28 February 2012 0 Comments

Careers in speech – train to be a language and speech therapist

Being able to communicate is vital for most people’s day to day living. People with a speech disorder often feel isolated and detached from society as simple tasks, such as ordering a coffee or asking for directions, become a daunting and sometimes impossible task. Speech therapists are trained to assist anyone with a speech disorder. There are numerous reasons why somebody may have a speech disorder; some people are born with them while others may develop them as a result of an accident or an illness. As well as assisting people with common voice problems, such as stutters, tourettes syndrome and tics; speech therapists can also use their advanced knowledge of the throat and voice box to help people who have problems swallowing. Such problems are quite common among cerebral palsy sufferers and people with brain injuries.

Soft skills
A speech therapist works in conjunction with a team doctors, psychologists and nurses to provide rehabilitative care to patients. You should be a good team player and enjoy the challenge of working with people in a caring environment. A patient’s progress can be slow at times; empathy, determination, tact and a sense of humour are all vital qualities if you are going to succeed. Most patients will need to feel comfortable with you before any treatment can begin, you should be a people person and have the ability to quickly build a good rapport with your patients.

Train to be a Speech Therapist

Most people train to be a speech and language therapist by studying a certified course at college or university. In the UK, students study speech and language therapy for three or four years before becoming eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council. In the US, candidates study speech-language pathology at a university which is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). You will then be required to complete some clinical experience and pass national examinations before gaining certification with the Council For Clinical Certification (CFCC) of ASHA.

Salary and outlook
Speech and language therapists are in strong demand, many countries have a shortage of trained professionals and as such, wages are above average. Fresh graduates can expect to start on around £22,000 ($34,000) which rises quickly with experience. Senior therapists who take on a more managerial role can earn in excess of £60,000 ($90,000). But this job is not just about earning a salary; your training, hard work and perseverance help to make a difference to another person’s life. There is a great deal of job satisfaction in this career and that’s a quality that not all occupations offer. So if you’re looking for an interesting occupation in a caring profession with great job prospects, why not consider training to be a language and speech therapist.


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