Speech Pathologist

Education Required

All states require speech-language pathologists to be licensed. Licensure typically requires at least a master’s degree from an accredited program, supervised clinical experience gained both during and after completing the program, and passing an exam. For specific requirements, contact your state’s medical or health licensure board.
Speech-language pathologists may earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Certification typically satisfies some or all of the requirements for state licensure and may be required by some employers. To earn CCC-SLP certification, candidates must graduate from an accredited program, pass an exam, and complete a fellowship that lasts several months and is supervised by a certified speech-language pathologist. To maintain the CCC-SLP credential, speech-language pathologists must complete a specified number of hours of continuing education.
Speech-language pathologists who work in schools may need a teaching certification. For specific requirements, contact your state’s department of education or the school district or private institution in which you are interested.
Speech language pathologists may choose to earn specialty certifications in child language, fluency, or swallowing. Candidates who hold the CCC-SLP, meet work experience requirements, complete continuing education hours, and pass a specialty certification exam may use the title Board Certified Specialist. Three organizations offer specialty certifications: American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders, American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.

Career Setting

What is this job like?

A speech-language pathologist, also known as a speech therapist or speech pathologist, is a healthcare professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating communication and swallowing disorders. They work with individuals of all ages, including children and adults, to improve their speech, language, and swallowing abilities. Click to explore more occupational details:

Speech Pathologist