Speech and language therapist

Help children and adults who have speaking and communication problems.
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What does a speech and language therapist do?

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • talking to clients, observing them and using tests to assess specific difficulties
  • planning and developing therapy programmes
  • supporting clients through treatment
  • working closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers
  • coaching parents and carers to continue their therapy at home
  • keeping detailed progress records
  • working with groups or individuals to improve the way they communicate

What do I need to do to become a speech and language therapist?

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship


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:

  • two to three A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
  • an apprenticeship


You can do a speech and language therapist degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship


Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapist from:

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

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Patience
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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