Speech Therapist: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Speech Therapist

Published Aug 03, 2009

RSS Feed

Speech Therapists work in healthcare facilities and schools to help those who have problems speaking, understanding language, using their voice or swallowing. If you want to become a Speech Therapist, you should pursue a graduate degree such as a Master of Arts in Speech and Language Pathology. Most states require licensure for Speech Therapists who work in medical facilities.

Speech Therapist Career Summary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, Speech Therapists, who are also called speech-language pathologists, evaluate and treat those with speech, language, voice and swallowing disorders. These disorders may be caused by medical problems such as brain injury or stroke, developmental issues or congenital problems. First, Speech Therapists diagnose the nature and extent of a disorder by using instruments and tests. Then they develop an individual treatment plan. Treatments may include teaching patients how to make sounds, how to improve their voices or how to swallow without choking. Some Speech Therapists work in medical facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes; others work in schools.

Education Required to Become a Speech Therapist

Most Speech Therapist jobs require a master's degree. This degree may be named Master of Arts or a Master of Science in Speech and Language Pathology. Attending an accredited degree program could help you obtain licensing. Graduate programs in speech and language pathology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), www.asha.org. These graduate Speech Therapy programs usually require courses in physiology and anatomy, with particular focus on the parts of the body involved in speaking and swallowing. Clinical opportunities for evaluating and treating speech and swallowing disorders are also part of most graduate Speech Therapy programs.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Speech Therapist

Most states require Speech Therapists to be licensed or registered according to the BLS. Licensing regulations vary by state, but most requirements include the successful completion of the national exam on speech-language pathology, supervised clinical experience during a graduate program and postgraduate clinical experience. Only 12 states require Speech Therapists working in the public schools to be licensed; the other states require a teaching license or certificate.

Featured School Choices:

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership
    More information about Herzing University
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical
    • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
    • M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education-ITL
    • M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education-NITL
    • M.Ed. in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (ITL)
    More information about Grand Canyon University
  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Special Education, M.Ed.-Emphasis in Alternative Licensing
    • Special Education, M.Ed.-Endorsement in Special Education Generalist
    • B.A. Special Education, K-12 Generalist (Non-Licensure)
    • Special Education, M. Ed. without Licensure
    • B.A. Special Education, K-12 Generalist (Licensure)
  • Bryant & Stratton College

    Bryant & Stratton College responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Health Services Administration - AAS
  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Education Specialist - Special Education
    More information about Northcentral University
  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MA: Medical Sciences: Molecular Medicine
    • BS: Education Non-Licensure: Special Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • BED: Education Licensure: Special Education
    • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction/Special Education
    • EDS: Curriculum and Instruction/Special Education
    More information about Liberty University