Hawaii Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Hawaii Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Are you interested in a career as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) but have a number of questions about the occupation and the steps you need to take in order to practice? Well, you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for answers.

SLPs specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating speech and language disorders. They work with disorders that affect communication, swallowing, and linguistic behavior. The goal is to develop therapies customized to their patient’s needs so that they can treat impairments that developed in early childhood or adulthood due to an injury or illness.

The role of SLPs play in their client’s lives is essential to seeing a positive change and lasting impact. It’s important for the speech-language pathologist to be enthusiastic during treatment sessions and compassionate. Keeping the client engaged and excited during your sessions is vital to building confidence, and presenting alternative communication methods.

Watching your clients improve over time and develop effective communication skills is extremely rewarding. Knowing you had a part to play in their achievements is what will leave you fulfilled as you continue to work with patients of varying ages and backgrounds.

Hawaii offers a beautiful scenic backdrop for your practice and one of the highest salaries in the nation for SLPs. The annual mean wage is $110,470 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2022). This is a profession where you will earn a comfortable living while enjoying a satisfying career. Keep reading to find out how to become a licensed SLP in Hawaii.

Hawaii Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The agency that oversees the practice of speech-language pathology in Hawaii is the Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology. This group sets the standards for the profession as well as the rules and regulations SLPs must follow to renew their license every two years.

Education Requirements

Graduates of a master’s program in speech-language pathology are eligible to apply for licensure in Hawaii. The accepted equivalent to the master’s degree is a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders in the subject and 75 additional semester hours of graduate-level courses.

A minimum of 27 credits should be in basic science including biological, social, physical, and behavioral sciences. A class in human communication processes and mathematics are also considered basic science courses.

At least 36 credits must be in professional coursework related to speech-language pathology. Thirty of those credits should be at the graduate level. Here’s a breakdown of how those credits can be earned:

  • 21 credits in speech-language pathology
  • 6 credits in audiology
  • No more than six credits of clinical practicum can be counted toward the 30 master’s level credits

Most students entering the master’s program have already completed the prerequisites for admission. That’s because their undergraduate degree was in communicative disorders and sciences. If your bachelor’s degree was not in this subject, you’ll be required to complete the prerequisites before enrolling in the graduate-level classes.

Graduate programs usually take about two years to complete and will include courses such as:

  • Child Language Disorders
  • Aphasia and the Dementias
  • Disorders of Fluency
  • Dysphagia
  • Disorders of Phonology and Articulation
  • Neuroscience in Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • Voice Disorders

Here you will find listed all Hawaii speech pathology degree programs.

Experience Required

During your graduate program, you will complete a minimum of 375 hours of supervised clinical observation and practicum. This time is to be spent in a setting that serves a wide variety of communication disorders so you can gain experience working with different handicaps.

After graduation, 1,260 hours of fieldwork must be completed to qualify for licensure. This paid experience is referred to as a clinical fellowship (CF). You will be paired with a mentor who will assist you in transitioning from a student to an independent provider of clinical services. Throughout the experience, the mentor will oversee your performance and provide feedback regularly.

The minimum amount of time spent in the CF is 36 weeks if working a full-time schedule of at least 35 hours. Part-time workers can take up to two years to complete the clinical fellowship, but they cannot work less than five hours each week.

The CF is made up of three segments with each representing 1/3 of the total experience. At least 80% of your time is spent in direct clinical contact with clients. Some examples of direct clinical contact are:

  • Screening and observations
  • Treatment
  • Assessment and diagnostic evaluations
  • Family and client consultations/counseling
  • Billing
  • Writing reports

The other 20% of your CF is spent attending in-services or providing trainings.

Your university may help you locate a site to complete these CF experiences, or you can locate one on your own. Before choosing a mentor make sure they meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a current Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA
  • Completed the CF
  • Completed at least two hours of professional development in supervision after attaining the CCC

You are responsible for ensuring your mentor certification remains valid during the CF experience. It’s recommended that you periodically verify your mentor status throughout the CF.

