What Is The Difference Between Speech Therapy And Speech Pathologists?

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You’re not alone in being confused about what speech therapy and a speech pathologist are. Many people wonder if they do the same thing or if one is more qualified than the other?

This article will help you figure out the difference between these two professions while also clearing up some misconceptions about them.

Speech Therapists Deal Primarily with Children’s Speech

Many people don’t care about their child’s speech as much as a speech therapist does. They are the ones that implement specific training to teach a child how to speak again after an injury or after their voice changes from puberty.

For instance, if a child stutters or falls behind their speech because of neurological problems in the brain. They are the voice of knowledge when it comes to speech in children, so they are excellent sources for any concerns you may have.

Speech Pathologists Deal with Speech in Adults

If your child is a toddler and seems to be falling behind in their speech, you should seek out a speech therapist for that specific problem.

On the other hand, if you are an adult who struggles to speak or stutters all day long, you should look for a speech pathologist. These professionals are specially trained in the field of adult speech problems and know how to help you.

Speech Therapists Have Speech Therapy Degrees and Not Speech Pathology Degrees

If you want to become a speech therapist, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy.

This means that you must be a student in one of the four major speech therapy fields: audiology, speech pathology, communication disorders, and education. Once you obtain your degree from a university that offers it, you will have to take the CCC-Initial Speech Therapy Examination.

To pass this exam, you need to score 75% or higher for your school to issue you with a Doctoral level degree in Speech Therapy.

Speech Pathologists Have Speech Pathology Degrees and Not Speech Therapy Degrees

If you want to become a speech pathologist, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology.

You can pursue one of these major fields: audiology, speech/language pathology, and communication sciences and disorders. After you acquire your degree, you can take the National Certification Examination for Speech-Language Pathology (NCS-SLP).

Speech Therapists Go through Many Hours of Training to Become One

Becoming a speech therapist requires many hours of training above and beyond your degree. To be an actual speech therapist, you must volunteer a minimum of 60 to 100 hours in the field.

This means going out and working with real clients who need help with their speech. After you complete your volunteer work, you will still have to go through a lot more schooling to be licensed as a speech therapist.

Speech Pathologists Go through None of This Training

After you acquire your bachelor’s degree, there are no more requirements for becoming a speech pathologist.

You need to go through basic training from reputable places like Speech Pathology Graduate Programs for speech language pathology graduate programs by state and pass the NCS-SLP exam, which you can do immediately after school if you want. After passing that test, you will be issued with your license as a speech pathologist in the state where you work.


As you can see, there is a lot of difference between speech pathologists and speech therapists. Understanding this helps patients figure out who to seek out for their specific needs.

When it comes to your speech problems, a good rule is to look to a speech therapist to help with your voice. If you have trouble speaking at all during the day, see a speech pathologist.

Read more:

What Are the Symptoms of Dysphagia?

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