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Career as Speech Therapist

Speech Therapist

A speech therapist, also known as a speech-language pathologist, is a highly skilled professional dedicated to helping individuals overcome communication challenges. They possess a deep understanding of speech, language, and swallowing disorders, and employ specialized techniques to empower their clients and transform lives.


Through comprehensive evaluations, speech therapists diagnose the underlying causes of communication difficulties, such as speech production issues, articulation problems, fluency disorders, voice impairments, and language comprehension deficits. Armed with this knowledge, they design personalized therapy plans tailored to each individual's specific needs.


Utilizing a range of techniques and activities, including articulation exercises, language stimulation exercises, and the use of assistive communication devices, speech therapists work closely with their clients to improve their communication skills. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other healthcare professionals to provide consistent care and support, ensuring individuals with communication disorders have access to necessary resources and guidance.


Speech therapists also contribute to research and innovation, constantly advancing the field and incorporating the latest technologies and techniques into their practice. By staying at the forefront of their profession, they continually strive to enhance outcomes and improve the quality of life for their clients.


With their expertise, compassion, and unwavering dedication, speech therapists empower individuals to overcome communication barriers, express themselves effectively, and connect with the world around them. They are instrumental in building bridges of understanding, fostering personal growth, and enabling individuals to lead fulfilling lives.

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Eligibility Criteria

To become a speech therapist in India, individuals need to fulfill certain eligibility criteria. The following criteria generally apply:

  •  Educational Qualifications: Candidates must have completed a Bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences or a related field from a recognized university. The degree should be recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), the governing body for speech therapy and audiology in the country.
  • Entrance Examinations: Some universities and institutions may require candidates to qualify in entrance examinations specific to the field of speech therapy. These exams assess the candidate's aptitude, knowledge, and skills related to speech and hearing sciences.
  • Internship: After completing the Bachelor's degree, candidates are typically required to undergo a mandatory internship or clinical training program in an RCI-approved institution. The d...

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Skills required for Course
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Communication
  • Cultural Competence
  • Observation and Analytical Skills
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Problem Solving

Types of Job Roles

  • Assessing individuals with communication disorders
  • Diagnosing and identifying the nature of the disorder
  • Creating personalized treatment plans
  • Conducting therapy sessions using evidence-based techniques
  • Monitoring and evaluating the progress of clients
  • Collaborating with educators, parents, and healthcare professionals
  • Providing guidance and support to individuals and their families
  • Incorporating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices as needed
  • Documenting and maintaining accurate records of therapy sessions
  • Keeping up-to-date with research and advancements in the field
  • Advocating for individuals with communication disorders
  • Ensuring ethical and professional conduct in practice.


The admission process to become a speech therapist in India typically involves several steps. While specific procedures may vary between institutions, the following is a general overview of the admission process:

  • Educational Qualifications: Candidates should have completed their higher secondary education (10+2) or an equivalent examination from a recognized board with a science background (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) as mandatory subjects.
  • Entrance Examinations: Many universities and institutions conduct entrance examinations for admission to speech therapy programs. These exams assess the candidate's knowledge and aptitude in subjects related to speech and hearing sciences. Some common entrance exams include All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Speech and Hearing Entrance Exam, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) Entrance Exam, and National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate programs.
  •  Application Process: Candidates must obtain and fill out the application forms for the desired institutions offering speech therapy courses. The forms can often be downloaded from the institution's website or obtained in person from their admission office.
  • Submission of Documents: Along with the completed application form, candidates are required to submit relevant documents, which may include: Mark sheets or transcripts of qualifying examinations (10+2),  Birth certificate or proof of date of birth,  Category certificate (if applicable),  Domicile certificate (if applicable), Entrance examination scorecard (if applicable), Passport-sized photographs. 
  • Entrance Examination and Counseling: Candidates who qualify in the entrance examination are invited for counseling sessions conducted by the respective institutions. During counseling, candidates are allotted seats based on their rank, preferences, and availability.
  • Document Verification and Admission: Shortlisted candidates must appear for document verification at the institution. Upon successful verification, candidates are offered admission to the speech therapy program. They are required to complete the admission formalities, pay the necessary fees, and secure their seat by the specified deadline.



