5 answers

How many years of education does it take for a speech pathologist?

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100% of 6 Pros

5 answers

Boopathy’s Answer

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Approximately seven years. Laws vary, but nearly all states require speech therapists to be licensed, and the standard educational level is a master's degree. The required undergraduate and graduate study for speech therapists plus post-graduate clinical practice takes approximately seven years.
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Alexa’s Answer

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Hi there,
I’m a speech language pathologist and it took me 6 years total (4 years undergrad, 2 graduate) to became a practicing SLP. Granted, that is just to obtain your degree.

There is also a national license as well as state licenses that can take up to a year to obtain post graduation. All of these deadlines will vary depending on what state you go to school in and what states you choose to obtain your license in. I suggest looking up schools that offer SLP graduate degrees via asha.org/edfind to know the difference between each program. I would also suggest contacting your local state licensing board to find out more about their individual qualifications.
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Pina’s Answer

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Hi Taryn,

You can work in most public school systems with a B.A. or B.S. in Communicative Arts and Sciences and the appropriate teaching credential. That coursework will generally take four years of study, however, an M.A. or M.S. in that field , which generally takes another two years, opens up many more employment opportunities including positions in hospitals, rehab facilities, community-based clinics and many private practices. Tele-practice companies vary in their hiring requirements, some accept B.A. or B.S. level clinicians while others require the M.A. or M.S.

If you want to go all the way and get your Ph.D., (generally three additional years) teaching positions in colleges and universities as well as a number of administrative positions will be open to you.

Wishing you all the very best!

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Caitlin’s Answer

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Hi Taryn,

To become a licensed speech-language pathologist, you can plan on 6 years of school: 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, and then 2 more years to get a masters degree in speech-language pathology.

There are a few states that allow people work as a speech-pathologist assistant (slpa) with a bachelor’s degree only. It looks like Massachusetts is one of them which allows it. Many states do not allow work as an SLPA at all. SLPA’s must work under the direction of a licensed SLP, are not qualified to perform all SLP job duties, and make less money.

Most people who plan to become a speech-language pathologist plan to apply to complete the 2 year masters program right after they graduate from their undergraduate program. The masters program includes coursework in the evenings and clinical internships during the day, so it is not really possible to work full time while attending grad school, the way it is with other Master’s programs.

After you graduate with your master’s degree, you would complete a 9 month clinical fellowship. This is paid work as an SLP with supervision from a clinician with experience in the field.

Hope this helps! I love my work as an SLP!

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Palak’s Answer

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Hi Taryn,

It typically takes 3-5 years after completing your master's degree or 2-3 years following a clinical doctoral degree to become a licensed speech pathologist.

See: https://www.speechpathologygraduateprograms.org/how-to-become-a-speech-language-pathologist/

Good luck
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