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Speech and language therapist

Speech and language therapists assess and support people with communication problems.
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What does a speech and language therapist do?

This role involves helping people who have difficulties with speaking, understanding language, eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech and language therapists work with clients to maximise their ability to communicate, which may be in one-to-one or group sessions. Typical duties would involve:

  • talking with clients, observing them and using tests to assess their specific difficulties
  • planning and developing individual therapy programmes
  • supporting clients through treatment and adapting their programme where necessary
  • working closely with colleagues (such as doctors and teachers) to get the best results for clients
  • advising and coaching parents and carers to continue the therapy at home
  • keeping detailed records of a client's progress

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

You’ll need to be able to work with a range of people and be sensitive and understanding with them, as well as being able to motivate them to complete their course of treatment. You’ll also need a relevant degree that has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


Related skills

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

Academic route

  • Five GCSEs (A-C)
  • Three A levels (possibly including English and biology)

Essential qualifications

  • A degree in speech and language therapy or human communication

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You will find most jobs in the NHS, working closely with children and their families. You may also find opportunities within the private sector in hospitals or clinics. There are also opportunities in local authorities, children’s centres, voluntary organisations, independent schools and prisons.


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