Searching for an SLP-CF position: Start Now!

Ready. Set. Search!!

Are you graduating in 2014 with your Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology or Communication Sciences and Disorders? Yes? Well get cracking on the job hunt. It’s not too early. Searching for a CF position is like Christmas Eve for SLP grad students. At least, it was for me. So, I’m going to share in the excitement for others looking for a Clinical Fellowship position the year they graduate.

When I started writing this post, I had wanted to share all my grand ideas for searching in all types of job prospects. Yet, I have no experience outside applying to schools and hospitals. I haven’t pursued any other job prospects. So for now, this post is limited to searching for a position in schools and hospitals because that’s my experience.  If you are interested in private practice, home health, SNFs, or contract companies – contact me directly via my Contact form; I am 100% sure I know someone who can help you.

med vs school

Searching for School CF Experience:

Schools start handing out job prospects for the following year in April/May of the previous year. So, if you want to start in August 2014 in a school system, fill out applications in January/February (aka NOW). While they may not be hiring or have an open position at that moment, your eagerness to get on it will speak volumes. Current employees have to let the district know of their intentions for the following year around April/May as well, so don’t be discouraged if there aren’t open positions posted. I was hired in late April of 2013 and didn’t graduate until July 31st.

How? Let them know your graduation date. Be up front that you will be completing a Clinical Fellowship and need supervision from an SLP with their CCCs. Ask how they handle CFs. If they don’t know what a CF is, be a little wary. But, it’s an excellent time to educate the district too.

Money?: CFs in schools ‘typically’ don’t have a special salary. Most districts base pay on credit hours and years of experience. You will be at the bottom of the rung as far as Master’s level pay, but you would make the same as a first year teacher with a Master’s degree. Not terrible, but don’t think you can get a Benz on day 1. It’s schools, folks.

After taxes, I bring home $2,800 per month; or my daily rate is $243. That includes an amazing health care plan worth over $22,000 per year, low deductible ($100), and retirement package. Boom.

Email me with questions about this. I’ve got more to say, but for the sake of space, I’m being general (I love emails from total strangers, for real).

Searching for Hospital CF Experience:

I really wanted to work in a hospital. Still do. The challenge with getting a CF position in a hospital is insurance and supervision. Many states don’t allow CFs to bill insurance – ergo – hiring you would be like a waste of money for employers. States that don’t require having CCCs to bill insurance in the medical setting will be more friendly to you. What states you might ask? I have no idea. Call ASHA. Them peeps might know.

How?: Contact HR at least 2-3 months in advance. Ask if they hire CFs for SLP positions. See if they anticipate openings near/after your graduation date. Smaller hospitals in more rural areas might be more flexible. Contacting hospitals more than 3 months in advance may not reveal job openings. However, if you call often enough (without becoming a stalker), when a position comes open, they may contact you directly. Who knows. All I know is, don’t be a Human Resource stalker. That’s the worst.

Money?: You will either be salary or hourly. Salary will include insurance and more standard hours (aka 9-5). Hourly rate will be higher (between $40-$75 per hour) and may not include insurance. Rates always differ by hospital, state, location, etc.

Must-See Resources:

  1. The Resources for Nailing Your Resume” specifically tailored for SLPs with examples
  2. ASHA Online Career Center – I posted my resume here over 8 months before I graduated. While many recruiters from companies contacted me, I also had several private practice peeps call/email as well. Post your resume with areas of interest. Then search the ones on ASHA as well. Great resource.
  3. ASHA’s Clinical Fellowship description 
  4. Selecting a CF Setting from ASHA
  5. SLP-CF approval – Things to keep in mind

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