Therapy

Speech and language therapy assistant

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

Annual Salary

£15,250 to £22,500

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37.5

5%
Future employment

There will be 5% more Speech and language therapy assistant jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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

College

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way of getting experience.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

Apprenticeship

You can do an advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker.

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Other Routes

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.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it also has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

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.

£15,250 to £22,500

Starter salary: £15,250 to £18,000

Experienced salary: £17,000 to £19,500

These figures are a guide.

37.5

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.

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.

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Health Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are 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
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