Speech Therapy Courses – Everything You Need To Be A Speech Therapist

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on Jul 26th, 2019 written by Editorial Team
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Speech Therapy is defined as an allied branch of health sciences which is related to speech, voice and language disorder of a person.

In recent times, audiology, as well as speech therapy, has become a prominent career option. Anyone with a degree or diploma in speech therapy is known as a speech therapist.

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A speech therapist will examine, diagnose and treat patients with speech disorders, stuttering, and other cognitive speech deficiencies.

They work with deaf, stroke patients, laryngectomies patients, or children with delayed language learning. They also deal with those who are non-native English speakers and want to improve their accents.

Day by day an awareness can be witnessed among people regarding speech and auditory disorders and this has increased the demand for experts in this field. This is the reason for the increased potential of speech therapist as a career option for aspiring students.

Generally, the work of a speech therapist is to deal with people having difficulty in speaking, forming words or sound, or those who are recovering from an injury, illness or trauma that has affected their verbal communication.

Their patients can be either children or old people/grown-ups. Few examples of speech disorder are delayed speeches during childhood, stammering or stuttering, and lisping.

There is various reason for its occurrence including psychological trauma, accidents, removal of the larynx (due to cancer), congenital defects like cerebral palsy and cleft palate.

A speech therapist’s job is to teach them vocal exercises to improve their diction and articulation. For those who are completely incapable of speech, speech therapists need to teach them the sign language.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the speech therapy courses, the candidate should have completed their 10+2 in science stream from a recognized educational board.

After this, you can look out for some good college/institutes with undergraduate courses for speech therapy. As soon as you complete your bachelor’s degree, you can opt for a masters degree in speech therapy for specialization.


Courses for Speech Therapy

Below is the list of courses which are taught in Speech Therapy:

1. Speech and Language Acquisition Course

It is one of the first courses taken by anyone pursuing B.Sc. in speech and pathology. This is an introductory level class.

This course provides an overview of the normal progression of language acquisition from infancy to adolescence, theories concerning language acquisition, social factors in speech acquisition, the development of dialects and potential problems in speech development.

2. Speech Anatomy and Physiology Course

Any future speech therapist will require an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy of the auditory and speech systems, in addition to the speech & language acquisition course.

This may also introduce some common anatomical abnormalities which can result in any type of speech problems.

Under this course, students will take a specialized anatomy and physiology class, where they learn about the mechanisms behind breathing, articulating sounds and receiving sounds.

3. Speech Therapy and Phonetics Course

Students often need to take a course in phonetics. This course provides an overview of speech sounds from a physiological, descriptive and acoustic perspective.

In this, students learn how to identify, describe, classify and transcribe different types of speech sounds with the international phonetic alphabet. American English phonetics is typically emphasized.

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4. Voice and Language Disorders Course

Under this course, topics covered are physiological speech problems related to paralysis, ulcers, cleft palette or damaged vocal nodules. It also includes motor speech disorders and neurological speech problems, such as dysarthria and apraxia.

Classes for voice and language disorders are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In this students learn about the causes and treatment techniques for these disorders.

5. Speech Problems in Children Course

In this course, students are introduced with common problems related to speech acquisition and development in infancy, early childhood, and adolescence, which includes stuttering, lisps, and developmental delays.

Under this course, future speech therapists also learn about the potential physiological, psychological, social causes of these problems and how to assess and treat speech disorders in children.

6. Speech Problems in the Elderly Course

There are courses devoted to speech problems and communication disorders in older people, especially dysphagia.

In this course, students with speech therapy majors also learn about the causes and various treatment techniques for these problems.


What Degree Does a Speech Pathologist Need?

Those future aspirants who look themselves as future speech pathologists and have the urge to serve the society will need the following qualification as mentioned below in the table.

The following table provides an overview of degree a speech pathologist need and scope they have in the future.

