How To Become A Child Speech Therapist 

Are you passionate about helping children reach their full potential? Do you have a knack for communication and a desire to make a difference in young lives? If so, becoming a child speech therapist is your career path! 

As a child speech therapist and a pediatric speech-language pathologist, you will play a crucial role in helping children overcome speech and language challenges. This guide will take you through becoming a child speech therapist. 

From education requirements to gaining practical experience, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to embark on this fulfilling professional journey. So, let’s begin!

What is a Child Speech Therapist?

A child speech therapist helps kids with communication disorders. They focus on helping children of all ages who have difficulty communicating. Problems with speech may manifest in various ways, including those related to articulation, fluency, voice production, understanding, and expressiveness. 

They aid the kids in becoming better communicators by using various methods and approaches to cater to their requirements. It could include teaching sign language to non-verbal toddlers or doing tongue and lip movement exercises. The ultimate goal is to help each child they deal with realize their full communicative potential.

A speech therapist can significantly improve their quality of life if a youngster cannot express herself clearly or engage with others. Therapists can profoundly affect a child’s growth and future achievement by intervening early in the face of these difficulties.

Steps To Become a Child Speech Therapist

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the entry point into speech-language pathology. It should ideally be a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in speech-language pathology-related studies, such as speech-language pathology and audiology or communication sciences and disorders.

A minority of speech-language pathologists, however, have college degrees in areas unrelated to the profession. These students may be required to take additional undergraduate courses before being admitted to a master’s degree program.

An undergraduate degree can be earned in three to four years on average, depending on how quickly you work through the course material and whether or not you study full-time.

Complete a Master’s Degree. 

The next logical step is to get a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology or a closely related field. The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) must have approved your master’s degree program. 

This phase’s duration is up to you and your chosen study method. The average time of a full-time degree program is two years. It may take up to four years to finish a program if you study part-time. 

It is vital to pick the correct program for your needs since, while some programs accept part-time study, many only admit full-time students. 

It is also important to note that some colleges and institutions offer accelerated degree programs leading to a bachelor’s and master’s in 5 years rather than the traditional 7. 

For instance, at Northeastern University, students who have completed the BS in Speech-Language and Audiology and meet the program’s prerequisites are eligible to proceed to tMS in SLP.

Pass the Praxis Examination

You must pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology to get licensed in any given state. This test is often taken in the final semester of your master’s program or soon after you finish your studies. 

You can extend the time to become a speech-language therapist by taking the test more than once if you don’t pass it on the first try. 

Complete post-graduate clinical fellowship.

After earning your master’s degree and passing the Praxis Exam, you must log 1,260 clinical hours under the supervision of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. 

A post-master’s clinical fellowship is essential to becoming a speech-language pathologist. This time is usually over nine months, taking 36 weeks to complete (at 35 hours per week). 

Get state licensure

The last thing you need to do to become a speech-language pathologist is to get your state license and ASHA certification. 

While the specific steps for obtaining consent vary by state, you should expect your application to get processed within two to four weeks after submission. Since time is of the essence in getting your license and getting to work, it’s best to get your application in as soon as you’re eligible.

What disorders does a Child Speech Therapist Treat?

Anyone struggling with their ability to communicate might benefit from speech therapy. Your doctor may recommend speech therapy if you have trouble eating or communicating because of hearing loss. Your doctor may recommend speech therapy if you’re experiencing:


Aphasia affects a person’s ability to read, write, talk, and understand language. The brain’s language-processing region is a common onset site for this disorder.


Aphasia sufferers have problems putting their thoughts into words while knowing what they want to convey. Reading, writing, swallowing, and other motor skills may be difficult for them.

Articulation disorder:

Those who suffer from articulation problems struggle to articulate specific phonemes. For instance, they might say “wed” instead of “red.”

Cognitive-communication disorders:

If the part of your brain damages your ability to think, you may find it difficult to express yourself. People with cognitive communication impairments may struggle with various skills, including listening, talking, remembering, and solving problems.


Dysarthria can cause a person’s speech to be delayed or slurred. It occurs when the muscles used to produce speech become fatigued. Stroke, MS, ALS, and other illnesses of the neurological system are frequent culprits in this category.

Expressive disorders:

Those who suffer from expressive disorders may have trouble expressing themselves verbally. Evidence shows hearing loss, developmental delays, and stroke contribute to expressive disorders.

Fluency disorders:

The rate, rhythm, and rhythmic pattern of your speech are all impacted by a fluency issue. Stuttering is a fluency condition that causes speech to stutter or become obstructed. Cluttering (rapid, jumbled speech) is also annoying.

Receptive disorders:

Those suffering from receptive disorders struggle to listen to and understand what others are saying. They may speak slowly, need help understanding directions, and appear disinterested in conversation.

Resonance disorders:

Conditions affecting the mouth and nose are known as resonance disorders. They can obstruct airflow and change sound-transmitting vibrations. Resonance issues may caused by many problems affecting the anatomy of the mouth and nose, including cleft palate, enlarged tonsils, and others.

Job Opportunities for a Child Speech Therapist

Speech-language pathologist: 

Professionals in this field evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients of all ages who have difficulties with swallowing, speaking, hearing, or other forms of communication. 

Patients with hearing impairments can also benefit from speech-language pathologists’ aural rehabilitation services. Patients with autism spectrum disorder or degenerative neurological diseases can get an AAC system from them.


Cochlear implants, auditory care and balance, pediatrics, and other specialized areas of study and practice may be available to a doctor who focuses on diagnosing and rehabilitating people with hearing loss and related illnesses such as vestibular and ear ringing disorders. 

They offer Clients alternatives to spoken communication, such as sign language and lip reading.

