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How to become a speech and language therapy support worker

You can become a speech and language therapy support worker by applying for a vacancy on our recruitment website. You could also do a Modern Apprenticeship.

What is a speech and language therapy support worker?

Speech and language therapy support workers assist speech and language therapists. They help care for people with speech and communication difficulties and help those with eating, drinking, and swallowing problems.

Starting your career as a speech and language therapy support worker

Choosing subjects at school

To become a speech and language therapy support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no specific entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • English
  • Maths

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship will help you get the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to reach your career goal.

Learn about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.

All Healthcare Support Modern Apprentices study 3 mandatory units:

  • communication
  • health and safety
  • learning development

You'll choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options for speech and language therapy.

Get to know the role

You'll work with speech and language therapists to help people of all ages to overcome speech, language, and swallowing problems. You’ll plan a series of therapy exercises as part of the client’s treatment plan.

As a speech and language therapy support worker, you’ll care for with people with a range of conditions including:

  • children
  • people with physical or learning disabilities
  • people with mental health problems
  • people recovering from illness or a medical condition
  • the elderly

Tasks include: 

  • assist and reassure patients
  • work with speech and language therapists to plan a client’s therapy
  • support clients on a one-to-one basis or in groups
  • prepare therapy rooms and equipment
  • support clients and develop communication skills
  • update patient records
  • book appointments

You'll need these skills:

  • caring 
  • communicating
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

Speech and language therapy support workers work with other healthcare professionals, including: 

  • speech and language therapists
  • teachers
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • psychologists

You could work in: 

  • hospitals
  • schools
  • community clinics
  • a person’s own home

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment.

You may also be encouraged while in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Career development

You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with speech and language therapists and complete supervised training to develop your skills. Getting experience as a healthcare support worker will be helpful if you decide to go to university and study to become a registered speech and language therapist.

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