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Speech and language therapy assistant

Speech and language therapy assistants support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £24,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm; on a rota

Future employment

There will be 5.4% more Speech and language therapy assistant jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role, you could:

  • work with clients on a one-to-one basis
  • run group work and activities
  • update patient records
  • work closely with speech therapists and education professionals
  • advise clients and colleagues on cultural and language differences if you're bilingual

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services
  • Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way to get practical experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information

You can do a Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or a Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

You could start as a healthcare assistant and move into speech and language therapy assistant work, through further training and promotion.

Volunteering and work experience

You might have an advantage when looking for jobs if you have volunteering experience in a healthcare setting.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got relevant skills and experience from working in a healthcare setting. Some employers may ask for a qualification in healthcare and GCSE subjects like maths, English and science.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll need to be able to speak a second language that is spoken in the community to work as a bilingual speech and language therapy assistant.
  • pass enhanced background checks

More information

Career tips

You'll be expected to show an understanding of the NHS values when applying for jobs and apprenticeships.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a speech and language therapy assistant from Health Careers.

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With experience, you could:become a team leader and supervise other therapy assistants; train to become an assistant practitioner; study to qualify as a speech and language therapist

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Health Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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