Careers in Speech Therapy

What does a speech therapist do? What are the opportunities in the field?

Published - September 11, 2022 01:42 am IST

A speech therapist works with children and adults to help improve their speech and communication.

A speech therapist works with children and adults to help improve their speech and communication. | Photo Credit: Freepik

Speech Therapy is an allied healthcare profession in which an individual is trained and certified to work with children and adults to help with speech, language, communication and swallowing disorders and provide services to prevent, assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, communication and feeding disorders in children and adults.

Speech is a powerful tool that connects humans to one another. Apart from hearing and speech impairments, there are also developmental disorders such as autism and stammering that cause delays in speech or affect fluency in children. In adults, speech and swallowing disorders are caused by neurological issues such as stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, or tumours in the brain.


For those interested in a career in Speech Therapy, a background in Science (with Biology) is essential in Class 12. Immediately after school, one can join a one-year Diploma in Hearing, Language and Speech (DHLS) or opt for the four-year Bachelor’s course in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP). A student will have to take the NEET-UG or the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing exam to join these courses. There is also a six-month PG Certificate Course in Auditory Verbal Therapy (PGCAVT) and a Master’s in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (MASLP) for those inclined to study further.

Apart from the courses, a speech therapist must develop empathy, as the job will involve dealing with family and caregivers, and strong communication skills as one needs to work and collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team including ENT surgeons, educators, school counsellors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and others. One also needs to be flexible in attitude as work may involve diverse settings, different kinds of people and having to change methods to achieve one’s goals.

Career prospects

With growing awareness about speech and language delays in children and the expansion of health-related industries, speech therapists are sought after in India and globally. Post the Bachelor’s course, some of the positions available are audiologist, speech pathologist/therapist, clinical audiologist, audio therapist, clinical supervisor and speech researcher. There are also openings in colleges and universities for lecturers. Employment opportunities are available in private and government hospitals, special schools for the speech and hearing impaired, child development centres, companies that manufacture hearing aids or cochlear implants and research institutes.

The writer is Centre Head, Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre.

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