How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist - Step by Step Guide [2023] - Trusted Advice and Resources for Seniors (2023)

Are you an aspiring speech therapist? Do you want to help people deal with their hearing and balance disorders? According toThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate for speech therapists will increase by 16% by 2030. This article will focus on everything you need to know toto become a speech therapist.

How to become a speech therapist?

To become an audiologist, you must earn a bachelor's degree in hearing and speech sciences or a related field and a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree, qualify for the audiology praxis exam, be licensed by your state and obtain professional certification.

The definition of speech therapist

Speech therapists are healthcare professionals who identify, prevent, diagnose and treat hearing, balance and other hearing disorders in people of all ages, from newborns to adults.

The services of an audiologist play a key role in improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss.

HeNational Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)recounts thatone in eight peoplein the United States have hearing loss in both ears.

The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age.NIDCDalso reports that 50% of people age 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.

Steps to Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist

The professional title required to become a certified Speech-Language Pathologist in the United States is Doctor of Audiology (AuD). However, to become an audiologist, you must also earn a bachelor's degree, qualify for the Praxis audiology exam, and be licensed and certified by the state...

Keep in mind that an audiologist's education and licensing can be expensive; so before you start, make sure you know what thespeech therapist salaryes.

Mentioned below are 6 steps you should consider to become an audiologist.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

By completing a degree program in an audiology-related subject, aspiring audiologists are better prepared for their career.

Hearing and Speech Science is the most suitable degree program for aspiring speech therapists.

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Some AuD programs allow undergraduates with any bachelor's degree. However, Hearing and Speech Sciences is the most suitable degree program for aspiring speech therapists.

Ideally, AuD programs are looking for students with academic disciplines in science and technology. Topics include audiology, speech pathology, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, and engineering.

Be sure to choose a degree program at an accredited university.

Step 2: Earn a Master's Degree (optional)

Earning a master's degree is not necessary to become an audiologist in the United States. However, it can help you gain more knowledge, advance your career, and improve professional networks.

If you want to earn a master's degree before proceeding to your doctoral program in audiology, consider graduate programs related to the field of audiology. One such graduate program isMaster in Speech Therapy.

Although universities in the United States do not offer Masters in Audiology, other countries such as Australia, Canada and India still offer Masters in Audiology.

Step 3: Earn a PhD in Audiology

Completing the Doctorate of Audiology (AuD) program is the most important requirement for becoming an audiologist.

The AuD program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the field of audiology. This includes academic and clinical internship experiences that meet the requirements of theAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The AuD program involves3 to 4 years of full-time study.

The curriculum includes professional knowledge courses as well as on-campus and off-campus clinical practices.

Academic and clinical experience must be sufficient to demonstrate the knowledge and skills identified in theCFCC Standard II for Audiology.

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Be sure to choose an accredited institution whose program is accredited by theAcademic Accreditation Board in Audiology and Speech Therapy (CAA).

The CAA, ASHA's semi-autonomous body, is dedicated to audiology and speech therapy programs. Establishes accreditation standards to prepare students to work independently as physicians.

Step 4: Audiology Praxis Exam Score

HePraxis Audiology Examination, performed byEducational Testing Service (ETS)), includes aseries of tests to assess knowledge and skillsentry-level audiologists before becoming certified professionals.

According to ASHA, the Praxis exam is an integral component of theASHA certification standards.The national exam material includes 120 questions. All individuals with an AuD degree must pass this test in order to practice audiology in various environments.

Once you get your speech language pathologist qualifications, you can register for the test.

It is important to note that aa new version of the Praxis audiology exam is developed every 5-8 years, thus varying the passing grade.

The Praxis exam is an integral component of the ASHA certification standards and includes 120 questions.

Step 5: Get Your State Audiology License

Audiologists must qualify for a state license in audiology. Licensing requirements for audiologists may differ from state to state. This means that the passing score on the Praxis audiology exam for passing state licenses can be different in each state for audiologists.

refer tosite da ASHAfor more information on state-specific licensing requirements.

