Speech and language therapy assistant
Speech and language therapy assistants help support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.
1. Entry requirements
There are no set entry requirements to get into this work, but some employers may ask for:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent
- voluntary or paid experience of working with older people, children or people with physical disabilities, mental health problems or learning difficulties
You may also find it useful to have a qualification in health and social care, but this isn’t essential.
For bilingual co-worker jobs it will be essential to have the ability to speak a second community-based language.
2. Skills required
- a caring and understanding approach
- excellent communication skills, and the ability to explain treatments to patients
- empathy and the ability to gain the trust and confidence of clients
- the ability to work in a team and also on your own
- organisational skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll work with a range of client groups, including:
- adults with physical disabilities, mental health issues or learning difficulties
- people recovering from medical conditions
- older people
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- working with the therapist
- working with clients on a one-to-one basis
- group work and activities
- providing advice on cultural and language differences (if you’re a bilingual co-worker)
- clients with any personal needs, for example, mobility issues
- preparing therapy rooms and equipment
Starter: £15,250 to £18,000
Experienced: £17,000 to £19,500
Highly Experienced: £19,250 to £22,500
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week. You could be based in a hospital, health centre, assessment unit, a mainstream or special school, or a patient’s own home.
Your day-to-day work may include some travel.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could become a team leader and supervise other speech and language therapy assistants.
You could also train as an assistant practitioner and study for a foundation degree before training as a speech and language therapist.
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Last updated: 18 August 2017