How to become a Speech Pathologist


If you are looking for a rewarding career where you can help people, then you might want to consider becoming a speech pathologist. Speech pathology is the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders in individuals. It is an important role that requires skill and dedication. Here's what you need to know about becoming a speech pathologist in Australia.

Step 1: Complete your studies

The first step to becoming a speech pathologist is to complete a four-year undergraduate degree in speech pathology from a university. Once you complete your undergraduate degree, you’ll need to undertake an honors degree or equivalent in Speech Pathology. Most universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Step 2: Get certified as a speech pathologist

In addition to completing the coursework, students must also meet specific competency requirements set by Speech Pathology Australia (SPA). These include courses on anatomy and physiology, linguistics, clinical practice, research methods, language disorders across the lifespan, dysphagia management among others. Upon successful completion of these courses, students will receive their certification as a practicing speech pathologist.

Step 3: Obtain your licences

Once you have completed your education requirements and have been certified by SPA as a qualified speech pathologist, you will need to obtain licensing from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). To be eligible for licensure you must provide proof of your qualifications and pass any required assessments or examinations administered by AHPRA. This includes completing a professional placement program that includes at least 400 hours of clinical experience. Once you have obtained your license it will be valid for five years before needing renewal.

Step 4: Start your practice

After obtaining your licence it’s time to find a location for your practice and to get the show on the road. To start your search, you can see if there are any available offices at existing health related facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics or research facilities throughout the country. If you are not ready to find a permanent location, you may also wish to pursue contract work if this fits better with your lifestyle or if you would like more flexibility regarding hours worked per week or location of work assignments.

Step 5: Manage your finances

Thriday is a next-generation financial management platform that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to assist speech pathologists in complying with their tax obligations. The platform automates BAS filing by categorising income and expenses, monitoring GST, and generating reports for tax calculations. Thriday also sends reminders for important tax deadlines, allowing speech pathologists to save time and avoid errors associated with manual record-keeping. By automating the tax process, Thriday helps speech pathologists to focus more on their work, knowing that their tax responsibilities are being taken care of. See how much you can save using Thriday, by answering this quick quiz.

Working as a speech pathologist is an incredibly rewarding career. You not only make a huge difference to people’s lives, but you give people the confidence to build better relationships or pursue the professions they want to work in. To become a qualified practitioner however requires dedication, passion, and plenty of study. With commitment and determination, it is possible to achieve success as a speech pathologist in Australia.

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