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Speech and language therapist: Salary and conditions

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  • Speech and language therapy jobs in the National Health Service (NHS) are usually covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates . Individual trusts have their own terms and conditions. For more information, see NHS Careers .
  • Speech and language therapists in the NHS start on £21,176 (Band 5), rising to £27,625. Other employers, such as charities and local education authorities, offer comparable pay.
  • Specialist speech and language therapists (Band 6) earn £25,528 - £34,189. Advanced speech and language therapists (Band 7) can earn £30,460 - £40,157.
  • Full-time NHS allied health professionals work 37.5 hours a week. Hours are typically 9am to 5pm with the possibility of some extra hours as and when required.
  • The workplace may be a hospital, health centre, day-care centre, rehabilitation unit, school or pre-school, a client's home, prison or young offenders' institution. Therapists may work in several different locations during the week.
  • Self-employment/freelance work is expanding. Many experienced practitioners do some private work and an increasing number see only private clients.
  • Jobs are available in most locations, although there are more opportunities in urban areas.
  • Opportunities for flexible and part-time work are good. Career breaks and job-sharing are common.
  • The vast majority of speech and language therapists are female, although male therapists are represented at senior level.
  • Stress may be an issue in this profession and can be caused by a number of factors, including a heavy workload, expectations of patients and relatives, difficulties in liaising with a wide range of other professionals and financial/resource constraints. The particular challenges of a post depend on the clients' circumstances, for example congenital disorders, physical and mental disabilities, illness (e.g. Parkinson's disease, throat cancer), drug or alcohol dependency and accidents causing head and neck injuries.
  • Although travel within a working day is frequent, absence from home overnight and overseas work are uncommon.

Salary data from the National Health Service (NHS). Figures are intended as a guide only.

Written by AGCAS editors
December 2012

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