Know How to Become a Speech Pathologist

How to Become a Speech Pathologist

Speech Pathologists work with people having difficulty in speaking, forming sounds, swallowing disorders, and they work with all age groups. Speech Pathology career offers a lucrative salary and is long-lasting. Speech pathologists work in schools, hospitals, in-home care, etc. Anyone interested in health, psychology, and language can become a speech pathologist. Know how to become a speech pathologist.

Speech pathologists teach patients how to produce specific sounds and improve their speech. They coordinate with the families of patients and provide information about the disorder. They educate them on the steps to cope up with the impact caused by the disorder. Speech-language pathologists are known as speech therapists.

Speech pathologist Job Description

A speech therapist works with clients to help them with language and speech. They help people who stutter and have difficulty swallowing. They work with children with speech impediments or learning disabilities.

They help accident victims to regain their communication skills and in relearning proper swallowing techniques. A speech pathologist works in both hospitals as well as the office. They perform screening tests on patients to detect voice and speech disorders.

They meet the patients and begin the procedure by interviewing the patients and check their history and perform various tests before concluding the diagnosis. They then devise a treatment plan and involve more clinical sessions.

They suggest activities that can be done at home as well. In every session, a speech therapist often administers speech therapy. They implement activities that help patients improve their speech and communication. Stroke victims, people with paraplegia, and deaf patients also visit a speech therapist to normalize their speech patterns.

How to Become a Speech Pathologist Steps in

As a speech therapist, you have to diagnose speech disorders in patients and implement treatment plans for the patients who stutter or have an issue with pronunciation or comprehension of language.

Step 1: Understand the job of a Speech Therapist

The main objective of a speech-language pathologist is to assist the patients to communicate or swallow properly. It is very important to know what is expected of a speech therapist.

They evaluate the levels of speech, language, and swallowing difficulty and devise the treatment plan. They teach children and adults how to improve their speaking ability and to form sounds. They monitor and evaluate the progress of the patient.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Earn a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences, disorders, hearing science, and American Sign Language. These programs will help you gain knowledge of human language function & development, phonetics, sign language, etc. You can also get hands-on experience working as an intern and gain clinical experience.

Step 3: Pursue a Master’s Degree

It would help if you had a master’s degree to become a speech-language pathologist. The graduate programs in speech pathology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation, which is a part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Graduation from the council-accredited program is a requirement to obtain a state license.

Step 4: Obtain State-Level Speech Pathology Certification

You need to earn a speech pathology certification at the state level, after graduating from a master’s degree in speech pathology. There are four steps required to meet license in most states to obtain a speech-language pathology certification.

  1. Supervised Clinical Experience: Requires A total of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience is required. 25 hours of clinical observation and 375 hours of client contact
  2. Clinical Fellowship Year: 36 weeks of clinical practice is required. The candidate should work at least 5 hours per week.
  3. Pass Praxis Exam: A passing score on the Praxis exam is a must for obtaining ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, a state teaching certificate, and a state license.
  4. Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC): You can become a certified speech pathologist by obtaining the CCC.

Speech Pathology Degree & Programs

Speech Pathology Degree at bachelor’s level builds a foundation to begin a career in speech pathology, Other communication systems, such as Braille and sign language. Students study sensory loss, disabilities, and disorders associated with the speech. The Basis of Braille course offers an in-depth study of the Braille system.

Online Speech Pathology Programs

Online speech pathology programs are offered as online as well as hybrid programs. The classes will be delivered via the internet, CD, and videotape. The basic requirements are a reliable internet connection and requisite software. You will need to attend summer classes on campus and complete the clinical practices near the school.

How Much do Speech Pathologists Make

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics(1), the Speech Pathologist salary as of 2018 is $77,510 (median annual salary), and the job employment is predicted to increase by 27% between 2018 and 2028. Speech pathologist maintains records, monitors progress, and counsel patients and their family.

Bottom Line

A speech pathologist career(2) is exciting and rewarding. Speech pathology offers a long-lasting career with attractive job opportunities. They work in different research, education, and healthcare organizations with different roles, clients, and levels of responsibility.