Most people often think of speech-language pathologists as someone treating speech and language disorders. But, trust me, they do a lot more than this. A speech-language pathologist helps diagnose, evaluate, and treat speech, communication, swallowing, and language disorders. Children often face these disorders, but at times adults become the target too.
As a speech-language pathologist, you can work in an educational setup like autism centers and special schools or work at clinics and hospitals to assist people with severe disorders like aphasia, apraxia, or any other swallowing disorders. Besides, you can also practice privately by setting up a clinic and offer exceptional services to help them communicate.
The question here is;
“How to become a speech-language pathologist?”
Well, if you want to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist as well, then here is an easy seven-step guide to make the process easier. Read on.
Easy Steps to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist:
There are specific requirements to become a speech-language pathologist. Certain programs and courses, examinations, and licenses are required to pursue this as a career. In this article, we have mentioned the specific steps to become a speech-language pathologist. Have a look.
Complete all the Necessary Requirements:
Before applying, make sure you have completed all the requirements. If you have pursued a B.S. degree in Communicative Science and Disorders or Psychology, you are eligible to apply further in Speech-language pathology. Before applying to a Speech-language pathology master’s program, you need to complete some coursework.
Moreover, if you apply to an online speech pathology program, you need to complete undergraduate coursework in physics, chemistry, statistics, biology, or any social sciences. After which, you can easily apply for a Master’s program in speech and language pathology.
Get a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology:
It almost takes two to three years to complete your speech and language pathology degree. Even though a few might take less time. The two main components of this course are:
- Speech Pathology Coursework
- Clinical Practice and Field Placement.
This program teaches the different communication, swallowing, and language disorders, their diagnosis, treatment, and therapies.
Apply for Temporary License:
Before getting your Master’s in SLP, you are most likely to finish a clinical fellowship year. In some countries, you can apply for a temporary license for practice as a speech and language pathologist and later switch to a permanent license.
Clinical Fellowship Year:
A clinical fellowship year is required to practice as a speech and language pathologist in most states. These requirements might vary in some states, but a fellowship year is necessary almost anywhere. Besides, you need to apply for an ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence – Speech-Language Pathology and meet other requirements before starting your speech-language pathologist career. The fellowship consists of almost 1260 hours, 35 to 36 hours per week for a year.
Qualify the Praxis Exam:
Passing the Praxis Exam is necessary (and recommended by ASHA) at the beginning of the postgraduate clinical experience or completing your clinical fellowship. The passing score for the exam is 162 or above. After passing the exam, you are eligible to apply for the license.
Apply for the License:
Every state requires a license to practice as an SLP. The requirements for each vary, though. The good thing is that ASHA CCC replaces various conditions for becoming an SLP because CCC fulfills most requirements.
Attaining a license is essential. Without one, no matter how many degrees and certificates you have, you won’t be able to practice as an SLP. Thus, after graduating, make sure you focus on licensing and certifications.
Maintain the License:
After being certified, you need to maintain the license and credentials. For this, you can continue your education or submit renewal fees. Maintaining the license allows you to practice as a speech-language pathologist.
The trend of SLP is increasing with time. Because of which the flow of speech-language pathology jobs is drifting as well. Several people out there have speech, communication, and language issues but no proper treatment due to unawareness.
If you want to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist, this career step-to-step guide is perfect for you. So, before pursuing a career as a speech-language pathologist, make sure you read out these guidelines.
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