop therapy programmes
  • support clients through treatment
  • work closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers
  • coach parents and carers to continue their therapy at home
  • keep detailed progress records
  • work 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.

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

Pre Access for Health Professions & Social Science Level 2 (EFA)

  • Provider: BOSTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 07 January 2021
  • Location: Boston

Pre Access for Health Professions & Social Science Level 2 (EFA)

  • Provider: BOSTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 07 January 2021
  • Location: Boston

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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