how to be a speech therapist?

hello fellow dopers!

i am doing a bit of on-line research for a friend, and have so far come up with nothing but dead ends, so i am bringing my search to the boards of the Straight Dope in hopes of clarification.

the question is:

how does one go about becoming a speech therapist? is it an undergrad degree, or do you need a masters? is it a degree that most schools offer, or do you have to go to a specialty school? how long does it take to get a degree in speech therapy? is it hard finding jobs as a speech therapist? how much money does a speech therapist make?

any speech therapists out there with advice?
and mods, i put this in GQ because i am looking for factual answers, but if this seems like more of an IMHO, please feel free to move it.


It’s a master’s degree, usually in either speech pathology or audiology, offered by specialized graduate divisions. It’s possible to major in it as an undergraduate at a few institutions, but I think you need the graduate degree to be employable. Two masters programs at which I know current or recent students are at Hunter College and Touro College, both in New York City.

It’s very popular among women in my social circle (young Orthodox Jews) because it’s perceived as a good ‘Mommy career,’ in which you can make pretty good money while working part time or flexible hours. (Occupational and physical therapy are also common career choices, for the same reasons.) I think it’s fairly easy to find jobs, as well.

If there aren’t any actual speech therapists on the Dope, I can around for more info, but otherwise, I think someone who actually studies/does this would be better off answering you.

The website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has good resources about pursuing a career in speech pathology.

Also known as Communication Disorders, Speech and Language Therapy and a few other names.

I had a couple of friends who majored in it as undergraduates. How employable they were I can’t say. One of them went straight to graduate school, the other decided on a completely different career.

Sorry I’m so late to the game here, but I just noticed this post…

I work with many speech therapists doing swallow studies in order to determine an individuals’ capacity to swallow safely without aspirating/choking.

I would have to say that, of all of the professional-types I work with in the hospital, the speech therapists have the easiest job…by a country mile. And by that I mean the sum total of their jobs–not just what they do while in the fluoroscopy room with me.

Yeah, it does require a Master’s degree, but I tell you what, that would be money well spent.

If you have an interest in it, I urge you to go for it.

Okay, this isn’t a zombie thread, and your question has been answered, so…


Sorry, I want to yell it like a battle-cry every time I see one of your posts.