To become a speech therapist, individuals typically study a range of subjects that provide a solid foundation in the field of speech and hearing sciences. The following subjects are commonly included in speech therapy programs:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Study of the structure and function of the human body, with a focus on the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms.
  • Phonetics: Exploration of the sounds of human speech, including the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), phonemic awareness, and phonological processes.
  •  Speech and Language Development: Examination of the typical development of speech and language skills in children, including milestones, stages, and factors that influence language acquisition.
  • Communication Disorders: Study of various speech, language, and communication disorders, their causes, characteristics, and assessment methods.
  • Audiology: Introduction to the fundamentals of audiology, including hearing assessment techniques, evaluation of hearing disorders, and the role of audiology in speech therapy.
  • Articulation and Phonological Disorders: Focus on the assessment and treatment of articulation disorders, phonological disorders, and related speech sound disorders.
  • Language Disorders: Exploration of language disorders in children and adults, including language assessment, intervention strategies, and approaches for individuals with specific language impairments.
  • Voice Disorders: Study of voice production, voice disorders, and voice therapy techniques, including assessment and treatment of vocal nodules, vocal cord paralysis, and other voice-related conditions.
  • Fluency Disorders: Examination of fluency disorders, such as stuttering, and the evaluation and management of fluency disorders through various therapeutic approaches.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Introduction to the principles and techniques of using augmentative and alternative communication devices and strategies for individuals with severe communication impairments.
  •  Clinical Practicum: Practical training in a clinical setting under the supervision of experienced speech therapists, where students gain hands-on experience in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders.

Prep Books

Preparing for a career as a speech therapist involves a comprehensive understanding of various subjects related to speech and hearing sciences. While there may not be specific "prep books" dedicated solely to becoming a speech therapist, the following list includes recommended books that cover key areas of study and can be valuable resources for aspiring speech therapists:

  • "Anatomy & Physiology for Speech, Language, and Hearing" by J. Anthony Seikel, David G. Drumright, and Douglas W. King: This comprehensive book provides an in-depth understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms, including detailed information on the respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, and auditory systems.
  •  "Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology: From Concepts to Transcription" by Jacqueline Bauman-Waengler: This book introduces the fundamentals of phonetics and phonology, providing a solid foundation in understanding speech sounds, transcription, and phonological processes.
  •  "Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology: A Resource Manual" by Kenneth G. Shipley and Julie G. McAfee: This resource manual offers guidance on the assessment process for various communication disorders, providing practical information and case examples for effective evaluation.
  • "Language Development from Theory to Practice" by Khara L. Pence Turnbull and Laura M. Justice: This book explores the theories and practical applications of language development in children, covering topics such as early language acquisition, language disorders, and language intervention strategies.
  • "Voice Therapy: Clinical Case Studies" by Joseph C. Stemple, Edie R. Hapner, and Katherine Verdolini Abbott: This book presents clinical case studies in voice therapy, offering insights into the assessment and treatment of various voice disorders, along with therapeutic approaches and techniques.
  •  "Fluency Disorders" by Walter H. Manning: This comprehensive guide explores fluency disorders, including stuttering, cluttering, and other related conditions. It covers assessment, treatment approaches, and strategies for managing fluency disorders.


What qualifications are required to become a speech therapist?

To become a speech therapist, one typically needs to complete a Bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences or a related field. Additionally, registration with the appropriate governing body, such as the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), is usually required to practice as a speech therapist.

What types of communication disorders do speech therapists work with?

Speech therapists work with various communication disorders, including articulation disorders, language delays or disorders, fluency disorders (such as stuttering), voice disorders, cognitive-communication disorders, and swallowing disorders (dysphagia).

How do speech therapists assess and diagnose communication disorders?

Speech therapists use a combination of standardized assessments, interviews, observations, and case history evaluations to assess and diagnose communication disorders. These assessments involve evaluating speech production, language comprehension, voice quality, fluency, and swallowing abilities.

What is the difference between a speech therapist and an audiologist?

While both speech therapists and audiologists work with communication, there is a distinction in their focus. Speech therapists primarily work with speech, language, and swallowing disorders, while audiologists specialize in the evaluation and management of hearing and balance disorders.

Do speech therapists need to be licensed or certified?

Yes, speech therapists typically need to be licensed or certified to practice. This requirement ensures that professionals meet certain educational and competency standards. Licensing or certification is obtained by meeting the specific requirements set by the respective regulatory or licensing bodies in the region.