Choosing the right career option is always a difficult task. Generally, students run after more popular career options; hence they ignore some less popular but great career options, and speech therapist is one of them. It’s a non-conventional career choice that has lots of possibilities. Speech therapists are the professionals that treat individuals having speech disorders.
A speech therapy career is a good career choice. Earlier, people with speech disorders have to travel to the metro cities or bigger cities to get treatment. But now the medical facilities are reaching every small city of the country thus the demand for speech therapists is increasing. Not many aspirants have heard career in speech therapy, so here we have detail about this career option.
Career as Speech Therapist
Speech therapy or speech language pathology treats the issues related to communication, lack of fluency, disability to express thoughts and ideas, or issues in swallowing properly. The therapist is to diagnose the problem with the patient and treat it. Communication is one of the ways to express one’s feelings and ideas to others. So, any issue that affects communication cannot be small. Stammering is one of the most common issues for which people go to speech therapists. The therapists cure them and make them confident to speak without any hesitation. The therapists also identify the communication related issues in students and develop a specialized program to cure the issues at an early stage.
A career as a speech therapist gives you a chance to help the patients to speak with fluency. The therapists give confidence to the people with communication issues to speak fluently. They are to treat people of different age groups. Speech therapists can start their practice as independent therapists or with a hospital or a school.
How to be a Speech Therapist?
To be a speech therapist, you can go for a diploma course or a UG one. The right time to make your career in speech therapy is after 10+2. You must have studied Physics, Chemistry, and Bio in 10+2 to get admission to a diploma or degree course. Here are the eligibility criteria that are required to be a speech therapist in India;
· Diploma Course
In Diploma in Hearing, Language, and Speech (DHLS), the students learn to identify communication related issues at the initial stage. The course also trains the students to supervise the caregivers of the patients. To get Admission to DHLS, the students must have qualified 12th with PCB. All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, Karnataka, is the main coordinating center offering diploma courses. The main coordination center has centers in different states as well. The duration of DHLS is one year. Diploma in Hearing Aid and Earmould Technology (DHAET) is another short-term course that can help students have a career as a speech therapist.
· UG Course
The duration of UG courses is three years, and to get admission in this, you must have qualified 10+2. B. Sc in Speech and Hearing is a three-year course that gives an introduction and advanced information on this topic and its treatment. Another course you can get admission after 12th is Bachelor of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology (BASLP). The course duration is four years, and it is provided by the department of medical and science of all the reputed universities.
· PG Course
If you want to go for further studies, then you can enroll in one of the following courses as per your interest;
- M.Sc in Speech Language Pathology
- Master of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology (MASLP)
- M.Sc in Audiology
- M.Sc in Speech and Language Therapy
Colleges to get admission
To study the courses related to speech therapy and its branches, you need to get admission to a reputed college. You can also take the NEET exam to get a seat in the course of your choice. A few of the mentioned institutes consider the marks in NEET, and some have their entrance exam. Here is the list of the colleges that have a reputation in speech therapy education;
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences
- Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research,
- All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore
- Jawaharlal Institute Postgraduate Medical Education & Research
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- TN Medical College, Mumbai
- University of Bombay, Mumbai
- Indian Institute of Health Education, Patna
- Institute of Speech & Hearing, Bangalore
Skills to be a Speech Therapist
A successful career as a speech therapist needs good educational skills and some soft skills. Soft skills play an important role in any career, and speech therapist is not an exception. Following are the skills that make you a good speech therapist;
- Good Observation Skills
- Good Listening Ability
- Impressive Communication Skills
- Team Worker
Scope as Speech Therapists
If you want to be a speech therapist, then you have various career choices in this field. Here are some career options that you can choose;
- Speech Pathology Reader (SPR)
SPR works as a medical practitioner in a medical setting or as an individual SPR. They are to identify the issues a patient experiences while communicating with others or speech disorders. It’s one of the common career options for speech therapists.
Another profession for speech therapists is to be an audiologist. Audiologists test the hearing issues in a patient. As you must know that one cannot communicate properly if he has some hearing issues. So audiology is connected with speech therapy.
- Clinical Supervisor
The clinical supervisors check the progress of the patients. IT can be another career option if you are interested in pursuing your education in the described field. To be a supervisor, you must gain some experience as a therapist first. Generally, clinical supervisors are required in big medical setups.
- Teacher & Researcher
You can also choose to be a teacher or a researcher after completing your formal education as a speech therapist. It’s a branch of medical science that needs more researchers and teachers. So, if you are interested in doing deep research in this branch of medical science or teaching students about speech therapy, you can opt for this profession.
Employment Sectors that need a Speech therapist
The speech therapists can get a job in any one of the following sectors;
- Private or Government Hospitals
- Academic Universities and Schools
- Hearing aid industries
- Health Care Institutions
- Government Health Departments
- Special Schools
- Rehabilitation Centers
Benefits of Speech Therapist as a career option
- A degree in speech therapy opens the doors to work in foreign countries where you can get better salaries, better options for further educations, and other facilities.
- The demand for professional speech therapists is rising in India and other countries. It is expected that in 2024 the demand for professionals in this profession will rise to 24%.
- After formal education, the professionals can work in a medical setup or start their practice as an individual. They can also offer their services to any NGO and contribute to society.
- The initial salary for the professionals is 3-4 LPA which can be increased up to 8 to 10 PA as per the experience and expertise.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a career is crucial, but you can make the right decision when you know about different career choices and fields. Career as a speech therapist has potential, and we hope this article has described it well.