Finding the Best Speech Therapy Programs

With the gradual economic improvements being seen today, and a shift in population demographics, the healthcare industry has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

Because of this, many rehabilitative and therapeutic professions are experiencing greater demand for qualified individuals.

Speech therapy – also known as speech-language pathology – is an interesting and important career option for anyone who likes the idea of working in a healthcare field, but in a more educational or teaching form of therapy.

There are hundreds of programs where gaining these qualifications are possible, and the estimated salary is quite competitive in comparison to other occupations, making speech therapy an excellent consideration.

Becoming a Speech Therapist

Students interested in a career in speech-language pathology will need to attend one of the many available speech therapy programs to become qualified.

Although there are numerous degree levels available, it is most recommended that prospective applicants into this career path plan on earning their pathology, which will offer them the most employment opportunities, as well as a chance at career advancement without having to return to school.

Most states and provinces in the US and Canada require speech pathologists to be certified, as well as licensed; only student who have completed graduate programs are eligible for certification.

In the UK and some other areas, must be registered with their nation’s health council; requirements include the successful completion of at least a Bachelor’s degree program, or completion of an accelerated two-year program which may have specific entry requirements.

Finding the Best Programs

To receive the best education, and be prepared for not only the certification examination as well as entry into this detailed career, students are recommended to attend the best program possible.

They should look for one that has been recommended doing so, students can be assured they are investing in an education that has been carefully structured to provide them the best learning opportunities, and involves curriculums that include the latest and most accepted training techniques today.

ASHA also oversees certification of qualified individuals, and provides testing opportunities throughout the year for those seeking certification.

In Canada, accreditation and overview of educational programs is done by the Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) and (CACUP-ASLP). The CASLPA also handles all certification and testing for qualified individuals.

UK accreditation of all university programs offered is handled (RCSLT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which also keeps a register of all qualified professionals who are legally able to practice.

Employment as a Speech Therapist

There are many different places where graduates of speech therapy programs can find employment. While regular hospitals do hire these professionals, there are many jobs available in educational therapeutic positions at elementary and primary schools, special education schools and with other programs for children exhibiting speech or hearing delays and other issues.

Speech therapists can also play important roles for older students at middle and high school level who require assistance in understanding and communication, and they are also employed by colleges to ensure that students in need of their services can still get the best education possible with speech and language therapy.

Additionally, skilled nursing facilities that provide care for older patients and those of all ages who are recovering from strokes, brain injuries and other conditions that have affected their ability to speak and communicate well provide many jobs for speech therapists.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Others are employed by private practices, which may see patients of all types, or specialize in only one type of patient or communication issue. In any case, due to increased demand for speech-language pathologists overall, most graduates are able to easily find employment today.

Since it is a very detail oriented career, and education and training can be intense, students are recommended to only enroll at a school that has been recommended by their country’s main professional group to ensure they meet all necessary qualifications for certification or registration, and can be employed.

Each of these organizations provides a list of all accredited speech therapy programs for prospective students at their websites.