How to Become a Speech Therapist
It can take some time before you can start practicing as a speech therapist but once you earn your license, it’ll be a lot easier.
Education is vital so you need to finish your college degree and pursue a master’s degree. Follow the requirements so that you will be allowed to take the national certification exam.
Before you decide to become a speech therapist, you need to actually get the feel of the profession. The best way to do that is to talk to someone who is working as a Speech Therapist. You will be able to see what he or she is doing everyday. You can expect many job opportunities waiting for you. You can work in rehabilitation facilities, schools, hospitals, private sector, or in public health. Finishing a college degree is necessary. In fact, some professionals also earn master’s degree and it doesn’t end there – you will still need to pass the licensure examination to be able to practice.
As a speech therapist, you will work with patients having difficulty in speaking. The muscles around the mouth including that of the throat affect a patient’s capability to speak well. The problem can be the result of an accident, stroke, illness, or it can also be congenital. There are also patients with cognitive difficulties that contribute to the problems related to communication. The job is not limited to people having speech difficulties but it also deals with people who find it hard to swallow.
Education is Vital
Education is a major consideration. You can take up Speech Pathology during college and after that, you will need to take up a master’s degree. There are also alternative college courses that you can take up like Physiology and Anatomy. The coursework will usually include swallowing, language, and speech. Once you reach the graduate programs, you will also need to complete a clinical training. The 47 states in the US require a license before you can become a speech therapist. Since the requirements vary from each state, make sure that you inquire so that you can comply accordingly. However, the most common requirements are – nine months work experience (post graduate), clinical training for 300 to 375 hours, and most especially, you should pass the national certification exam. In some states, those who work in public schools have lower level licensing. Again, as long as you know the requirements, you can easily comply.
After finishing your studies and you’ve already earned your license, you can now find work. The job opportunities for Speech Therapists were already mentioned earlier so you can start applying for jobs there. In most cases, the company where you had your clinical training may want to hire you if you were able exhibit excellent performance. Just submit applications and soon, you can expect a call.
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