Degree Required
  • Bachelor degree – It is generally a four-year degree course but it totally depends on the ‘College’ or ‘Institution’ you are studying from. The course of Content will be learning phonetics, psychology, general science, maths, human language development, etc.
  • Master’s degree – It is a two-year degree course, approved by the ‘Council Of Academic Accreditation’. The Course of Content will be learning the advance of Bachelor degree as well as getting practical knowledge by treating live patients as a medical intern.
  • Ph.D. degree(Doctorate degree) – It is a four- year ‘Clinical Doctorate Course’, where students will be doing R&D in their respective fields. Here, it will be more on developing new advancement, deep research and the latest one will be published in the medical journal.
Education Field of StudySpeech pathology, Communication Sciences, General Science, Basic Maths(Statistics), Human Language Development, Human-Psychology, Electronics, Audiology, Physiology, Pathology, Neurology, Paediatrics, etc.
Key Skills
  • Evaluating and diagnosing the problem related to speech and swallowing disorders
  • Providing exercise related to muscle development and that too facial.
  • Teaching communication methods such as sign language to non-verbal patients
Licensure/CertificationThe license and certification are offered by the ASHA society i.e “American Speech-Language-Hearing Association”. A Speech pathologist must have a Master degree and must have a minimum of 400 working hours of experience under expert supervision.

The license is a pass that makes pathologist practice and helps serving mankind.

Job Growth (2014-2024)21%*
Median Salary$73,410*
Scope in IndiaThe scope in India is meant for those who have a good experience and have a better track record in their field.
Institutes in India offering a degree in Speech PathologyAll India Institute of Medical Sciences – New Delhi

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Ali Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped – Mumbai

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research – Chandigarh

Gujarat University – Gujrat

University of Bombay – Mumbai

Osmania University – Hyderabad(Andhra Pradesh)

University of Chennai – Chennai

Kasturba Gandhi Medical College – Karnataka

Institute of Speech & Hearing – Bangalore


Degree Essential For The Speech Therapist

Speech therapy programs are available at various levels such as the certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Some of its important factors are mentioned below:

1. Certificate in Speech Therapy

This is a pre-professional program, mainly requires 2-years of college. It provides theoretical knowledge about diagnosis and documentation of speech disorders, industry ethics, and clinical communications. Enrolled candidates have basic knowledge of concepts of speech and language pathology.

Diploma in Hearing, Language & Speech degree [DHLS] – 1 yr

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2. Associate’s Degree in Speech Therapy

This degree provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of various speech disorders.

Under this course, they educate students in the medical, ethical, clerical and behavioral elements of speech-language pathology.

Post Graduate Certificate Course in Auditory Verbal Therapy degree [PGCAVT] – 6 months

3. Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Therapy

This degree program prepares graduates for enrollment in a speech therapy master’s degree program to become professional speech-language pathologists or speech therapists or for employment as a speech-language pathology research assistant.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, both degree programs are available. This degree provides students with in-depth insight into the foundations of speech disorders.

In this course, students learn about normal speech communications processes, so they can best treat people with disordered speech.

Bachelor of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology degree [BASLP] – 4 yrs

4. Master’s Degree in Speech Therapy

This degree program prepares students for careers as state-licensed speech-language pathologists or audiologists. Under this program, students are taught how to independently diagnose and treat all communicative disorders and also learn about the behavioral elements of speech disorders.

Along with, how to best counsel the members of various groups suffering from speech, language or hearing problems.

Students are fully educated in all medical, cultural and communicative aspects of language, speech and hearing disorders and they also learn to conduct and analyze relevant theoretical and clinical research.

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Research is a crucial component of master’s degree programs, most of which require students to complete these prior to graduation. Some of the degree programs also educate students in sign language.

Master of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology degree [MASLP] – 2 yrs

5. Doctoral Degree in Speech Therapy

Under this degree, students are trained to become audiologists or to pursue academic careers as professors or researchers within the discipline of speech and hearing sciences.

Most degree programs are heavily focused on research and require completion of a dissertation. In this course, it is taught how to decipher, analyze and replicate medical and scientific research on speech and hearing disorders.

There are many Ph.D. programs requiring students to complete several hearing science courses.


Career Opportunities

  • Those with a doctoral degree in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology can be a part of human resource development at various training and research centers specializing in the disability sector.
  • Those with Postgraduate degrees in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology can be lecturers, research officers and master trainers in institutions or medical colleges conducting training programmes and/or research in the field.
  • Diploma in Hearing, Language & Speech holders may work as assistants to audiologists and speech-language pathologists in special schools, clinics, District Disabilities Rehabilitation Centers and Rural Health Centers.
  • Graduates in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology can practice as independent audiologists and speech-language pathologists. They will be eligible to work in hospitals, speech and hearing centers, hearing aid industry, schools for children with cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, mental retardation, child guidance centers, industrial setups, and also as supervisors and research assistants in training programmes.
  • Some more career choices include clinical speech pathology assistants, therapy assistants, allied health assistant, research assistants, general audiology and speech pathology assistants.

