Disclaimer: Misrad Habriut regulations are subject to change without advance notice and are constantly changing. For the most current information regarding licensing procedures, please see Misrad Habriut’s site. Nefesh B’Nefesh does not take responsibility for inaccuracies on the site or changes to the law.
Perhaps it goes without saying that working in Israel in a speech-related field requires fluent Hebrew. While Hebrew is essential, other languages like English, Russian and Yiddish can be advantageous. That being said, it is possible to work part time with the English speaking population privately &/or provide Teletherapy services from the comfort of your home, in English.
Teletherapy is an up & coming service platform that breaks physical barriers and allows individuals in remote areas to receive therapeutic services. For Olim, teletherapy is a great way to continue to use one’s American speech therapy license and work in English. There are a number of Teletherapy companies that may be of interest to an English speaking Oleh such as Global Teletherapy & Presence Learning. It is important to keep in mind however, that Teletherapy comes with some inherent limitations, such as working US hours.
There is a demand for speech therapists to work in various areas such as Kupot Cholim (health funds), hospitals, clinics, special-ed schools, etc.
Please note: Speech therapists and audiologists are both recognized by Misrad Habriut (Ministry of Health). Professionals in either field will receive a license of speech therapy from Misrad Habriut, however the license will specify your qualification either as a speech pathologist or audiologist.
Israeli law mandates that only a licensed speech therapist or audiologist is permitted to dispense hearing aids. There is no separate licensing procedure which enables one to exclusively dispense hearing aids. However, there are opportunities for hearing aid dispensers who are not licensed by Misrad Habriut to work in the private sector.
Anyone applying with Misrad Habriut for licensing as a speech therapist or audiologist is required to take an exam in order to be licensed in Israel.
Please note: Anyone taking the English exam in SLP will have to exhibit Hebrew Proficiency. This can be done by taking a ‘ Yael test’ that is given by the National Institute of Testing and Evaluation. More info regarding the test can be found at: https://www.nite.org.il/index.php/en/tests/yael.html.
The Hebrew test is a prerequisite for receiving the license. It can be taken before or after the licensing exam. An SLP needs to get a minimum grade of 110.
Alternatively, a completion of a level Gimmel at a regular hebrew ulpan (Misrad haklitah) or a medical ulpan given by Misrad Hachinuch. The Chief SLP at the Ministry of Health is Dr. Orly Hertzberg, & she may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: It is now possible to apply with the Ministry of Health at a pre Aliyah stage. It is also possible to take the licensing exam as a tourist. For more information, please see the following article: Start your Licensing Before Aliyah.
In order to take this licensing exam you must read through and sign this document: Declaration to Sign Before Taking Exam in OT SPL PT and N
The cost of the exam is 354 NIS.
Misrad Haklita offers a reimbursement (up to 500 NIS) for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam. Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah. The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklita office. Please contact your local Misrad Haklita office for more information.
Please note: if you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklita preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for 2 exams (if needed).
Misrad Habriut now offers a new customer call center to answer questions about licensing for health care professionals. Call *5400 from Israel or 972-8-6241010 from abroad. The center operates Sunday through Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Fridays from 8am-1pm, Israel time.
Local Misrad Habriut offices are no longer open. All applicants should submit all of your licensing documentation to Misrad Habriut via registered mail to: Licensing department, Ministry of Health, Yermiyahu 39, Jerusalem, 9446724.
Graduates who completed recognized academic degree programs in speech therapy and/or audiology, in an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel or in an institution abroad that is recognized by the Council, can submit a request for a professional license.
- All documents must be translated and notarized by an Israeli notary. For each document that you submit, you will need to submit 1 notarized copy, plus a photocopy of that same document. (Please also make a photocopy of each notarized document for your files.) Do not submit any original files.
- You cannot notarize the documents using a North American or U.K. notary. You can have your documents verified at an Israeli consulate but it’s not recommended. Please see Notarization Services for more information.
- Documents that are not written in Hebrew or Arabic, must be translated to Hebrew using a recognized translator in Israel.
