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Speech and language therapy assistant

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Speech and language therapy assistants help support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,250 to £22,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

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.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Health Careers have more information about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant.


2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • 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:

  • children
  • 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

4. Salary

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 environment

You’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 progression

With 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: 10 September 2018