Language and speech is the main mode of social interaction and communication. Speech and language therapy helps to identify, assess and treat people with communication disorder. Speech Therapy is a promising career option for those interested in paramedical sciences. Speech disorders can be the outcome of autism, emotional problems, childhood schizophrenia or other ailments. The growing awareness about treatments for those with speech disorders has increased the demand for these experts.
Anyone interested in speech-language therapy career needs to go for a 3-4 years Bachelor's Degree or B.Sc. programme in Speech/Language Therapy. The minimum qualification for this course is 10+2 pass with science subjects. For specialization in a certain area, one may opt for the 2 years master's course after graduation. After having Bachelors/Masters degree in Speech/Language Therapy, professionals need to be registered with either Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) or Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). Besides the undergraduate/ post graduate courses, several institutes offer diploma courses of varying durations.
There are ample scopes for Speech Therapists in government/private hospitals, government health departments & agencies, clinics, health centres and college/university clinics. They can also find employment in community care centres, rehabilitation centers, centre for disabled, nursing care facilities and community clinics. Some may find employment in public or private schools, universities and government agencies as teacher. Besides, speech pathologists can also opt for private practices and offer services to schools, physician's offices, hospitals, nursing homes. Some highly qualified can choose research career in research labs or teaching career in medical/para-medical colleges.
Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
There are some well-known institutes in India that offer several courses in speech/language therapy. They are: Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bangalore; All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysore; Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences (MCOAHS) Karnataka; Indian Institute of Health Education and Research, Patna and MERF Institute of Speech and Hearing, Chennai.
A speech/language therapist in government hospital gets a starting salary of Rs 8,000-10,000 per month. With 4-5 years of experiences it can well go up to Rs 20,000-25,000 per month. Private hospitals offer better salaries and benefits. Private practitioners in speech/language therapy have handsome earnings which may vary at times.