Speech and language therapist

SLT
Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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

Hours

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

Environment

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.

Travel

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

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working on your own
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being creative

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

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
  • Modern languages
  • Care
  • Childcare and development
  • Social studies subjects such as psychology

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

Any qualifications that support your ability to speak other languages such as SQA Modern Languages for Life and Work (SCFQ level 3/4).

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

A driving licence may be useful.