Becoming a Speech Therapist
Step by Step on How to Become a Speech Therapist:
The road to becoming a licensed speech therapist can be a long one, but if one has the dedication and fortitude to see it through, he or she is very likely to be happy in this wonderful and rewarding career.
The first thing that one should do to become a speech therapist is to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While this degree can really be in just about any subject, it is often beneficial to the individual to major in a somewhat related field. Commonly chosen majors by those who know they want to become speech therapists are Psychology, Special Education, Psychology of Exceptional Individuals, Social Work, Sociology, or various liberal arts degrees that prove one to be a well rounded individual. Good grades will be very important during the undergraduate phase of education, since these will often be the determining factor in whether or not one is accepted into a graduate institution.
After graduating, students will need to enroll in a fully accredited speech therapy master’s degree program. Again, grades and dedication will be incredibly important. Upon completion of this program, individuals may choose to seek licensure right away or they might opt to go on to a doctoral program. Many people choose to seek licensure and then later, once they are employed, attend a doctoral program in the hopes of advancing in the field. It is always up to the individual to decide the right path for himself or herself, and there is no “right way” to complete this step.
Licensure is perhaps the most important part of the process in becoming a speech therapist. Licensure will require completing a hands on, supervised internship, and this often causes some people to consider other careers. To avoid having this happen, one should be sure to research all things related to speech therapy thoroughly before ever pursing an education in the field. Licensure will also require one to pass a national exam and to prove one’s ability in the speech therapy field.
Upon completing licensure, there is nothing left to do except to find a job. Not everyone will like the very first job they receive straight after licensure, but this job should be regarded as a learning experience. No matter what the position, one should do his or her best. Often times, those who work hard will quickly be promoted to work at a higher level or will have an easier time finding other, more desirable positions even if they are in a different field.