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Speech and language therapist: Salary and conditions

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  • Jobs in the National Health Service (NHS) consist of nine pay bands and are usually covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates .
  • Speech and language therapists in the NHS start on £21,478 (Band 5), rising to £27,901. Other employers, such as charities and local education authorities, offer comparable pay.
  • Specialist speech and language therapists (Band 6) can earn from £25,783 to £34,530. Advanced speech and language therapists (Band 7) can earn between £30,764 and £40,558.
  • 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.
  • Opportunities for self-employment/freelance work exist. Experienced practitioners may do some private work and some will see only private clients.
  • Jobs are available throughout the UK, although there are more opportunities in urban areas.
  • There are opportunities for flexible and part-time work/job-sharing.
  • The work can be challenging due to the heavy workload, expectations of patients and relatives, difficulties in liaising with a 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 common, 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
November 2014

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