As a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in New Hampshire, you’ll have the opportunity to effect real, positive change in your patients’ lives. There are many opportunities open to you—you might choose to work with a variety of populations, including children or adults with autism or patients recovering from brain injuries.
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Before becoming licensed, you’ll need to earn your master’s degree in speech-language pathology. In New Hampshire, there is one university which offers an accredited graduate program in SLP. Through your master’s program, you may be able to pursue opportunities working with children in local schools or study a specialization within speech-language pathology that interests you. Specializations might include speech therapy for the hearing impaired, therapeutic measures for autistic patients, or developing proper communication techniques in pre-school aged children.
You might also choose to connect with other speech-language pathology professionals in the state through organizations such as the New Hampshire Speech, Language & Hearing Association (NHSLHA). The NHSLHA is a helpful resource through which SLP professionals may pursue continuing education and learn about new legislation that affects the SLP practice. Through the NHSLHA’s workshops, you may learn about using video modeling with autistic patients, how to treat childhood apraxia of speech, and how to treat patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders.
If you choose to work with specialized patients, such as those who are suffering from communication orders due to brain injury, you might also connect with organizations in the state such as The Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire. The organization helps to provide advocacy and support both for patients suffering brain injuries and for those who provide healthcare for this population.
After earning your speech therapy degree and completing clinical hours, you’ll qualify for your speech-language pathology license through the New Hampshire Speech-Language Pathology Governing Board.
Follow the steps below to begin your journey towards becoming a speech therapist in New Hampshire:
Step 1. Complete a Master’s Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology
You’ll need to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology through an institution accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
There is one accredited program available in New Hampshire, but you may also consider enrolling in an accredited online program. Accredited programs, both online and traditional, are respected by employers due to their high standards of admission and rigorous coursework requirements.
To apply to most programs, you’ll need to have:
- At least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA
- Academic references
- GRE scores in the 30th percentile
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for a master’s program. If your bachelor’s degree is not in communicative sciences and disorders, you’ll need to complete prerequisites before beginning the graduate program.
Prerequisites usually include fundamentals such as:
- Science of Language
- Basics of Audiology
- Topics in Communication Disorders
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
- Normal Language Development
Next, you’ll complete core coursework, which will cover the fundamental biological, physiological, and linguistic sciences which relate to communicative disorders:
- Cued Speech
- Advanced Language Acquisition
- Ethical and Professional Issues in Communication Sciences
- Diagnosis of Speech and Language Disorders
- Advanced Audiology
- Applied Neurology
- Articulatory and Phonological Disorders
- Stuttering Therapy
Electives may include the following topics:
- Therapy Process
- Motor Speech Disorders
- Voice Disorders
- Aural Rehabilitation
- Disorders of Language and Literacy
- Language Disorders Birth to Five
- Cognitive Communication Disorders
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Counseling Clients and Families
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
You’ll also need to complete a practicum within your graduate program. Usually completed in your last year of study, it will involve clinical experiences under the supervision of a New Hampshire-licensed SLP. You’ll begin by shadowing your supervisor, and then take on the role of an SLP through the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of speech patients. Your practicum will need to consist of at least 400 clock hours.
Step 2. Complete a Nine-Month Clinical Fellowship
After graduating from an accredited program, the next step in the SLP process is to complete a nine-month long program referred to as a clinical fellowship.
Many aspiring SLP candidates find a clinical fellowship provider through their university, but you may also look for opportunities here.
Through a clinical fellowship, you’ll gain hands-on professional experience in a clinical setting, serving the public under the supervision of a licensed SLP. You’ll continue gaining experience in the activities you completed during your practicum, and also gain additional experience with varied patient populations. You’ll be able to work with children and adults, patients with varying communication handicaps, and patients with special needs.
You’ll also learn to counsel patients and patients’ families, fill out reports and patient files, and perform administrative work related to speech therapy treatment.
The clinical fellowship must be at least nine months long and add up to a total of 1,260 hours, though you may choose to work either full-time or part-time during this period.
At the end of your clinical fellowship, you’ll need to fill out a CF Report and Rating Form and mail it to the ASHA at:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #313
Rockville, Maryland, 20850
Step 3. Pass the National SLP Exam and Consider Earning the CCC-SLP Credential
The next step is to pass the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology.
Praxis hosts the exam, and you may register online with an official graduate transcript and proof that you’ve completed a nine-month long clinical fellowship.
If you’d like some extra study help, you might consider Praxis’s test preparation materials, which include practice questions and an interactive practice test.
The exam is made up of 132 questions, and you’ll need a 162 on a 100-200 scale to pass the exam.
You’ll be tested over material that was covered in your graduate core courses and clinical procedures that you learned during your practicum and your clinical fellowship.
The exam will cover the following topics:
- Foundations of professional practice
- Screening, assessment, evaluation, and diagnosis of patients
- Assessment procedures
- Treatment planning and evaluation
- Counseling within SLP
- Typical language development across the lifespan
- Factors that influence communication
- Ethics, legislation, and client advocacy
- Communication disorders
- Feeding and swallowing disorders
You can take the exam at a New Hampshire Praxis test center in one of the following cities:
- New London
At this point, after passing the exam, you might choose to pursue the Certificate in Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). The certification, offered through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is not required for licensure in New Hampshire, but is still a valuable credential to add to your resume.
