According to a 2015 report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York has the third highest employment level in the nation for SLPs and is the fifth highest-paying state for the profession. Even beyond incentives like job security and a comfortable salary, the many innovative speech-therapy practices found in New York create an inspiring environment full of opportunities to work in clinics that contribute to enhancing the quality of life for patients.
In addition to accredited online programs, New York is home to 26 universities that are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), including institutions that house speech and hearing clinics.
The New York Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is responsible for issuing licenses to qualified candidates in the state. Follow the steps in this guide to become a licensed SLP in New York:
Step 1. Earn a Master’s Degree from an ASHA-Accredited Program
To be eligible for SLP licensure in New York, you’ll need to earn a master’s degree or higher from a university accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).
If you’re interested in pursuing a flexible program that may be completed while you work, an ASHA-accredited online program is well worth considering. Online programs may offer you a greater variety of specializations, and you’ll be able to complete coursework at your own pace around a busy schedule.
You won’t need an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders, but if your degree is unrelated, you will have to complete fundamental prerequisites and prove your dedication to the field. Undergraduate prerequisites would typically consist of courses in:
- Sound and Auditory Mechanisms
- Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
- Clinical Audiology
- Introduction to Communication Disorders
School admissions offices may require you to provide a statement of purpose, academic references, and a resume that shows you’ve put volunteer hours into the field or worked in a speech-language pathology clinic in a non-clinical role. You’ll also need to submit GRE scores.
Core Courses and Electives
Core coursework cover such topics as:
- Development of Speech & Language
- Survey of Speech Disorders
- Acquired Neurogenic Speech Disorders
- Speech & Hearing Science
- Language Disorders in Children
- Audiological Assessment and Rehabilitation for SLPS
- Advanced Anatomy, Physiology, Neurology of the Speech Mechanism
Electives will give you the opportunity to study topics that you’re interested in learning more about:
- Acquired Language Disorders
- Diagnostic Procedures
- Oral Motor Function
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Bilingual Speech Pathology
- Health Preparation for SLPs
You’ll also need to complete at least 400 clock hours of a practicum during your graduate program to be eligible for licensure in the state. A practicum is your first opportunity to work directly with patients suffering from speech disorders. You’ll learn how to evaluate patients, diagnose their handicaps, and develop treatment plans under the supervision of a New York licensed SLP.
Step 2. Begin a 36-Week Supervised Clinical Fellowship
Your post-graduate fellowship will build off of the skills you learned during your practicum and allow you to gain supervised experience in completing the day-to-day tasks of an SLP.
Your clinical fellowship must be at least 36 weeks long to meet New York licensing requirements.
You may choose to work part-time or full-time during this period, but it must be a minimum of 36 weeks and you’ll need to spend at least 12 hours per week in direct contact with patients for the experience to count.
Supervised activities will include assessing, diagnosing, evaluating, screening, and treating patients. You’ll work on developing treatment plans with your supervisor and implementing the plans with supervisor guidance. You’ll also meet with patients’ families to provide consultations and direction on how the family can continue and support treatment with activities at home. You’ll be expected to complete case histories and other administrative documentation that your position requires.
From time to time during your clinical fellowship, you’ll meet with your supervisor to discuss these activities and receive feedback on your performance. You may discuss any concerns you have or questions about the practice, while your supervisor will help you determine which areas you still need to gain experience in.
You and your supervisor would complete the Record of Supervised Experience form to document your experience for the New York Board. If you plan to pursue the CCC-SLP credential, you would also complete the Clinical Fellowship Report and Rating Form.
