What is the Training Like to Become a Speech Therapist in Colorado?
If you live in Colorado and have ambitions of becoming a speech therapist, then you should know that you have quite the long road ahead of you. Being a speech therapist is not something that happens overnight. In fact, it takes years of hard work and dedication but if it's what you truly want to do, then it will all be worth it in the end. Speech therapists in the state are in high demand and, as such, there is tremendous job security in the field. Most speech therapists also enjoy excellent benefits, lucrative pay, and personal fulfillment in knowing they are helping to improve the lives of others.
If you're absolutely sure that speech therapy is the field you want to enter into, then your first step is to obtain higher education. You will need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent to gain your bachelor's degree in a related field. You can do this by choosing to pursue an associate's degree and then transferring your credits to a bachelor's degree program, or by enrolling right away in a bachelor's degree program. There are no right or wrong answers here; you must simply choose the right path for you.
It is also important to note, especially for those who may be coming to the field later in life, that you are not required to start from scratch if you have a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field. There are many master's degree programs that will accept candidates from vastly different educational backgrounds. Some even do so quite readily, since they feel it brings a unique perspective to the program and can help other students, so don't think that all is lost just because your bachelor's degree is in English or something else unrelated.
No matter what, however, you will need a master's degree if you want to enjoy success in the field and to seek licensure. Master's degree programs are notoriously difficult to get into. As such, you'll want to make sure that you obtain a high grade point average during your undergraduate years (most master's degree programs will expect at least a 3.0), and that you adequately prepare for and do well on the graduate record exam (GRE) if it is required by your program of choice. When you apply for master's degree programs, it's best to apply to several different schools to increase your chances of acceptance. If you do meet with rejection, don't give up! Eventually, if you keep trying, you will be accepted into a program that's right for you.
Once you've finished your master's degree, it's time to seek licensure by the state. This, for many, is the hardest part of the process, and it definitely separates the haves from the have-nots. To get licensed will require many, many hours of supervised experiential learning, actual work in the field, and the passing of a rigorous national exam. However, if you are truly determined and complete all of these requirements, your dream career awaits you.