How to Become a Speech Therapist in Canada

Speech therapists diagnose and correct speech disorders in both kids and adults.
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As a speech therapist in Canada, you’ll enjoy a wide range of duties, including diagnosing and treating speech and swallowing disorders, helping people reduce their accents, utilizing alternative forms of communication and much more. Whether working as an independent counselor or as part of a team of health professionals, your work as a speech therapist requires compassion, creativity and a desire to help others.

    Step 1

    Earn a postgraduate degree in audiology or speech-language pathology, which is the minimum requirement to become a speech therapist in Canada according to the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. Courses include acoustics, anatomy, language development and disorders, linguistics, neurology, psychology, statistics, voice disorders and others specific to understanding the development and training of human communication.

    Step 2

    Join CASPLA to receive clinical certification. Complete the online membership form and pay an annual membership fee. According to CASLPA, certification is not mandatory, but most CASPLA-accredited clinics and many employers require it.

    Step 3

    Take the CASPLA certification exam. If you took the exam in the fall, you’ll receive your results before the end of October; if you took the exam in the spring, you’ll receive results before the end of May.

    Step 4

    Receive your CASPLA certificate in the mail. If you do not pass this four-hour, multiple choice exam on the first time, you will be allowed one more chance to take it.

    Step 5

    Obtain a license or registration to practice in your province. According to CASLPA, certification and licensure are not the same. And as of November 2012, the governing bodies of seven provinces -- Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick -- require a practitioner’s license.

    Step 6

    Maintain your certification by paying your annual CASPLA membership fee and accumulating at least 45 hours of continuing education credits over three years.

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