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How to get started in Speech Therapy for Pennsylvanians

The field of speech and language pathology is one that has many requirements in order to get certified to practice and it is important to know all of the steps involved before making your decision on whether to pursue this rewarding work. Becoming a speech and language pathologist or therapist can also be seen as a top rated position in terms of salary involved, and also a meaningful experience because of the prospect of helping those in need. In addition to this a speech pathologist's job encompasses many aspects including not only helping others with language problems due to trauma, stroke and heart attack, but also helping people with respiration problems due to various failing functions in the mouth or throat in many instances. Speech therapists can also help with drooling problems that patients may experience in their lifetimes. In this aspect it is easy to see why speech therapists are so important to any particular community and why the demand for practitioners in this field is going up at a healthy rate all over the country including in Pennsylvania.

Doing your research and understanding the duties that are involved in this career field as well as all the education requirements involved is a must if you hope to do well as a speech therapist. For example it is helpful to know whom you will be working with which includes adults and children. In regards to this if you are a person that does not get along with all types of people this may not be the field for you. You must also have good communication skills and good listening skills to be successful in a position as a speech therapist. In order to start your career as a speech therapist in Pennsylvania it is also necessary to consider all of the training you will have to go through starting with the gaining of an undergraduate degree in the field and continuing on to get a Master's degree. This is required for most states in the US and Pennsylvania is no different. The American Speech –Language-Hearing Association provides these certain standards that must be accomplished for anyone who hopes to gain a certificate of clinical competence and go on to practice speech therapy on a professional level.

To begin preparing for your training as a speech therapist it is advised that you try to make good grades starting at the high school level in order to make you appear more qualified for rigorous degree programs at the college level. After high school you must go into a communication sciences and disorders degree program at an accredited university where you will begin taking courses that provide information on the assessment and management of speech and language disorders. It is advised that you do your best to get top grades in this setting as well in order to go on to an accredited graduate school with little hassle. After you gain your master's degree in an accredited program and do many experience hours in clinical training you will then be ready to do a 9 month supervised clinical trial with a certified pathologist monitoring you. In addition to this you must complete a national examination and apply to be certified.

In regards to making the decision to become a speech therapist it is important to note other duties required such as counseling and working with other professionals that include social workers and teachers as well as a range of other professionals. These aspects of becoming a speech pathologist denote that much teamwork may be involved in the career choice so again, if you are not a people person this may not be the field for you. The biggest mistake many people make when going into this field is looking at the salary that you will make as opposed to the big picture and all of the training and time spent with others that you must go through. Another aspect to becoming a speech pathologist is deciding what setting you want to work in when you complete your certification requirements. Speech pathologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, and schools.