A speech therapist helps people with speech disorders. They may work with children who have developmental delays, or adults who have suffered a stroke.
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To become a speech therapist, you will need at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, although some jobs may require a doctoral degree. You will also need to pass a state-recognized exam. Some states also have their own licensure requirements. In addition to your education, you will need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills.
The definition of a speech therapist
A speech therapist, also called a speech-language pathologist, is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
Speech therapists work with individuals of all ages to help them improve their ability to communicate effectively. They also work with individuals who have difficulty swallowing.
Speech therapists typically need at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Some states also require speech therapists to be licensed.
The job outlook for speech therapists
The job outlook for speech therapists is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of speech-language pathologists will grow by 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging of the population will lead to an increase in demand for speech-language pathology services because older adults are more likely than younger people to have a stroke or other condition that impairs communication.
A speech therapist or speech-language pathologist is a person who is professionally trained to assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. In order to be a speech therapist, one must have at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited university.
The level of education needed
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with people of all ages who have difficulties with communication—speaking, understanding, or using both. They also work with patients who have trouble swallowing food or liquids.
An SLP typically needs a master’s degree, but some jobs may require a doctoral degree. A bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology or in another field such as communication sciences and disorders is the first step toward becoming an SLP.
To enter a master’s degree program in speech-language pathology, you must first complete prerequisite courses in the basic sciences, human development and communication along with courses in abnormal psychology and audiology. These courses are typically completed during the first 2 years of a 4-year program.
The types of programs available
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help people of all ages overcome communication disorders. These disorders can result from problems with the way a person’s brain processes and produces speech and language, or from physical impairments that affect a person’s ability to produce speech sounds.
Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, schools, and nursing homes. They may also work for companies that provide rehabilitation services or for government agencies. Some SLPs work as independent consultants.
The majority of speech-language pathologists hold at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. A few states allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree inspeech-language pathology to practice, but most states require that speech-language pathologists be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA offers two types of certification: the Clinical Competence Certificate (CCC), which requires the completion of an accredited master’s degree program and a clinical fellowship year; and the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), which requires the completion of an accredited master’s degree program, a clinical fellowship year, and passage of a national examination.
The benefits of getting a degree in speech therapy
A degree in speech therapy can provide many benefits. It can help you learn how to understand and treat communication disorders, how to work with people of all ages, and how to use different types of therapy to treat different conditions. A degree in speech therapy can also lead to a career in private practice, teaching, or research.
The demand for speech therapists is expected to grow much faster than average in the next decade due, in part, to an increase in the number of people with disabilities and the aging of the population. Although a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most entry-level positions, many therapists have a master’s degree. Some states require therapists to be licensed.
The need for speech therapists
The need for speech therapists is expected to grow in the coming years as the population ages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment of speech therapists will grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
To be a speech therapist, you will need at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, plus a state license or certification. A doctoral degree may be needed for some research positions or academic teaching jobs.
The growth of the profession
The demand for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) is expected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking communication disorders with physical and mental health problems should spur demand for preventative services. An aging population will also lead to increased demand for SLP services as people live longer and more people survive past age 65, when the risk of communication disorders increases.