Michigan Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Michigan Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Have you always dreamt of becoming a healthcare professional whose days are varied and never boring? Have you wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of your patients and their families? Speech-language pathology is one area where you’ll have the opportunity to enhance the day-to-day lives of your patients.

Speech and language are two major components of our communication as human beings. Some of us are born with issues that make communicating difficult, others develop complications later in life due to accidents or ailments that develop due to aging. No matter the cause, seeking treatment for these disorders is not easy for patients or those who care about them.

That’s what makes the work of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) so life-altering. Whether the disorder stems from a physical or psychological reason, you will help the patient by assessing, diagnosing, and implementing a successful treatment plan.

Taking courses in speech-language pathology will give you the academic knowledge needed to assist patients of all ages. You’ll also learn the soft skills required to motivate and reassure clients of their progress. The role of an SLP is extremely fulfilling offering many exciting career paths and work environments.

Michigan has the unique distinction of being one of the states closely positioned to Canada. That gives SLPs in the state an opportunity to work with and observe colleagues in another country since the United States and Canada have equivalent requirements for licensure.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also lists the average SLP salary in Michigan at $81,670 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2022), with the bottom 10% to top 90% range between $56,330 and $102,960, respectively.

If your interest has been piqued, continue reading to find out the eligibility requirements for becoming a licensed speech-language pathologist in Michigan.

Michigan Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Michigan Board of Speech-Language Pathology is the licensing agency for speech-language pathologists (SLP) in the state. Licenses are on a two-year renewal cycle and processed through an online system. For a closer look at the rules and regulations for SLPs in Michigan, view the Board’s website.

Education Requirements

Anyone licensed as an SLP in Michigan must earn a master’s in speech pathology, or greater, from a properly accredited institution. The documents proving your degree need to be sent directly to the Board from the educational program you attended.

The SLP program will prepare you to assess, diagnose, and administer clinical treatment to patients impacted by communication disorders. You’ll have the opportunity to help individuals of all ages with varying needs while guided by an instructor. A few of the courses you will take at the graduate level are listed below.

  • Aphasia
  • Child Language Disorders (Preschool & School Age)
  • SLP Diagnostics
  • Fluency & Resonance
  • Articulation & Phonological
  • Voice & Velopharyngeal Disorders

Choose your electives based on the population you want to serve or the area you’d like to pursue as a specialty. For example, you may decide to specialize in neurocognitive disorders in adolescents. Or SLP counseling might be the career path for you.

Whatever program you choose, make sure it is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). The CAA is supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which is the national credentialing association for SLPs. Here you can find all Michigan speech pathology degree programs.

If the program was not accredited by the CAA, a course-by-course credential evaluation from an agency belonging to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) is required before a license can be issued.

Experience Requirements

After graduation, you will begin your Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY). As a clinical fellow, you will be mentored by a licensed practitioner who has a Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP). You will need to apply for a Speech Language Pathologist Educational Limited Temporary License before beginning the CFY.

During the experience, you will begin to integrate the knowledge and skills from your academic learning into a practice environment. This is the time for you to become aware of your strengths and areas you can improve. Your mentor will help you make the transition from being a trainee to working independently.

The number of hours you must complete is 1,260. While that may sound like a lot of time, if you attend full-time it is broken up into three 12-week segments over nine months. That equals 35 hours each week. Part-time attendees can work a minimum of five hours each week until they reach the total hour requirement.

You may think that working more than 35 hours will shorten the length of the fellowship, but it will not. Only 35 hours will be counted toward your end goal, and if you work less than five hours in a week, that time will not be counted either. Paid time off like vacations, lunches, and unpaid time also do not count toward the hours worked that week.

You have two years from the date you begin the CFY to complete the experience. During the fellowship, 80% (1,008 hours) of your experiences should be in direct clinical contact. The following are examples of what is considered direct clinical contact with patients.

