Speech language therapists

There is a growing awareness and demand for speech language therapy in New Zealand, with jobs available in both the public and the private sectors. However, the recession has resulted in fewer vacancies than was previously the case. If you are a qualified SLT with a few years’ experience, you will have more luck finding a job than a new graduate. Most jobs are based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. 

1. Registration

Speech language therapy is not a registered profession in New Zealand, so registration with the Speech-Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) is voluntary. However, many employers will expect that you are eligible for NZSTA membership.

Check out our flow chart and see below for more information on the registration process.

There are two routes through which you can to apply to become a member of NZSTA.

Applicants from Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA may be able to apply for membership under the Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials (MRA).

To apply under the MRA, you must EITHER:
  • Be a certified member of the:
    • American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
    • Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
    • Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (Speech Pathology Australia)
    • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) 
  • Be a full member of the:
    • Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) 

You must also meet the requirements outlined in the Procedure for NZSTA Membership under the MRA, which can be downloaded from the NZSTA's website.

Other applicants must apply for membership using the Qualifications Approval Process. You may either be granted full membership or provisional membership.To become a full member, you must have:

  • An acceptable speech-language therapy/pathology qualification
  • A minimum of 2 years clinical experience (the most recent of which must have been completed less than 5 years ago)
  • Evidence of Continuing Professional Development
  • English proficiency (average IELTS score of 8 across 4 categories, with a minimum score of 8 in the spoken module) 

If you are granted a provisional membership, it means that you have not yet met the criteria for full membership. Click here to view the conditions that pertain to provisional membership.

Your application will be submitted to the Qualifications Approval Committee (QAC).

Once received, applications are processed within 5 working days. You may be requested to provide more information and you will be advised in writing of the outcome of your application.

For more information, please visit the NZSTA's website.

2. Job offer

Membership to the NZSTA is not compulsory, but it is still a good idea to have it. Visit the national health job website to begin your job hunt today.

3. Work visa

To be eligible to work in New Zealand, you will need a work visa. You can apply for work visas from Immigration New Zealand. If you are an Australian national, you do not need to apply for a work visa.

Got a question? Check out our forum to see if your question has already been answered or contact us directly.


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