If you choose to pursue the CCC-SLP, you may send the application to ASHA with:
- Praxis exam scores
- Official graduate transcript
- CF report and rating form
You may mail the application and the supporting documents to:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #313
Rockville, Maryland, 20850
Step 4. Apply for Licensing and Begin Practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist
In order to become licensed as an SLP in New Hampshire, you’ll need to request an application through the New Hampshire SLP board. They will mail you an application within two weeks.
After receiving the application, you’ll need to mail it back to the board with the following documents:
- Official graduate transcript
- CF Report and Rating Form
- Proof of 400 hours of a practicum
You can mail the competed application and attachments to the board at:
Office of Licensed Allied Health Professionals
Phil Brook Building
121 South Fruit Street
Concord, NH 03301
Once you receive your license, you’ll be able to pursue job opportunities in the state. You might consider the following options:
Joining the Clinic that Provided your Clinical Fellowship
When starting your career, a good option is to contact the clinic that provided your clinical fellowship experience. Your clinical fellowship supervisor may be interested in providing you will a full-time employment opportunity. If the clinic doesn’t have any available positions, your supervisor may also be able to connect you with other job leads in the area.
Opening an Independent Practice
You may consider opening an independent practice or a partnership with another SLP once you’re licensed as an SLP in New Hampshire. There are plenty of benefits to being your own boss, including being able to set your own schedule and selecting the right number and population of patients to serve.
Pursuing Job Openings in New Hampshire
You might also be interested in working in the school system or in clinics, rehab centers, or hospitals throughout the state. A few SLP employers include:
- Swing for the Stars Pediatric Therapy
- Home Health VNA
- Speech Therapy Solutions
- Clearly Speaking
- Joseph Hospital
- Dysphagia Management Systems
- Northeast Rehab
- Catholic Medical Center
- Fox Rehabilitation
- Heritage Healthcare
- Gateways Community Services
- Mascenic Regional
- PPR Education Services
Step 5. Renew Your License and Complete Continuing Education Requirements
In New Hampshire, you’ll need to renew your license every two years in order to maintain current licensure. You’ll be sent a renewal notice with an application packet at least a month before you’re due to renew your license.
You’ll also be required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, or 15 hours each year.
15 of the contact hours must be directly related to clinical procedures in SLP.
Your continuing education must come from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s conferences, seminars, workshops, and webinars. You can browse ASHA’s continuing education opportunities here.
Speech-Language Pathology Salary in New Hampshire
Experienced speech-language pathologists in New Hampshire earned an average salary of $80,371 as of 2015 according to the state’s Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau. SLPs earned an average salary of $70,762 that year. Hourly wages ranged from $34.02 to $38.64 for these categories.
The Bureau provides the range of salaries for speech-language pathologists in the major metropolitan areas of New Hampshire.
Shown below is the range from the average to that of SLPs with experience:
Greater Concord Area:
- Annual: $76,378 – $88,171
- Hourly: $36.72 – $42.39
- Annual: $75,296 – $82,742
- Hourly: $36.20 – $39.78
- Annual: $66,019 – $73,819
- Hourly: $31.74 – $35.49
- Annual: $77,085 – $86,154
- Hourly: $37.06 – $41.42
- Annual: $67,454 – $74,672
- Hourly: $32.43 – $35.90
- Annual: $70,741 – $78,874
- Hourly: $34.01 – $37.92
The New Hampshire Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau expects the number of jobs to increase by 11.6% between 2014 and 2024—opening up an average of 22 jobs a year during this time frame.
The nonmetropolitan area of northern New Hampshire had the 5th highest concentration of jobs for SLPs of any rural area in the country in 2015 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A High-Paying Career that Offers Job Satisfaction
Two prominent news publications featured the high salaries and levels of job satisfaction evinced by speech-language pathologists. Forbes reported on the results of a survey that the salary specialist company PayScale.com conducted on more than 2 million employees. When asked if they thought that their work made the world a better place, SLPs responded in the affirmative. Based on these results, speech-language pathology ranked among the top 25 most meaningful jobs that pay well.
US News & World Report noted that the average salary for SLPs increased by 6.9% between 2010 and 2014. This publication rated the profession as the 19th best type of health care job to have.
While 53% of New Hampshire’s speech-language pathologists worked in schools in 2014, the health care industry employed one-third of the state’s professionals. Clinics that feature speech-language pathology are found throughout the state:
- Bedford: Milestones Pediatric Therapy Center
- Concord: KidSpeak Therapies, LLC
- Hampton Falls: Clearly Speaking Pediatric Speech & Language Therapy
- Hampton Falls: Miracle Farm Speech Therapy, LLC
- Londonderry: Little Bites Feeding and Speech Therapy, LLC
- Londonderry: Premier Speech Therapy, LLC
- Nashua: SNH Speech Therapy & Learning Center, LLC
- Salem: Irene E. Cohen, MS
Detailed Salary Analysis for Speech-Language Pathologists in New Hampshire
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a breakdown of the salaries for New Hampshire’s speech-language pathologists by percentile as of 2015: