Speech-Language Pathologists: Licensing, Certification and Careers

State Licensure for Speech-Language Pathologists

A master's degree in speech-language pathology is the standard credential. 

To practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist you need two licenses in Massachusetts: one for elementary/secondary education from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the second a Speech-Language Pathologist specialist license from the Board of Registration in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

On completing our Master's program you will be prepared to take the Massachusetts Test of Education Licensure (MTEL) towards elementary and secondary licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Graduates of the Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program consistently have over a 99% first-time pass rate on the Massachusetts Test of Education Licensure (MTEL) tests.

You will need your national certification in order to obtain your Speech-Language Pathologist specialty license. You can apply for this license while you are completing your Clinical Fellowship Year as part of the process of national certification – see below.

Depending on your choice of electives you may also meet eligibility requirements for:

You will likely be eligible for certification in other states as well, depending on their reciprocity agreements with Massachusetts. Check with your state regulators for specific details and requirements.

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Certification of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)

On completing this master's program you will have met the coursework and practicum requirements for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence, the qualifying credential in the field, and will also be prepared to sit for the PRAXIS national examination towards certification.

(Certification of Clinical Competence requires the successful completion of an ASHA-accredited program of coursework and practicum (which you obtain through our Master's program), a supervised Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY), and passing the national PRAXIS examination.)

Over the past three years, graduates of the Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program have had a 100% first-time pass rate on the PRAXIS national exam. All have gone on to obtain the CCC-SLP.

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Career Opportunities

Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders.

Most speech-language pathologists provide direct clinical services to individuals with disorders, and work in patients' homes, speech and language clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities, or schools.

Some speech-language pathologists conduct research on how people communicate, and some design and develop equipment or techniques for diagnosing and treating speech and language problems.

Our graduates are known as being broadly prepared to serve in both educational and health care settings. Some of our graduates ultimately do both.

Graduates from a recent class had 100% job placement; more than 80% obtained their first job choice. Read more about our student outcomes.

Demand for speech-language pathologists is expected to grow rapidly in part as a result of the expansion of the elderly population as baby boomers age. The elderly are prone to medical conditions that result in speech, language, and swallowing problems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 19% from 2012 to 2022.

Medical advances are also improving the survival rate of premature infants and trauma and stroke victims, who often require assessment and possible treatment for disorders of limited function. Many states now require that all newborns be screened for hearing loss and receive appropriate early intervention services.

In addition, employment of speech-language pathologists in schools will continue to grow because federal law guarantees special education to all eligible children with disabilities; as well as increasing public awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders.

Lastly, the number of speech-language pathologists in private practice will rise due to the increasing use of contract services by hospitals, schools, and nursing care facilities.​

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According to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the median salary of a speech-language pathologist was $77,510.


Working Conditions

Speech-language pathologists work on a full-time, part-time, or contract basis in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools, day care facilities, and homes. About half of all speech-language pathologists work in educational services, with most of the remainder employed by health care and social assistance facilities. Some are self-employed in private practice. The work can be emotionally demanding.

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Career Resources

The MGH Institute provides Career Services for students and alumni.

American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Massachusetts Speech Language Hearing Association

National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing

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