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Speech pathologists, also known as speech therapists, work with people of all ages who have communication or swallowing difficulties. They often work in a team with other health professionals to assess and treat people with a range of difficulties. These may include problems with speech, voice, using and understanding language, fluency, reading, writing and swallowing (dysphagia).

Services provided

  • Assessment and treatment of a range of communication and swallowing difficulties


Appointments may be made directly without a doctor's referral. A referral may be needed to access some services and funding sources.

How to access

Go to Speech Pathology AustraliaExternal Link to find a speech pathologist (speech therapist) near you.


The cost of speech pathology varies depending on the provider. Contact the service before you attend if you would like more information about cost.

Speech pathology may be partly or fully covered by Medicare, NDIS and other funding sources ( e.g. Department of Veterans' Affairs, Workcover and the National Australian Defence Force Academy Family Health program).

Speech pathology fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.



Conventional healthcare.


Industry self-regulated.


Speech pathologists are not required to be registered with a government medical authority.

Minimum qualifications

In Australia, you must complete a recognised bachelor or graduate entry master’s degree to become a speech pathologist. For more details see: the Speech Pathology Australia website.


  • Speech pathologists work with the person, their family and carers, and other professionals to explore a wide variety of communication and swallowing therapies.
  • Take results of any tests with you (such as x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs).


Speech pathology is a self-regulated profession. Certified Practising membership with Speech Pathology AustraliaExternal Link , means the speech pathologist must meet the Association's standards, including regulations for professional development and conduct. For more information see National Alliance of Self Regulating Health professions (NASRHP)External Link .