Florida Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: FL Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are individuals who use their knowledge of the communication and medical fields to help patients with varying physical and cognitive communication disorders. Also known as speech therapists, the disorders these specialists work with include, but aren’t limited to, stuttering, articulation issues, semantics, vocalization, word finding, phonics, and swallowing.

The cause of the disorder can be autism, a brain injury, stroke, psychological issues, hearing loss, developmental delay, and a cleft palate, just to name a few. Speech-language pathologists usually collaborate with physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, and audiologists as a member of a patient’s rehabilitation team.

Because they work with patients of all ages from various walks of life, speech-language pathologists need to be personable and resourceful to customize plans for each individual’s unique needs. On a normal day, speech-language pathologists screen and diagnose patients, treat language, speech, and swallowing disorders, and assist patients with developing speech and communication skills.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that speech pathology is a profession that requires licensure to ensure patients are treated by healthcare workers who meet the standards and qualifications necessary to deliver effective results. The national standards are set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). So, if you live in Florida, have a passion for linguistics, and want to help others improve their language skills, keep reading to find out how you can earn a speech-pathology license in your state.

Initial Speech Pathology Licensure Process

Speech-language pathologist licenses are issued by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and are to be renewed every two years. Click here to view the Florida Administrative Code for licensees.

Education Requirements

To become a licensed speech pathologist, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree in speech pathology or a doctoral program’s academic requirements with a concentration in speech-language pathology. Applicants to a master’s program that haven’t received their bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders will have prerequisites to complete in preparation for graduate-level courses.

The prerequisite classes would include Science of Language, Intro to Audiology, Anatomy, and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanism, Clinical Phonetics, Neuroanatomy and Communications, and Speech and Language Development in Children.

Those who enrolled in a Board-approved program before January 5, 2005, will need to complete at least 60 semester hours, with 36 hours being in graduate-level courses. If your enrollment date is after January 5, 2005, a minimum of 75 semester hours has to be earned, and 36 hours need to complete at the graduate level.

In addition to the semester hours, there’s a 300-hour supervised clinical practicum that will have to be fulfilled. You will spend at least 200 of those hours working directly in the area of speech-language pathology.

Some graduate-level courses you can expect to take include the following: Speech Science, Multi-Cultural Issues in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Adult Language Disorders, Motor Speech Disorders, Articulation and Phonology Disorders, and Fluency Disorders.

A few helpful electives include Craniofacial Anomalies, Language and Communication in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Approaches to Natural Language, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Neurogenic Speech Disorders in Children, and Voices and Listeners.

Experience Requirements

Before you can call yourself a licensed speech-language pathologist in Florida, you will have to work in the field for a minimum of nine months. The post-graduate experience is supervised by a licensed SLP and can be attended on a full or part-time schedule. The full-time fellowship is 30 hours per week for 36 weeks. If working part-time, you’ll spend 15 hours a week for 72 weeks in the fellowship.

Eighteen hours of the experience are spent observing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Nine of those hours are for evaluating clinical records. Every three months, you’ll spend six hours discussing evaluations and management strategies with the fellowship. And you must be observed a minimum of six times on-site, every three months, conducting evaluations and therapy.

Testing Requirements

The test you have to pass is the Speech-Language Pathology Praxis examination. You must show proof that you passed the exam within three years prior to applying for licensure. Licensure applicants are encouraged to register for the exam during their clinical fellowship. To do so, create a Praxis account and schedule a testing date.

The exam is scored on a scale of 100-200, and 162 is considered passing. The Praxis website has resources available to help prepare for the test. Visit the Praxis Test Preparation page to download materials and train using interactive tests. The exam fee is $146 each time it’s taken. Changing the test date or location incurs a $40 fee, another score report is $50, and if you want your score reviewed, it will cost $65.

Florida does not require you to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) to become licensed. But many employers look for the credential when hiring, so it will help you stand out from the competition if you decide to add it on at a later date.

Background Checks

There is a section of the application that requires you to consent to a criminal background check. These checks are completed to ensure the individual licensed does not have a history of violence or any outstanding disciplinary matters that have not been addressed. That way, the public is kept safe, and only the most qualified candidates receive SLP licenses.

If a criminal record exists, any certified official court documents must be submitted with your application. You’ll have to report any professional licenses you hold and supply documentation if you’ve received disciplinary action. The circumstances surrounding the criminal or disciplinary action will have to be described in detail and submitted to the Board. Each applicant’s matter will be evaluated and decided on a case-by-case basis.

The process takes 48 hours to complete and cannot be expedited.

Application Process

You can apply either online or by filling out a paper form and mailing it to:

Board of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
PO Box 6330
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6330

Licenses issued August 1 of an odd-numbered year and valid through December 31st of the even-numbered year pay a total of $280. The application fee is $75, the licensure fee is $200, and the unlicensed activity fee is $5.

Licenses issued January 1 of an odd-numbered year through July 31st of the odd-numbered year pay a total of $180. The difference is the licensure fee is only $100 under these circumstances.

Checks and money orders being mailed should be made out to the “Department of Health.” You can use a credit or debit card for online payments.

Be sure to include the following:

Before being granted a permanent license, you must first apply for a provisional SLP license. There are three application methods for SLP licensure: licensure by evaluation of credentials, licensure by endorsement of the certificate of clinical competence by ASHA, and licensure by endorsement from another state or territory (this is covered on the Florida SLP reciprocity page).

Licensure by Evaluation of Credentials Requirements

Licensure by Endorsement of Certificate of Clinical Competence by ASHA Requirements

  • ASHA has to submit a Certificate of Clinical Competence, which verifies your status directly to the Board.
  • Verification of any professional licenses you hold or have ever held in the U.S. are to be mailed directly to the Board from the licensing authority’s office.
  • Applications are processed within 30 days, and you are notified once a license is issued.

The Florida SLP incentive program helps students enrolled in an SLP program with tuition if they promise to work in a public school after graduating. For each year of funding provided, the SLP student must work a minimum of two years in a public school with children who have communication disorders. Program participants will take this route immediately following graduation.

Those who did not participate in the SLP incentive program can work for the institution where their clinical practice was completed or a local hospital. You can even start your own business once licensed and work as an independent practitioner.