Initial Postgraduate Employment & Beyond
How do I practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) after graduation?
In order to work as an SLP, you must be appropriately credentialed (e.g., licensed or certified) according to state law. Please note that state regulations regarding credentialing vary across the U.S. and the type of required credential often depend on the setting in which you will work. Many states, however, do use the ASHA Standards for Clinical Competency as a model for their regulatory agency requirements (including Washington).
Please be aware that most states (including Washington) have state oversight and regulation of SLP practitioners. However, there are still a very few number of states that do not oversee or credential our profession.
In Washington state, SLP graduates seeking employment must be credentialed by the following agencies:
If Working in a Non-School Setting
Graduates must be credentialed by the WA State Department of Health (DOH) which establishes licensing requirements for professionals in non-school settings (e.g., hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, birth-to-three facilities, etc.) Practitioners are awarded permits or licenses by the DOH to work.
If Working in a School Setting
Graduates must be credentialed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) which establishes “teacher requirements” for professionals working in WA schools. Practitioners are awarded Educational Staff Associate Certification (ESA) by OSPI to work.