What does becoming a qualified Speech-language Therapist
allow you to do?
This is a profession which allows great flexibility and opportunity to make a profound
difference in your community. We are the experts when it comes to supporting effective
communication and safe swallowing for everyone. You may end up working in a
multidisciplinary team in educational, medical, research, or community based settings. Many
speech-language therapists make a shift between settings. The scope of practice is vast
allowing you to start as a generalist and then specialise over time if you choose.
What if I want to travel?
The international Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) allows speech-language therapists who
have trained in one of the signatory countries a pathway to return to New Zealand or shift overseas
and continue their career if they meet the other requirements of that country and state.
What if I am coming to New Zealand to study from another
As the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association accredits training institutions in New
Zealand to the satisfaction of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), studying in New Zealand
has the benefit of allowing you to return to your home country with an MRA recognised
Ways to decide whether this profession might be a good fit for
● talking with people who have accessed Speech-language Therapy services
● meeting with or shadowing practicing speech-language therapists
● reading the course outlines for training institutions in New Zealand
● attending open days at the universities offering training
● doing a careers aptitude test on careers.govt.nz
● volunteering in places where speech-language therapists works
Where to train in New Zealand:
There are currently 3 accredited institutions and 4 pathways:
For those who have not yet completed a Bachelor degree:
● Massey University’s Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy with Honours
● University of Canterbury’s Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours
For those who already have a Bachelor degree:
● The University of Auckland’s Master of Speech Language Therapy Practice
● University of Canterbury’s Master of Speech and Language Pathology
What to expect in your training
The training is a mix of coursework and hands-on clinical practicum. Students describe the training
as challenging, but highly rewarding.
It is well suited to people who enjoy working alongside and helping people to achieve their goals
around communication and/or swallowing. It is a profession that requires people to be culturally
competent, empathetic, creative, thoughtful, and have excellent communication skills.
People who are interested in science, linguistics, research, education, psychology, medicine or
engineering often find speech-language therapy to be a rewarding career.
Here are some insights from a several SLT students