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Evaluation and treatment
  • Writing reports
  • Counseling
  • Family conferences
  • Diagnosis

The mentor or fellowship supervisor will evaluate and rate your skills. Skills are graded on a scale of 1-5, and you need a 3 or higher on all core skills. Your accuracy, consistency, independence, and whether you seek supervisory guidance when needed are all taken into account during the evaluation. Twenty percent of the time will be spent observing the SLP perform different tasks.

Michigan also requires potential licensees complete two hours of implicit bias within the immediate five years preceding licensure. The training is held online, and in person and more information can be found on the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) website.

Another experience requirement for SLP licensure in Michigan is completing a training where you learn to identify victims of human trafficking. You’ll learn to recognize victims in healthcare settings, understand venues of human trafficking, become aware of warning signs, and know which resources to report any suspicions. Both ASHA and MSHA offer programs you can complete during your CFY.

Testing Requirements

Praxis Exam 5331 is the national test you must pass with a score of 162 to be granted an SLP license. The exam is graded on a scale of 100-200 and comprises 132 multiple-choice questions, which you have 2.5 hours to complete. The exam is ASHA approved and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The exam is designed to ensure you possess the know-how and proper skill level to practice as an independent practitioner. After passing the exam, you are eligible to receive the CCC credential. You’ll also be one step closer to earning an SLP license.

You will be tested in the following three content categories:

  • Foundations and Professional Practice
  • Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis
  • Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment

Each category is divided evenly and counts equally toward your final score.

Register for the exam one of three ways; online, by mail, or by phone. The easiest and fastest way to register is online, and the fee is $146. For more information about the registration process, download the Praxis Tests Information Bulletin.

The test is computer-based, and you can take it at home or at a local test center. You have up to two years from the initial scheduled test to pass the exam. If you don’t pass within that time frame your application for licensure will be closed and you’ll have to start the process over.

You are given ample opportunities to pass if you fail the first time around. There is no limit to the amount of time you can retake the exam. The only restriction is the 28-day waiting period between test dates. Take advantage of the following resource materials to help you study and prepare for the exam.

Michigan also accepts certification from the Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) organization. SAC is the Canadian equivalent of ASHA, and passing its Canadian Entry-To-Practice Exams (CEPT) For Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology will make you eligible for SLP licensure in Michigan. Learn more about CEPT exam requirements on SAC’s website.

Background Checks

Each applicant must consent to a criminal background check (CBC). You’ll be emailed an Application Confirmation letter with instructions on how to proceed once your application has been submitted.

Application Process

Paper applications are no longer accepted by the Board. Apply using the highly efficient Michigan Professional Licensing User System.

The first license you will apply for is the temporary one needed to begin your clinical fellowship year. Be sure to fill out the online form and pay the application fee of $$102.70. The following information is needed in addition to the application:

  • Criminal background check results
  • Answer all Good Moral Character Questions
  • Complete Human Trafficking training
  • Provide Social Security Number (SSN). If you have no SSN, an SSN Affidavit for Licensure form is required to be uploaded.
  • Complete Implicit Bias training
  • Provide English Language Proficiency test scores when applicable
  • Provide the name of the school and educational program completed
  • Final official transcripts; or
    • A course-by-course credential evaluation by a NACES-approved agency, of the SLP education you received if you attended a non-accredited institution
  • Certification of Appointment form to verify your plan to obtain nine months of supervised experience

The license is valid for one year following the date of issuance and is non-renewable.

Once you complete your CFY, pass the Praxis exam, and become ASHA or SAC certified, you can apply for your full license. The items listed above for the temporary license will be required with the exception add the Certification of Appointment form.

Instead, you will need to complete the Speech Language Pathologist Postgraduate Clinical Experience form to show you completed the CFY, as well as provide your Praxis Exam scores and Certificate of Clinical Competence. The application fee for full licensure is $183.70.

If you have any trouble during the application process you can contact the board at (517) 241-0199 or e-mail them at BPLHelp@michigan.gov. About three weeks after submitting your application you will be able to view a status update online. If any other information is required you will be notified, otherwise, a license will be issued so you can begin practicing independently.