Working as a Speech Psychologist
Speech psychologists are much in demand in both the public and private sectors as people appreciate the important of good communication for a successful adult life.
Speech psychologists work with individuals and groups to either help them overcome particular problems with their speech or to enable them to become better communicators. As such, working as a speech psychologist falls into two clear camps – working in a ‘medical’ capacity, or in more of a ‘commercial’ capacity. In many ways, there is greater security in the medical option, as speech psychologists in this area tend to be employed by the NHS or private medical practices (or set up their own), with the more commercial speech psychologists working with large corporations often on a freelance or contract basis. However, these contracts can be lengthy and very well paid, so perhaps it is more of a choice dependant on your preference for a working environment that is more target driven or not.
EducationSpeech psychologists usually have a degree in psychology and then a Master’s degree in speech psychology. There are some possible alternative career paths for people who have worked in related field for a number of years who have then gone on to specialise in speech therapy, but this is unusual. Additional training may be provided if psychologists work for a department that allows for cross-training.
SalaryThe salary expectations of a speech psychologist vary wildly. For someone working in a local NHS trust as a speech psychologist for young people with autism, for example, may command an annual salary of between £25,000 for up to three years’ experience, up to £40,000 for over six years’ experience.
Commercial positions as a speech psychologist can have almost unlimited salary potential as the types of firms that benefit are high yield – industries such as investment banking can employ speech psychologists to train certain employees to improve their communication. Daily rates can be upwards of £500.