Speech Therapy licensing in North Carolina
Speech therapy is a growing field that has promise for creating more jobs in future years. Many people have need for professionals in this line of work and this contributes to the growing demand for people to gain certifications all over the world. Though there are many steps involved in the gaining of credentials in the field of speech and language pathology or speech therapy it can be seen as well worth it to take these steps because of the respect that comes with becoming certified as well as the salary involved after all of the steps are taken.
The benefits of becoming a speech therapist are far and wide. In addition to helping people that have speech problems as a result of various circumstances such as heart attacks and strokes, speech therapists provide services that cannot be replicated in any other field. In your journey to become a speech therapist it is important to realize the many years of training (both in college and hands on) that are required in order to meet your goals. In addition to this it is important to note the various state laws that are involved in gaining certification and also keeping it. At times you must also renew your certifications once gained. All states have laws that denote the exact steps that must be taken in order to do this. As far as North Carolina law is concerned the licensing of a speech therapist or speech-language pathologist is a serious matter that is subject to many rules and regulations. If you are personally trying to pursue licensing in North Carolina to become a practicing speech-language pathologist it is in your best interest to know these rules in order to ensure you get your license in the least problematic manner possible. The gaining of your license to practice speech-language pathology is a necessary step in becoming certified to practice in North Carolina (or any other state for that matter) and every state outlines certain regulations in order to achieve this. This article will attempt to outline these rules in a manner that is more accessible to the average person.
In order to be certified to practice speech therapy it is important to first realize the various steps that are necessary in the process including the obtaining of a BA and then at least an MA from an accredited university in the field (or equivalent qualifications). Under North Carolina law this is required as a first step to getting certified. NC law also decrees that a person must present the transcripts from this university or universities in order to determine that a person has successfully completed 75 semester hours involving a rigorous course load that includes aspects of human communication and clinical techniques. NC law states that 15 of the 75 credits needed to be certified in the field must be gained from courses that deal with speech, language, and hearing, development. Another 36 must come from training and management of speech language and hearing disorders with 24 of these 36 in actual speech and language pathology courses.
In addition to this you must also work with already certified professionals for a minimum period of 400 hours and present evidence of this as well. This can be done after you gain your masters degree or before but it must be done one way or the other. Further requirements denote that you must pass a board examination to further establish your qualification in the field. After this you must present all evidence to the board as well as an application in order to gain your license. In addition to this you must submit to a criminal background check.