How Much Training Does it Take to Become a Speech Therapist in Hawaii?
Hawaii residents who wish to become speech therapists often have a lot of questions about the field in general. One of the biggest and most commonly asked questions, however, deals with what type of training is required to actively work as a speech therapist. It seems that most individuals asking this question want the answer to be easy; they want to complete a quick program and then seek out work as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Becoming a speech therapist is something that takes years of hard work, commitment, a strong work ethic, and drive and determination. If you're one of the few who is willing to see the career path through from start to finish, however, then you will find yourself with a very lucrative, fulfilling, personally rewarding, and flexible career that you are sure to be happy with.
The first step to becoming a speech therapist in the state of Florida is to seek out higher education. In order to do this, you will need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. The better your grades are, the easier it will be for you to get into an accredited college or university. If your grades are not up to par or if you are financially unable to afford a traditional college or university, pursuing an associate's degree first can often be helpful. Any credits earned from an associate's degree program are designed to be easily transferrable to any traditional undergraduate program within the state. Of course, if you can afford to do so and if you are accepted, you can complete four straight years, or less with summer classes and extra work, at a traditional college or university. In general, the more quickly you can get this initial phase of your studies done, the better, because your education is the longest and most difficult part of becoming a speech therapist in the state.
When you have completed your bachelor's degree, it is time to obtain your master's degree from an accredited college or university. Master's degree programs vary in length and intensity, depending on the program that you choose. Typically, however, they will last anywhere from one to four years, and are designed to prepare you for real work in the field. After you obtain your master's degree, you can go straight for licensure, which is what most professionals in the field have done, or you can opt for a doctoral degree. A PhD can give you a higher salary and better prepare you to work as a speech therapist, but it is most often completed after already working in the field.
When your education is complete or at least done for the time being, you can begin the licensure process. This will involve filling out an application and paying an application fee, completing several supervised experiential learning and work hours, and passing a national examination. Once you've done all this, however, you're ready for work in the field.