How to become a Speech Pathologist

Speech Pathologists are experts who assist people with communication disorders, which could be problems with speaking, listening, reading, or writing due to a variety of issues. They work with people of all ages, from children to the elderly. Your work as a Speech Pathologist can greatly help improve a person’s quality of life.

If you have a passion for helping people and are seeking a rewarding and challenging career, Speech Pathology could be ideal for you.


About you:


  • Caring and empathetic
  • Excellent communicator
  • Passionate about helping people
  • Emotionally resilient
  • Likes to work indoors
  • Good time management skills
  • Works well in a team and independently
  • Determined and adaptable


The job:


  • Helping patients learn to communicate, verbally and non-verbally
  • Identifying the cause and extent of communication disorders
  • Giving patients strategies to manage their daily lives
  • Relaying relevant information to other medical and health professionals
  • Providing advice and support to family members, friends and carers of patients
  • Working with people of all ages, from children to adults
  • Helping patients overcome stutters and swallowing issues


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 44% of Speech Pathologists work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 41 hours a week, which is average (source:
  • Speech Pathologists’ salary (average) $80,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Very strong (source:
  • Most of your work will be done indoors, either in clinics and hospitals, or travelling to patients in their homes.


Speech Pathologists are most in demand in these locations:


This is a small occupation, with around 7,300 people working as Speech Pathologists in 2020 (source: However, there is very strong demand in the future and a strong need for more roles to be filled. Speech Pathologists are needed all across Australia, and you might have more luck finding work in regional and rural areas where there is a shortage of healthcare professionals. Most Speech Pathologists work in the healthcare and social assistance and education industries.

There are jobs available around Australia and globally. Most of your work will require you to be face-to-face with your patients, so there is little opportunity to work remotely or from home.


How to become a Speech Pathologist in Australia


To work as a Speech Pathologist, you will need to complete a Bachelor- or Master’s-level qualification that has been accredited by Speech Pathology Australia.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English and Health.


Step 2 – Volunteer or get work experience in a health-related setting, such as in a hospital or aged care facility.


Step 3 – Complete an accredited university degree. This will usually be a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. You can find a full list of currently accredited qualifications on Speech Pathology Australia’s website here.


Step 4 – Register with Speech Pathology Australia to become a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP) and start working.


Step 5 – Keep your skills and knowledge up to date through mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year.


Find out more here –


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Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Speech Pathologists do?


Speech Pathologists help patients who have communication disorders, either from injury or disability, and teach them how to communicate, either verbally or non-verbally.


Which industries employ Speech Pathologists?


Most Speech Pathologists work in the healthcare and social assistance, and education industries.


What options are there for career progression?


You can start out working as a practising Speech Pathologist, and potentially move into roles in research and education.


Do I need to go to university to become a Speech Pathologist?


Yes, you will need to complete an accredited university-level degree in order to be qualified to practice as a Speech Pathologist in Australia.


Where do Speech Pathologists work?


Speech Pathologists work all around Australia and the world. They can work in private clinics or hospitals, or even travel directly to a client’s home.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Speech Pathologist?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Speech Pathologist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Try and find work experience in a healthcare-related setting that will let you build on essential skills such as patience, communication, and empathy. It might also help you start making connections for the future.
  2. See if you can talk to a current Speech Pathologist, or watch videos, and get an idea about what a day in their life is like.
  3. Volunteer in the community to assist people with disability and expose yourself to people from all walks of life.

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