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Becoming an SLP

What is an SLP?

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are professionals who have training and expertise in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders. SLPs work with people of all ages, from newborns to seniors. We work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, private clinics and centres, health units, child development centres, rehabilitation centres, and research facilities.

Useful Resources

The College of Health Disciplines at UBC provides information
on all the healthcare professions to help prospective students
choose a career.

The only speech-language pathology program in British Columbia is the
School of Audiology and Speech Sciences (SASS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), which offers a “solid academic foundation, valuable opportunities for practical experience, and a stunning location in which to study.”

Speech-Language and Audiology Canada provides a list of all the Canadian University Programs in Speech-Language Pathology.

Thinking about becoming an SLP? Our members share why they became, and love being, an SLP:

“I have been an SLP for more than 23 years and I believe it is the best job on earth.”

“I had planned on being a pediatrician until I took a linguistics course in my undergraduate program at UBC and realized that the field of speech-language pathology combined my love of science, teaching, counseling and creativity all in one. Many years later, after working in a variety of settings, I discovered that this “job” is flexible, rewarding (both financially and intrinsically.) You will never get bored! I have 3 daughters who watch me work. Guess what they want to be when they grow up?”

“I was 22 and had never heard about the field ‘til a friend shared with me that she had visited a friend who was an SLP. I was captivated… that was 40 years ago. It has been the most amazing, challenging and rewarding career that I could have wished for and I’m still working and learning and contributing to others constantly. My work keeps engaging me in new ways over and over. I love it.”

“I wanted to work with children but did not want to be a teacher. I shadowed an SLP which made up my mind. That was more than 40 years ago. I still love my job.”

“The best job in the world. We are lifelong learners as are our audiology colleagues”

“I was planning to be a physiotherapist and got a summer job in the PT department of the local hospital…sitting in the hydrotherapy tub with a gentleman with aphasia, I had to find ways to communicate and we succeeded. I changed my major the following year.”

“On career day in high school my mom (a teacher) asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted a job that would challenge me, was unique and would be fun. She suggested I look into speech-language therapy …13 years into my career and it has proved to be everything I valued that day and more. Thank you, Mom.”

“As a child I had difficulties speaking and saw an SLP at school for help. He did such a great job making me feel successful and capable that I rarely felt excluded or embarrassed by the fact that I had to leave class to see the ‘speech teacher’. This positive experience stayed with me well into adulthood and when I was faced with a career change I decided to return to school to become an SLP. I have never regretted the choice to enter such a rewarding profession full of skilled, motivated, and caring individuals.”