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Where Do Speech Therapists Work in Missouri?

Missouri residents who possess the right combination of experience, education, and licensure will be happy to know that they have a wide variety of choice when it comes to where they choose to work in the speech therapy field. Many speech therapists work in the school system, helping both impaired students and their teachers to interact better and allowing the students to learn in a way comparable to those of non-impaired individuals. Others may work in hospitals, private health practices, their own practices, rehabilitation facilities, and more. No matter where you want to work, however, you don't stand a chance unless you possess that perfect combination described above.

The first and most important component of that combination is education. In order to enjoy success as a speech therapist in the state of Missouri, you will be required to possess at least a master's degree. Before you can do that, however, you're going to have to earn your bachelor's degree, preferably but not necessarily in a related field. This degree must be earned from an accredited institution. This can be from a community college where you transfer associate's degree credits to a traditional program, a four year college or university, or from an online or accredited college or university, so long as it meets all necessary accreditation requirements.

Once that bachelor's degree is squared away, then you're truly on the path to success. A master's degree, which also must be from an accredited college or university, awaits you. The master's degree program will take everything you have learned up to this point and then expand upon it to truly prepare you for work and success in the field. Do be aware, however, that master's degree programs can be somewhat difficult to get into, even for the best of students. So, plan accordingly, research programs thoroughly, and apply to more than one school at a time.

When the illusive master's degree is finally yours, then you are ready to start down the road toward licensure. Becoming licensed is a long and involved process which will require a very large number of supervised experiential learning and work hours and the passing of a national exam. Many students do not pass this examination on the first try, so do not become alarmed or discouraged if you do not complete it right away. Give yourself time and congratulate yourself on your progress thus far. If you've come this far, you will inevitably make it!

An important side note for those who come to the career later in life or who, for whatever reason, have chosen to pursue unrelated bachelor's degrees, is that many master's degree programs will accept students from unrelated academic backgrounds, so there is no reason to start over from scratch. Sure, it might take you a bit longer to find the right program, but your time spent pursuing the career will be much less than that of other individuals, so you actually have nothing to lose. Look at your unrelated background as a positive factor and play it up in essays and other admission materials.

When you have your education down, the world of speech therapy opens up. You can explore many different career options until you find the one that is best suited to you and your unique experience and skill set. Never be afraid to venture out and try new things. Your hard work is rewarded by all of the new opportunities and the flexibility of career choice now offered to you. Enjoy the many fruits of your labor, a and, above all, take pride in what you have accomplished.