Requirements to become a Speech Therapist in New Jersey
Speech therapy encompasses a wide array of specializations and activities and can be seen as a growing field of study. Employment in speech and language pathology is expected to grow at a healthy rate in the future as well so you may want to take it upon yourself to get the necessary training involved in order to become successful in the field and make a good salary in the process. In order to get your training to become a speech therapist in New Jersey on the road, there are a few things you should know to ensure your success.
First of all it is important to realize the job requirements of becoming a speech therapist. Speech therapists do help patients with issues such as stuttering and other speech issues but they also can help to treat hearing loss or difficulties with bodily functions such as swallowing. There are also a range of people who could possibly benefit from speech therapists in your area. People who suffered from traumatic experiences like if they had a stroke or a heart attack may also be able to benefit from speech therapy. Speech therapists can help these individuals deal with the loss of normal speech functioning from conditions such as stroke or heart attacks.
In addition to how and who you can help, it is important to realize the commitment and training it takes in order to become a speech therapist (or speech and language pathologist). When studying at a college for this field applicants may find themselves in a very competitive atmosphere. Students will study for years to be a part of the relatively small pool of successful speech and language pathologists so it is advised that you also take this into consideration. It is important to not only know who you will be up against but how you will tackle the rigorous course load that is involved in this field.
Getting to practicing speech therapy in New Jersey involves a few steps in order to successfully get your credentials. The first thing that is involved is enrolling into a bachelor's degree program at an accredited university. The proper name for the degree program that is related to speech therapy is communication sciences and disorders. This is what you will want to major in if you want to pursue you BA and get to practice as a speech therapist. It is important to realize the importance of good grades in your undergraduate studies. Getting a good GPA will aid you in not only being recognized as a knowledgeable person in your field but also in getting accepted to graduate school which is a necessary step in your continued training.
In addition to applying to and getting into graduate school after you finish your undergrad course load you may want to take the opportunity to work in an actual research facility or clinic in order to make your training process continue smoothly. Graduate programs can also be very competitive so you will want to make sure you choose one that is right for you. After you get in to graduate school, in order to finish your masters degree program, now it is time to do your clinical trials which involve being in a clinic and being monitored for a period of time (usually 36 weeks for 400 hours or more and then another 9 months after you get your masters). After this is completed it is time to take your Praxis Series exam and pass with a 600 or more. Once you have completed all of these necessary requirements successfully you can then apply for your certification. In addition to the application and application fee required you must also have a criminal background check run on you. Then you are certified!