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Childcare

Speech and language therapist

Speech and language therapists help children and adults who have speaking and communication problems.

Annual Salary

£24,907 to £44,503

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Speech and language therapist jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

As part of your day-to-day tasks, you could:

  • talk to clients, observe them and use tests to assess specific difficulties
  • plan and develop therapy programmes
  • support clients through treatment
  • work closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers
  • coach parents and carers to continue their therapy at home
  • keep detailed progress records
  • work with groups or individuals to improve the way they communicate

Working environment

You could work at a school, in an NHS or private hospital, at a health centre, in a nursery or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
University

You'll need a degree in speech and language therapy that's approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

If you've got a degree in a science or language-based subject, you could do a 2-year fast-track postgraduate course in speech and language therapy.

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can do a speech and language therapist degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • For some roles you'll need to visit clients in their homes, so you'll need a driving licence.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapist from:Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists; Health Careers

With experience, you could specialise in areas like:helping children with special educational needs; helping eating, drinking and swallowing disorders (dysphagia)

With further training, you could move into teaching and research. You could also become self-employed.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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