Speech pathology is an energizing field of work for those that enjoy contributing to people’s lives in a constructive way.
With a median salary in the neighborhood of $80,000, a speech pathologist can also earn a good living while helping others.
What Is Speech Pathology?
A speech-language pathologist diagnoses and treats communication disorders in adults and children. The job also involves helping prevent such disorders.
Speech pathologists can work in clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities, often in consort with other healthcare professionals.
How Much School Is Required for Speech Pathology?
The exact time it’s going to take to complete your specialized education for the job depends on the route you take. Becoming a speech pathologist can take three to five years after a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Alternatively, it may take two to three years after a clinical doctoral degree.
A middle solution allows combined degree programs where you can pursue a research doctoral degree and a clinical degree simultaneously.
Steps to Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist
Education, experience, examination, and accreditation is the road you’ll need to follow to become a speech-language pathologist. Let’s look at the journey you will take in becoming integral in people’s lives.
Start With an Undergraduate Program
With over 200 educational institutions offering degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders, you’ll have to choose the right one for you. A bachelor’s degree in CSD will lead you right into your graduate studies.
Complete Accredited Graduate Degree Program
At the very least, you will have to complete an entry-level master’s degree from an accredited institution. You can get all the information you need from the college or university at which you are pursuing your undergraduate studies.
Pursue a Post-Graduate Fellowship
After applying for a temporary license, a post-graduate fellowship will give you your first hands-on experience. The fellowship is essential for obtaining state licensure, a step that will bring you closer to your goal. You should expect your fellowship to last 36 weeks, as per the requirement in most states.
Take a National Exam
A national exam in speech-language pathology can be taken at a test center in your location and date of choice. Passing scores vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Educational Testing Service for details.
Apply For State License
After passing the national exam, you will apply for state licensure. This involves submitting an application to the licensing authority along with your degree transcripts, your exam scores, a criminal background check, and a fee.
Receive Professional Certification
Professional certification is voluntary but should be pursued if you want to maximize your potential opportunities in the field. The process requires submitting an application and is worth the effort as you will gain greater salary potential, job mobility, and credibility.
Become a Speech Pathologist
Enrolling in one of the top speech pathology programs from places like Speech Pathology Graduate Programs is the first step in a lifelong journey of helping others. If you strive to help others and appreciate being around caring professionals, a career in speech pathology is for you.