M—y na—mme i-s l-la-u—a–a—–rra. The whole class burst out laughing when she finished her first sentence. Except one, she was Shally. Instead of laughing at her, she felt sorry and empathetic. She wished she could help Laura, but she was too young to do that.
Like Laura, there are over 1 million children and young people in the UK who have language difficulties. However, this is not a never-ending problem. With proper treatment and therapy, one can get rid of their language difficulties.
If you are like Shally if you always feel bad for your friends who stutter, then you should become a language and speech therapist. In this profession, you will feel completeness for helping people and satisfaction in changing someone’s life. In this article, we have discussed 7 easy steps to become a speech and language therapist. Follow them and chase your dream.
What Does Speech Therapist Do?
A speech therapist helps children and adults who have verbal communication difficulties. They support children and adults and improve their challenges with verbal communication. Why children or an adult have speech difficulties can vary from patient to patient. However, strokes, learning disabilities, and dementia are some of the common reasons for verbal communication difficulties. To improve client language difficulties, a speech therapist first talks to the patient observes their challenges, plans the patient’s therapy plan, provides advice to the patients and also to their families, writes reports and monitors and tracks the patient’s progress on the language difficulties.
What Qualities Do You Need To Become a Speech Therapist
An excellent interpersonal skill is a must for a successful career in the speech therapist. It would be best if you had a genuine feeling for others, an instinctive nature to help others, and a passion for impacting someone’s life are the essential qualities for a language and speech therapist. Besides, you must have good listening skills, excellent problem-solving skills, creative and organised. The ability to create a positive professional relationship with the patient is the key to success as a language and speech therapist.
How Much You Can Earn as A Speech Therapist
It is always important to know how much you can earn from your preferred profession. Regardless of helping people, a speech therapist also offers a handsome salary for its practitioners. You just started your career as a speech therapist, and you can earn up to £28,000 per annum—the income increases as you grow. As a specialist speech therapist, you can earn up to £34,000 per annum, and as an advanced therapist, you can earn up to £40,000 per annum. This number could vary depending on your expertise skills. The more you get industry knowledge and experience, the more you can earn.
7 Steps to Become a Language and Speech Therapist
Now, let’s check out the 7 easy steps to become a speech and language therapist.
1. Understand the Role of a Speech Therapist
This is the first-ever step of starting your career as a speech therapist. Before jumping off, know the duty of the speech therapist. You may have empathy for the people, maybe you have a friendly nature, but without a proper understanding of the career, it is hardly possible to reach your goal.
To understand this profession, meet people who are already working in this field. It will be useful if you can talk to them, observe them while they are dealing with their clients. Or ask them about the possibilities of a speech therapist.
In general, as a speech therapist, you have to improve your patient’s difficulties with language. You have to guide them towards their recovery, report their condition, and monitor and analyse their improvement. Find out if it is possible for you, if you will enjoy it and would love to take it as your profession.
2. Evaluate Your Personal Interest and Qualities
Now it is time to evaluate your personal qualities as a speech therapist. Before diving into this profession, match your interest, qualities with it. If it is perfectly matched, only then go for the 3rd step.
As a speech therapist you have to be very passionate about your work, you need to have patience and empathy for others. An instinctive helping nature. Other than these, you have to have excellent communication skills too.
Evaluate yourself, if all these qualities matched with you entirely. Otherwise, skip this profession. However, if you found yourself perfectly matched with all the personal attributes required for a speech therapist only then pursue this career.
At the end of the day, your motivation to work is essential, and if your personal interest doesn’t match with your profession, you can not succeed in the job. To evaluate your particular interest and qualities, if it matches only then follow the next step.
3. Complete a Bachelor Degree in Communication and Disorder
Now you have a complete idea about the speech therapist, their role and personal qualities. Now enrol undergrad program on speech and language therapist. Many universities in the UK offer speech and language therapist courses.
As a prerequisite, most of the university preferred a mixture of a science and art subject in your A-level. Excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills and organisational skills are required for the undergrad course admission.
Other than the specialised course, you can earn your degree in communication science and disorder. In this course, you will learn language development, its function, linguistics, phonetics, psychology, general science, and audiology.
4. Complete a Masters Degree
Now it is time for a master’s degree, the prerequisite for a master’s degree in science, language, or a psychology degree. The duration for your undergrad degree can vary from 3-4 years, depending on the university you choose.
But for a master’s degree, it will take fully 2 years to complete the degree, to get selected for the master’s degree in language and speech therapy, your result should not be less than 2:1.
During your master’s program, you will be taught voice articulation, neurological substrates, and phonology. After successful completion of the master’s degree, you will become eligible to apply for the SLT ( Speech and Language Therapist ) registration to the HCPC ( The Health and Care Professions Council ).
5. Apply for the Apprenticeship
Just after your master’s degree join an apprenticeship program to get hands-on experience. Your university will offer this apprenticeship. During this apprenticeship, you will learn the actual work of a speech therapist. If you join learning just after your masters, the program would be shorter. The apprenticeship program comes with money. You will be paid for the apprenticeship. However, the salary for your apprenticeship depends on your employer and the minimum wage for apprentices.
6. Complete Accredited Certification Program
Now it is time for accredited certification training to become a complete speech and language therapist. Enrol speech and language therapy courses from LIBM. It is an online course so that you can learn this course from your comfort zone.
This training program provides lifetime access to the course, 24/7 online tutor support and so on. After a successful compilation of the course, you will get a recognised qualification in language and speech therapy.
The course is only 7 hours and 35 minutes long and offers boundless opportunities for its learners. It provides a certificate that will add extra value to your speech and language therapy profession.
7. Apply for License
Now it is time for the license. Registered with the Health and Care Profession Council ( HCPC). Without proper registration, you can not call yourself a speech and language therapist.
You could get £5,000 fine for calling yourself a speech therapist without the registration. For registration, you need to submit all the required documents certified by a barrister/legal practitioner/ accountant /solicitor/ other registered professional.
After submitting your form and fee, the registration body will process your application within 10 working days. If you are successful, you will find your register online. However, if you get unsuccessful, you will be notified by written notice. So, if you get registered, you will become a professional speech and language therapist.
Speech and language therapist is undoubtedly a rewarding career. You will be helping others to improve language difficulties. The profession is long-lasting and offers incredible job opportunities. So, if you plan to help people like Laura, start your rewarding journey from today!!