At the end of the CF you and the mentor will complete a Clinical Fellowship Verification form to send to the Board with your application.

Testing Requirement

Another eligibility requirement for licensure is passing the Praxis (5331) exam for speech-language pathology. It is a multiple-choice test consisting of 132 questions graded on a scale of 100-200. The required score for licensure is 162.

The fee to sit for the exam is $146. You can choose to take the exam at home or a test center located in the state. If you choose to take the test at home be sure to read the requirements carefully so you are fully prepared on the day of the test. Not following the guidelines may cause you to reschedule and pay additional fees.

To locate a test center near you perform an online search on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. ETS administers the Praxis exam and works with a network of test centers to ensure its accessibility.

Regardless of where you decide to take the exam, you will need to show a valid form of ID. The staff at the test center will need to verify your ID before you can enter. A live Proctor is assigned for at-home test takers, and they will ask for your ID to confirm your identity. If you don’t have the required identification you will forfeit your test fees.

You will find numerous resources to help you prepare for the test on the ETS website. Don’t forget to check with faculty members at your university as they may have tips and strategies for studying. For a comprehensive guide on what to expect from the Praxis exam, download The Praxis Tests Information Bulletin.

Your score will be available on your Praxis account and sent to the institutions you indicated during the registration process. Once the Board receives your score will be added to your application packet.

Background Checks

Applicants will need to apply online with Fieldprint for a background check. Your fingerprints will be collected electronically at a Livescan collection site. A code will be provided to you by your employer before beginning the clinical fellowship. You can then use that information to locate a fingerprinting location in your area.

If you don’t live in Hawaii you can still have your fingerprints collected at a convenient site in your state. Whether in-state or out-of-state you will need to schedule an appointment as walk-ins are not accepted. Be sure to show up for your appointment or you will be charged a rescheduling fee. You may also have to pay additional charges if you cancel less than 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.

The only items you need to take with you for the appointment are two forms of valid identification and your appointment number. Your fingerprints will then be submitted to the state and your results will be sent back to the employer within 14 days.

Application Process

SLPs first need to obtain a provisional license in order to fulfill the clinical fellowship requirement. In the application packet, you’ll need to complete the Clinical Observation and Clinical Practicum Verification and Verification of Clinical Fellowship forms. Contact your school and have them send your official transcript to the Board. Once this information is received and processed, you will receive notice that the provisional license has been issued.

The provisional licenses are good for one year and may only be renewed for an additional year to complete licensure requirements. The provisional license costs are:

  • $50 application fee
  • $76 license fee
  • $50 administration fee
  • $50 Compliance Resolution Fund fee

The total cost for a provisional license is $226.

After completing the clinical fellowship, you can submit an application for full licensure. Provide the following information when applying:

  • A completed application
  • Clinical Observation and Clinical Practicum Verification
  • Clinical Fellowship Verification
  • Verification of Coursework
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Three professional letters of recommendation outlining your work experience or university training
  • Praxis exam score
  • License Verification Form (if applicable)
  • $264 processing fee if the license is issued in an even-numbered year
  • $176 processing fee if the license is issued in an odd-numbered year

The application packet can be filled out online and downloaded or you can use black ink to print legibly on the forms. You’ll need to also supply your Social Security Number (SSN) to verify your identity. If an SSN is not provided the application will not be processed.

Make checks or money orders payable to, Commerce & Consumer Affairs. If mailing the documents send them to:

Hawaii Board of Speech Pathology & Audiology
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

Or, you can hand deliver the packet to:

335 Merchant Street
Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813

Applications typically take 15-20 business days to process. Keep in mind that your application will not be considered until all of the requested information is received and the fees are paid. If the Board requests additional information you have two years from the date of the request to submit the missing documents before the application is considered abandoned. Check the application’s status online by selecting the “Pending Application” tab.