Do you have a passion for communication and enjoy helping others? Do you want to work in a fun environment with people who love coming to work each day? Most of all, do you want to make a positive difference in people’s lives?
If the answer is YES, Speech Therapy might be the perfect career for you!
What is a speech pathologist?
Speech Pathology is a clinical science focused on the assessment and treatment of communication disorders in both kids and adults. It’s our job to help people find ways to communicate and have their needs met by the people around them.
Speech pathologists work with children and adults of all ages who are experiencing communication, language comprehension, literacy or swallowing difficulties.
Lots of people tell us our job looks like endless play-time – and we can certainly tell you it is fun! But it’s play with a purpose – we design treatment plans that involve a variety of fun, motivating and functional activities to help our clients improve.
There’s no better feeling than watching a child who has been reluctant to talk slowly gain the confidence to speak and be understood. Likewise, helping adults with a neurodegenerative disease or acquired brain injury begin to communicate with their family again is incredibly rewarding. There’s no other job quite like it!
What will I be doing as a speech pathologist?
A day in the life of a speech pathologist might include individual and group sessions with people with a variety of issues such as stuttering, poor articulation, low literacy, non-verbal communication, and swallowing difficulties.
We use a variety of methods and tools to assess and treat each patient, including play-based observation and therapy, functional exercises, augmentative communication methods, problem solving activities, and many more fun and motivating ways to develop communicative skills.
The job is quite diverse – no two people are alike! So every day is a bit of an adventure with lots of variety in the activities you’ll be using to help your clients.
What’s the work environment like?
Speech therapy is a diverse career with job opportunities in both the public and private sector. At SpeechEase, we’re a private practice with locations in Townsville and Mackay, and we also provide outreach services to people living in Ayr.
You may work in a kindergarten or school to help a child who needs a bit of extra support. Maybe you’ll enjoy working with clients in a community health centre. Or you might choose to spend time teaming with special education teachers to create comprehensive treatment plans for special needs children. It’s up to you!
Speech pathologists can also specialise in an area of interest such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment or intellectual disability. We often work as part of a wider team of specialists including doctors, occupational therapists, audiologists, dieticians and psychologists too.
We also work with families and caregivers, giving them strategies and tools to help them communicate with our clients better.
It’s a very people-oriented career!
How do I become a speech pathologist?
To begin your career journey as a speech pathologist, there are two options. The first way is by studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology through a university that offers this course. The second way is to complete a graduate degree at university in a related discipline (think science, linguistics, education, or psychology) and then you’ll need to complete a two-year Master of Speech Pathology degree.
Your studies consist of formal lectures and assessments, as well as practical work placement and clinical research. Students gain clinical experience at various health-care and educational facilities in metropolitan and rural areas around Australia.
Also, being a speech pathologist involves some pretty important personal attributes too. You’ll need to:
- Have fantastic communication skills
- Be compassionate and patient
- Have excellent critical thinking skills
- Work well within a team
- Be observant and a great listener
We hope reading this has sparked your curiosity about Speech Therapy! At SpeechEase we’re passionate about what we do, and genuinely love coming to work. Our therapists work holistically with clients, and collaborate with their families to improve the quality of life for everybody involved.
We’re always looking for passionate and caring Speech Pathologists to join our friendly team at SpeechEase. If you’ve graduated recently and are looking for a role or are looking for a change in career, get in touch with us on 0423 334 144!
We’re looking forward to meeting you!