Step 3. Pass the SLP Praxis Exam and Consider Earning the CCC-SLP Credential
To become licensed in New York, you’ll need to register for and pass the Praxis Speech-Language Pathology Exam. Test centers are located in the following cities:
- East Syracuse
- New York City
The Praxis study companion includes practice questions and a breakdown of the topics you can expect to encounter on the test:
- Evaluating factors that can affect treatment
- Initiating and prioritizing treatment and developing goals
- Determining appropriate treatment details
- Generating a prognosis
- Communicating recommendations
- General treatment principles and procedures
- Speech sound production
- Voice, resonance, and motor speech
- Receptive and expressive language
- Social aspects of communication
- Communication impairments related to cognition
- Swallowing and feeding
You’ll need to score a 162 on a 100-200 scale in order to meet New York Board requirements for licensure and ASHA requirements for the CCC-SLP credential.
Consider Applying for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)
Once you’ve passed the exam, you have the opportunity to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by submitting an application to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To apply, you’ll need:
- An official graduate transcript
- Proof of completion of a clinical fellowship
- A passing score on the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology
You are not required to obtain the CCC-SLP in order to become licensed in New York, but it can be used as one way of meeting state licensing requirements.
Step 4. Apply for Licensing and Begin Practicing as a Speech-Language Pathologist in New York
Print and fill out the Application for Licensure and submit it to the New York Board along with:
- Application fee of $294.00
- Official graduate transcript
- Praxis exam results
You’ll need to mail the certificate of professional education to the institution that issued your master’s degree, and have them fill it out and mail it to the board.
Your clinical fellowship supervisor will need to assist you in filling out the Identification of Supervisor and Setting form and the Record of Supervised Experience form, detailing your experience through your clinical fellowship.
If you hold a CCC-SLP certification, you’ll need to verify it by completing a Verification of Certification form.
Once you’ve completed the required forms, you can mail all the documentation to the New York SLP board at:
New York State Education Department
Office of the Profession
PO Box 22063
Albany, NY 12201
You should hear back from the board in two-three weeks. Once you’ve been issued your license, you’ll be able to consider:
Working for Your Clinical Fellowship Provider
You may consider pursuing a full-time opportunity with your clinical fellowship provider. There are many benefits to working for a clinic that you’ve already had experience with, including familiarity with staff and clinic practices and the relationships that you’ve already built with clients.
Opening an Independent Practice
You also may consider opening an independent practice. As a licensed SLP, you may take on clients of your own. Opening your own practice would allow you to specialize and take on the type of clients you’re most interested in working with.
Pursuing Job Openings in New York State
If you’d rather pursue a different type of position, you are likely to find numerous opportunities in New York. Just a few of the many speech, language and audiology clinics that employ licensed SLPs in New York include:
- Multilingual Therapy Associates
- The Shield Institute
- The Perfect Playground
- Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
- Columbia University Medical Center
- Saint Francis Hospital
- Mount Sinai Medical Center
- HTA of NY
- Bayside Speech & Language
- Brookville Center for Children’s Services
- Manhattan Behavioral Center
- Speech Buddies
- Legendary Therapy
- Manhattan Behavioral Center
Step 5. Renew Your License Every Two Years and Complete Continuing Education Requirements
You’ll need to renew your license every three years and complete 30 continuing education hours during that period, or 10 continuing education hours per year.
You can renew your license online. You’ll receive a mailed notice from the New York Board when it comes time to do so.
Your continuing education credits must be made up of the following activities:
- Academic study
- CE courses
- Independent study
- Mentoring or being mentored
- Publication of a journal article in a peer reviewed journal
- Presentations in a professional area at a professional conference
- Participation in a professional study group as defined by regulation
- In-service training for teachers offered by a public school or BOCES to their employees as part of the school’s professional development plan
At least 20 of the CE hours must be related to clinical practice, such as the study of speech disorders and the treatment of those disorders. The other ten may involve legislation that affects practice, business practices, or pedagogical methodologies.
The New York SLP board approves CE courses, workshops, and seminars held by the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET), the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NYSSLHA), the NYS Education Department.
You might consider joining the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Inc. (NYSSLHA). The NYSSLHA holds annual conventions for SLPs, creating networking opportunities and opportunities to explore new topics in speech-language pathology. It also hosts continuing education courses, and connects students with scholarship opportunities in the state.