Speech Pathologist: Education Requirements for a Speech Pathologist Career

Published Aug 03, 2009

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A Speech Pathologist usually works directly with clients and patients to improve their communication abilities. Speech and language difficulties can occur due to brain injuries, strokes or birth defects. Read on to learn more about what education is required to be a Speech Pathologist.

Speech Pathologist Career Summary

A Speech Pathologist may also be known as a speech-language pathologist or a speech therapist. Those who choose a career in speech pathology are highly trained in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients who have challenges in communication. Communication disabilities such as stuttering, aphasia, lisps, swallowing difficulties and poor articulation are some of the conditions that can be remedied through the work of a Speech Pathologist. Most Speech Pathologists work with social service agencies, health care facilities or educational institutions.

Education Required to Become a Speech Pathologist

A Speech Pathologist career typically requires a master's degree. A degree program is offered at more than 200 graduate institutions accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), www.asha.org. A curriculum leading to a master's degree in speech pathology includes anatomy, physiology and human development related to swallowing, speech and language. Graduate students learn to identify and treat disorders related to these aspects of communication:

  • Nature of disorders
  • Principles of acoustics
  • Psychology of communication

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Speech Pathologist

Most U.S. states require Speech Pathologist to hold a license or professional certification. The applicant must pass a national examination on Speech Pathology, known as the Praxis Series. Additional typical requirements include a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical experience, specified minimum months of professional postgraduate experience and completion of continuing education units. Licensure to practice Speech Pathology in public schools is related to the teaching certificate in all but 12 U.S. states.

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