Salary

The salary for a speech therapist or audiologist in government hospital starts from Rs.5,000 per month and can go up to Rs.20,000 after 2-3 years of work experience. Salary and benefits are better for those who work in private hospitals.

Outside India, speech therapists are paid much better. They get an annual salary of about Rs 36,17,146 and goes up to Rs 55,64,840 per annum. As stated by BLS, the mean yearly salary for a speech-language pathologist as of May 2015 was Rs 53,49,203.


Institutes Offering Speech Therapy Courses

There are various courses in India which offer Speech Therapy courses at the different program level:

InstitutesLocationCourses Offered
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhB.Sc. Audiology and Speech & Language
All India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiB.Sc. Speech Therapy and Hearing, M.Sc. Speech Pathology and Audiology
Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing HandicappedMumbai, Kolkata, Janla, Noida, Bhopal, Secunderabad, Ahmedabad B.Sc. Speech Therapy and Hearing
Shri Ram Chandra Medical InstituteChennaiB.Sc. Hearing Lang. & Speech
Medical Trust HospitalCochinDip. in Hearing Language Speech
Indian Institute of Health EducationPatnaB.Sc. Hearing Language & Speech
JM Institute of Speech & HearingPatnaDip. in Hearing Language & Speech
All India Institute & Special HearingMysoreB.Sc. Hearing Lang. & speech, M.Sc
Institute of Speech & HearingBangaloreB.Sc. Hearing Lang. & speech
Osmania UniversityHyderabadB.Sc. Hearing Lang. & speech
University of ChennaiChennaiB.Sc. Speech and Hearing, M.Sc. Audiology and Speech therapy
Gujarat UniversityGujaratDiploma in Audiology and Speech Therapy
University of BombayMumbaiB.Sc. Hearing & Language, M.Sc. Hearing Speech and Language
University of MysoreMysoreB.Sc. Speech Pathology or audiology, MSc speech & Hearing
Institute of NursingMangaloreB.Sc. Hearing Lang. & speech
TN Medical CollegeMumbaiB.Sc. Speech & Hearing, M.Sc
Kasturba Gandhi Medical CollegeManipalB.Sc. Speech & Hearing

Certification

Candidates having a graduate degree, such as a master’s or a doctorate degree in speech-language pathology program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) are eligible for certification from ASHA or Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).

The graduate programs should include a minimum of 36 credit hours of classroom study and 400 hours of supervised clinical experience, which includes 25 hours of clinical observation along with 375 hours working with patients.

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Candidate must have in-depth knowledge of behavioral, social, biological, physical sciences, as well as statistics.

They must understand communication and swallow processes in humans including how to assess, prevent, and treat people with related disorders.

Prospective therapists should be familiar with some contemporary issues and standards of ethical conduct. These conducts are related to the field and demonstrate good oral, research and writing skills.

Candidates have to pass Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology and complete a Clinical Fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology.

Licensing

After a completed masters degree in speech therapy, graduates should obtain the state license as a speech-language pathologist.

There are some states where they have a less stringent licensing requirement in speech pathology and speech therapists assistance working in an educational setting; such as in schools.

Most of the states require practicing speech-language pathologists to be licensed, stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor

Statistics, which requires a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited program and also have clinical experience.

Certificate of Clinical Competency should fulfill some requirements. And if a speech-language pathologist wants to work in school will also need a teacher’s certification.


Importance of Speech Therapy Degree Course

According to us, the speech therapy degree course is very important to those people who want to be professional in this field.

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If you want to improve someone life, then you can continue your education in speech therapy degree courses. Speech therapy needs to that person or child who does not pronunciation well.

Generally, a child at the age of 5 months to three-year can’t pronounciate well. If this problem continues above the age of three years, then we need to consult with an audiologist. An audiologist can give the best treatment related to speech problems.

There has been a greater awareness of the importance of early identification of speech, language, swallowing & hearing disorders in young children.

The professionals with the approved degree of speech therapy can work only in this field.

A Wide Range of Scope

Speech therapy needs the latest inventions, researches, and other studies. This demands the need for more scholars and professionals for speech therapists. Thus speech therapy and degree courses are important for recent researches.

There is a variety of scope in this field. It involves various work placements, assignments, studies, researches, and practical experiences. All these work experience needs a proper degree and certificate courses for speech therapy.

Speech therapists are the assets for the parents whose children are suffering from various speech and language disorders. Therefore these courses and certificates help them to attain success in their field.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding Speech Therapy or Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at 1800-121-4408. We are always here to help you.

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