Can you guess what I have been doing the past 6 months? I just completed a HUGE cross country move from Las Vegas, NV to Asheville, NC! If you are contemplating a big move too let me share some quick tips to make your life easier!
1. Start Packing in Advance! Yes, start as early as you can! This will give you time to get rid of the pack rat stuff that you have not used in years. Yes, that includes therapy materials that are out of date, not used in a few years, and/or that you have multiple copies of that you do not need. The less that you have to move with you the better! Trust me! I cleaned out my therapy garage (yes, garage because sometimes a closet is just not enough room!) and my home and even though I minimized I see that I really need to reduce even more. I have been here for about 3 weeks now and I’m no where near unpacked yet!
2. Do Your Licensure Research! I have moved to two different states now from where I began in Ca. Each state requirements are different. Some states are more difficult to get licensure in than others and some take significantly more time to process than others. Therefore, start several months in advance if possible. Initially, when I moved to NV, I just had to complete the application, send copies of my ASHA CCC’s and CA license, and pay the fee to obtain my NV SLP license (not including the additional teaching license). This move to NC required me to complete the application, have NV send a license verification form, send University transcripts, take an NC SLP online test, and send in my fee.
To help you do your research, I created a packet with all the contact information (phone numbers and web addresses) for all of the SLP State Boards here in the United States and you can get the download free below.
3. Research Job Opportunities in Advance! There are a lot of jobs out there. I feel so blessed that we can practically pick up a dart and throw it at a map of the United States and we can just about move anywhere with ASHA CCC’s and professional experience. We have a huge range of job opportunities. Want to work in the schools? You can research your new school district or speak with the wide selection of Contract Companies to find out that would be a good fit. Prefer working with toddlers? There are a lot of private practice companies, regional centers, and organizations such as Easter Seals that can get you into an Early Intervention setting. Want to work with adults or geriatric population? I know that many Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals have difficulty finding the right SLP and/or enough SLPs to cover these setting and populations. So many possibilities. Find the one for you! You can start your search using ASHA Careers or Career Resources by State using SLPJobs.com
4. Thing Outside the Box! In the past several years a NEW opportunity has made itself available to us. TELETHERAPY! I will be the first to admit that I LOVE my job because I get to enjoy the relationship I build in person with my students and clients. I thought that building rapport like that would be difficult via a computer screen between us. I have spoken with several colleagues in the past year and they have explained and expressed different scenarios where this is simply just not the case. Therefore, I am looking into teletherapy for this school year. I can continue to do what I love and still be available and home when my little gets home from school or is home ill that day. If you would love to know more about teletpractice ASHA put some information together about it.
5. Keep Your License at the Prior State Active! Okay, not everyone will need to keep their old state license. However, if you may one day return to that state, are considering teletherapy, or are moving away from one of the more difficult states to get your license- Keep it active! Sure, you spend a little extra every year or two to keep it updated and active. However, if you have to make an immediate exit back to that state (sick family member, financial reasons, etc..), you will be able to pick up right where you left off with getting a job in that state. It is also helpful if you are deciding to go into teletherapy. You will need your license in the state you reside and the state you are providing services too. Therefore, if you maintain your other state license, it will provide you with a larger net of job possibilities.
Hope these tips help you make a more informed decision about a move. If you would like my SLP state board contact list, complete the form below to join my email list and get instant access to this packet and my exclusive freebie SLP Vault.
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Tamatha Cauckwell is an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist with experience working in a variety of settings. Prior to obtaining her Masters in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, she was an SLP Assistant, a Self-contained Special Education Teacher, and a Preschool Teacher and Director. Her combined professional career experiences have given her a unique outlook and understanding regarding behavior management and collaborative needs when working with other professionals, colleagues, and families.