Speech and language therapist


Career outlook for speech and language therapist

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would assess, support and treat adults and children who have communication problems.

Your work would be important in helping people who have:

  • Difficulties in speaking clearly
  • Problems understanding language
  • Problems using language
  • A stammer
  • Difficulties with feeding, chewing or swallowing

These issues may be a result of injury, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, a mental health problem or learning difficulty.

You could work with clients in either one-to-one or group sessions.

You would:

  • Talk with clients, observe them and test them
  • Plan and develop therapy programmes
  • Support clients through treatment
  • Work closely with colleagues, such as doctors and teachers
  • Help parents and carers to continue the therapy at home
  • Keep detailed progress records

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Speech and language therapist page on the NHS Scotland Careers website

Working conditions


You will usually work around 37.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Part-time work and job sharing opportunities may also be available.


You would usually be based in a hospital’s therapy department, running a clinic and visiting patients on wards. You could also work in the community, for example in a health centre, day nursery or school.


Community speech and language therapists will often visit patients in their home, so a driving licence is essential.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Cooperating
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Empathising
  • Developing a plan
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Motivating others
  • Recalling

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You need a degree (SCQF level 10) or a postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in speech and language therapy, processing or pathology.

Your degree must be approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

The University of Strathclyde and Queen Margaret University offer suitable BSc honours degree courses.

To enter a degree (SCQF 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers, including English and a science or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject such as biology, linguistics or psychology. Queen Margaret University and University of Edinburgh offer suitable postgraduate courses.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Care
  • Childcare and development

You will also need

Once qualified you do one year’s supervised work, after which you gain UK state registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which you must have to work in the National Health Service (NHS).

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland

Helpful to have

Knowledge of Gaelic may be useful in certain parts of the country.

A driving licence may be useful.