Step 6: Complete accreditation

To demonstrate clinical competence, a professional certification in Audiology can be completed:

ABA certificate is not required. However, becoming ABA certified will give you more credibility as an audiologist and improve your career opportunities and advancement.

The ABA also offers several audiologist certification programs if you would like to pursue specialized training in audiology, such asTinnitus management (CH-TM) or cochlear implants (CI).

How long does it take to become a speech therapist?

It takes, on average,almost 8 yearsto become an audiologist, as both the undergraduate degree and the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program take 4 years to complete.

Ideally, you need a doctorate in audiology to become a certified audiologist. However, it is necessary to complete an undergraduate degree in Speech Therapy or other related fields to acquire skills to advance to the Doctorate in Audiology.

What does a speech therapist study?

Speech therapists learn comprehensively how to identify, prevent, diagnose and treat hearing, balance and other hearing disorders.

According to ASH,knowledge and skill outcomesincorporated into audiology programs are:

  • Fundamentals of practice
  • Prevention and Detection
  • audiological evaluation
  • Advice
  • Lifelong hearing rehabilitation
  • pediatric audiological (re)habilitation
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To receive certification to practice Audiology, an individual must complete a supervised clinical internship and the experience must meet CAA standards for duration, knowledge and skills.

speech therapist salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2020 is$81,030 per yearand $38.95 per hour.

Reports also suggest that the employment rate for speech therapists is much faster than the average for other healthcare professionals.

The average salary differs from state to state, withNorth Dakota offers the highest salary, followed by California and Maryland.

In addition to geographic location, audiologist salaries can also vary based on education, board certification, work environment and experience. For example, outpatient care centers offer higher salaries for speech therapists than hospitals or doctors' offices.

Where do speech therapists work?

Speech-language pathologists provide services in a variety of professional settings.

As reported by ASHA, the most common career configuration for speech therapists is as follows.

health careers

73.5% of speech therapists are employed in healthcare settings.such as hospitals, private practices and group audiology clinics and long-term care institutions.


Outside of15.6% of speech therapists are employed in educational services, 8.4% in schools and 7.2% in colleges and universities. Statistics suggest that for every 1,000 school-aged children, 131 have hearing loss.

Statistics suggest that for every 1,000 school-aged children, 131 have hearing loss.

Audiologists who provide educational care to students with hearing loss are called educational audiologists (EdAud). An EdAud ensures that children with hearing loss receive maximum support in accessing information in the classroom.

Local, state and federal government agencies

Audiologists provide hearing services in government agencies such as public health departments, uniformed services (US Air Force, US Army, US Navy), and industries with Audio Conservation Programs. to audition

Speech therapist x otorhinolaryngologist

The role of speech therapists andOtorhinolaryngologists(ENT) are often confused with each other, as both professionals assist people with hearing impairment.

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An otolaryngologist is adoctor who diagnoses and treats ear diseases, nose and throat. Otolaryngologists perform both non-invasive and invasive procedures totreating medical conditions related to these areas.

Audiologists, on the other hand, help people cope with hearing loss by administering hearing tests and prescribing and dispensing hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Hetreatment services offered by speech therapistsare non-invasive.

When a person with hearing loss sees an audiologist, the professional performs a series of tests to determine the cause, type and severity of the hearing loss.

If the hearing loss is caused by prolonged exposure to noise or due to age-related factors, the audiologist will prescribe hearing aids and discuss other treatment options. In the case of an underlying cause, such as an ear infection, the audiologist will refer the individual to an otolaryngologist.

Final Thoughts on Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist

To become a certified audiologist, you must earn a bachelor's degree, a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree, pass the Audiology Praxis Examination, obtain a state license, and complete the CCC-A accreditation offered by ASHA.

Depending on your interests, you can also specialize in different areas of audiology such as pediatrics, geriatrics, hearing aids, cochlear implants, tinnitus, and much more.


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