Speech Pathology Reader:

Speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication, and swallowing disorders affect children and adults, and these professionals evaluate, diagnose, and treat those with these conditions. Patients who are deaf or dumb may nevertheless wish to communicate effectively with medical staff.


These professionals adapt traditional teaching methods with pupils who are deaf, hard of hearing, or both. They use strategies such as Braille, sign language, and lip reading. Thanks to technological advancements, computers and other audio-visual materials have added another dimension. 


These experts develop the curricula and give their unique programs to pupils as part of the regular school day. 

In addition to their regular duties, teachers have to deal with things like creating tests, developing classroom rules, keeping tabs on pupils’ development, and getting them ready for standardized exams. Children on the autistic spectrum and those with emotional difficulties also benefit from their services.

Clinical Supervisor:

These experts keep tabs on each case, assess the situation, and offer suggestions based on their findings. Counselling clients with mental health issues is another way they help with ethical and legal concerns.


These experts coordinate the sharing and managing of data for research initiatives across organizational boundaries. People with speech and hearing impairments undergo extensive testing, experiments, examinations, and collecting materials, tissues, and trials to help diagnose. 

Salary Expectations

The career outlook for speech therapists who work with children is bright due to the increasing demand for their services. 

More and more parents are looking into therapy options for their children as awareness of speech and language issues grows. It means prospects for people seeking employment as child speech therapists are favourable.

Salary ranges are not set in stone and can change based on criteria including location, years of experience, and degree of education. 

The specialized nature of a child speech therapist’s profession is in the high income they might expect to receive. Although specific salaries may vary from area to area, an excellent professional starting salary is around $60,000.

It is possible for therapists’ pay to rise as they gain experience and knowledge in the area. Some people may have more control over their earnings potential by going into private practice or working in another context.

Job security and advancement possibilities exist in the field of pediatric speech pathology. The future seems bright for this field, as the number of kids who need therapy and the ability to conduct sessions remotely continue to rise.

Becoming a child speech therapist can be a gratifying and fulfilling career path. Not only do you have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children with communication difficulties, but you also witness their progress and growth firsthand.

Benefits of Becoming a Speech Therapist 

After finishing their education, those pursuing a career in speech therapy have various options.

According to the latest data from the BLS, Employment of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) is expected to increase by 21% between 2014 and 2024.

The freedom to set your hours is another perk of working as a speech therapist for kids. You have several options for employment, including public and private schools, hospitals, clinics, and even private practice. With this leeway, people can contribute meaningfully to society while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

In addition, there is a great need for skilled workers in this industry right now. More and more parents seek counselling services for their children diagnosed with communication issues. You have the chance to empower children by giving them a voice and enabling them to communicate with others effectively.

Becoming a child speech therapist allows you to impact the lives of children and their families positively. By assisting children with speech and language difficulties, you can help them improve their communication skills and enhance their overall quality of life. Witnessing the progress they make can be incredibly fulfilling.

Moreover, being a child speech therapist allows for flexibility regarding working hours and locations. Many therapists can choose part-time or full-time positions based on their personal preferences or other commitments.

The professionals help people reintegrate into society by enhancing their communication skills. In this way, the duties of their position can bring them fulfilment.

Advancements in Field

Thanks to recent technological innovations, therapy for kids with speech and language problems has come a long way. Thanks to scientific and technological developments, speech therapists have access to many resources incorporated into their practice to assist their patients better.

One significant development is using apps and software developed expressly for speech therapy on mobile devices.

With the help of these applications, therapists can tailor their approaches to meet each child’s unique requirements. Children are more likely to actively participate in treatment sessions thanks to the interactive aspect of these applications.

The introduction of tele-practice into speech therapy is also a significant breakthrough. The use of video conferencing facilitates the remote delivery of therapeutic services. 

With the advent of tele-practice, children living in remote or underprivileged locations no longer have to go far to receive effective speech therapy.

Improvements in child speech therapy have also resulted from increased knowledge of the brain’s role in language acquisition. 

Researchers are learning more about the specific roles played by various brain parts in language processing thanks to neuroimaging techniques like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Understanding these variances in brain activity allows therapists to personalise their treatments for each patient.

Recent developments in technology, research, and understanding have revolutionized the discipline of speech therapy for children. The outcomes for children with communication difficulties are improving due to these developments in the therapy field.


Working with children as a speech therapist is a lucrative and satisfying profession. We have discussed the role of a child speech therapist and the value of speech therapy for kids. We’ve also discussed some of the upsides of working in this industry.

It’s a great way to have a meaningful impact on the lives of kids struggling to express themselves verbally. You may significantly impact their quality of life and ability to communicate with the world by assisting them in developing their language abilities.

Why hold off? Investigate schools and courses now that will help you get started on the path to a career as a child speech therapist and become one. With hard work and determination, you can make a difference in people’s lives while still pursuing a rewarding profession.


How long does it take to become a child speech therapist?

The length of time required to become a child speech therapist can vary. Typically, individuals must complete a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related field, followed by a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. This process can take approximately 6-7 years.

What are some common challenges faced by child speech therapists?

Child speech therapists may face challenges such as working with children who have severe communication difficulties, dealing with emotional and behavioural issues during therapy sessions, and navigating complex family dynamics that can impact the progress of therapy.

Are there opportunities for advancement in this field?

Yes, there are opportunities for advancement within child speech therapy. Therapists can specialize in areas such as autism spectrum disorders or fluency disorders. Additionally, some professionals may open their private practice or move into supervisory or administrative roles.

Is being a child speech therapist rewarding?

Being a child speech therapist is incredibly rewarding. You can make significant positive changes in children’s lives by helping them improve their communication skills. Seeing children gain confidence and succeed in their personal and academic lives as they overcome communication challenges is genuinely fulfilling.