Speech Therapy Certificate
Required Certification or Licensure:
Almost every state has regulations pertaining to licensure in the area of speech therapy. In most cases, individuals will need to have completed a master’s degree program in order to qualify for this licensure. Additionally, individuals will need to pass a national examination and complete approximately 375 hours of a supervised internship program. Even after one has become licensed, however, he or she will still need to keep the certification up to date and continue learning about new or more advanced practices that are currently being accepted. Often times, a particular course or class will be required to renew one’s license. Not only is licensure a requirement to practice speech therapy in most states, but it is also the only way for an individual to get a legitimate job in the field of speech therapy in most cases. It is important to note that in many states individuals who plan to use speech therapy in the public school system will have a different set of licensure requirements than those who plan to utilize speech therapy skills in another area. For this reason, it is important that prospective licensees be up to date on the current state or local requirements.
In addition to the many exams that will be given during both the undergraduate and graduate levels of education, one will be responsible for passing a national exam given as part of the licensure process. Generally, this test will be conducted through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service. For those who do not do well on standardized testing, this can present a problem. If an individual has a verified learning disability or other disorder that will affect his or her performance on the exam, there are certain exceptions that may be made. Individuals with these particular issues should visit the Educational Testing Service’s website and see what accommodations are made for those with his or her specific issue.
Many people do not pass the test on the first try. If this occurs, individuals should not give up. After a pre specified time period, any prospective speech therapist who has failed the examination will be able to retake the test. When failure does occur, individuals should use the time to brush up on their test taking skills and the knowledge acquired during speech therapy school. The testing service will provide a score report each time one takes the test, and this score report will explain where one’s individual strengths and weaknesses lie. Utilizing the results of each test will help students understand which areas they will need to pay special attention to during study.
The road to becoming a licensed and certified speech therapist is not always easy. In fact, it rarely is. For every individual, there will be bumps and tears along the way. If one is willing to stick with it, however, and see the project to its completion, he or she will find that it was well worth it.