The following documents must be included with the request:
- 2 passport pictures.
- A copy of your Teudat Zehut, including the Sefach, the appendix with your address. If you are applying pre-Aliyah, please submit a copy of your current passport with your application to Misrad Habriut.
- Final diploma or a certificate from the university indicating completion of studies, fulfillment of all of the university’s requirements and eligibility for a diploma in the relevant field, which will be granted at a specified date – *Requires verification (see below).
- Official certification indicating the start and end date of studies – *Requires verification (see below).
- Official certification of an internship (“stage”) indicating the number of hours that you completed. Speech therapists and audiologists are required to complete 750 hours of internship. Speech therapists who are also seeking licensing as audiologists are required to complete 1,000 hours of internship. The greater the number of hours considered as part of your internship, the more likely it is that your licensing process will proceed smoothly. (If you did not complete an internship, please provide official certification about supervised work done in the field abroad, with a valid license, for at least one year.) One year of supervised work abroad as a licensed SLP or audiologist can also count in lieu of some hours of internship – *Requires verification (see below).
- Official certifications of work experience, from the relevant medical institutions, indicating the start and end date of work in each institution.
- Valid license – *Requires verification (see below).
- Professional letter of good standing from the board of the state in which one is licensed. The letter confirms that there are no, and have not been any, disciplinary, negligence or professional ethics complaints against the physician. (This letter is issued from the board of the state in which one is licensed. If it is sent directly to Misrad Habriut from the board it does not have to be translated and notarized. Please ensure in this case, that the letter is sent only once the rest of the documents have been received by the Misrad Habriut.) Alternatively, You may have the letter of good standing sent to you. If you leave it in the sealed envelope- you can add it to the rest of the documents that you send in to the MOH- and you do not need to notarize and translate it. It may be a good idea to ask the board for a copy of the letter- just to have. Physicians from the UK should ask for a letter of good standing to be sent by registered mail from the GMC directly to Misrad Habriut (the GMC will only mail it directly, and this is the only way to guarantee its arrival). Physicians from Montreal should obtain the letter from the College des Medicines du Quebec.
- An application Form – Medical Licensing – Questionnaire.
- An application requesting to be tested in the relevant field. The forms are available online: . http://www.health.gov.il/DocLib/a3468_Tik310309.doc
- Documentation regarding a name change, where relevant.
*For the documents which require verification, you have 3 verification options:
- Verified with an apostille after having the original document notarized (recommended).
- Bring it to an ISRAELI notary and have them notarize it.
- A verified copy (אימות העתק, Imut He’etek) at the Israeli consulate.
All documents must be submitted in two copies. You must submit the verified copy plus an additional photocopy of the original document. Always keep the originals for yourself, as well as a photocopy of the verified document.
Please Note: As of now, the Israeli Ministry of Health does not recognize online degrees.
It should also be noted that some of the documents listed above are only valid for one year from their issuing date. If you have not submitted your Teudat Zehut (ID) within a year from opening your file with the Misrad Habriut, you may be required to present valid, re-issued documents in order to request your temporary license.
To receive the permanent license, you must submit all of your translated and notarized documents to Misrad Habriut. Misrad Habriut will then send you a permission form allowing you to take the licensing exam. Once you pass the exam you should receive your license in the mail. You may pay for your license online: Misrad Habriut Online Payment.
Misrad Habriut does not send a reminder indicating that your licensing is going to expire soon. As soon as you receive your license, please mark your calendar 12 weeks before the expiration date so that you can receive your renewed license before the old one expires.
Please note: Your license will specify your specialty qualification either as a speech pathologist or audiologist.
In Israel, a “klinayit tikshoret” is licensed to practice both SLP and audiology. In North America this is usually not the case. On the application form to take the licensing exam, there is no place to indicate that you wish to be tested only as an SLP (בטיפול בהפרעות שפהודיבור בלבד), audiologist (בטיפול בהפרעותשמיעה בלבד) or to be licensed for both SLP and audiology (בטיפול בהפרעות תקשורת). Rather, the applicant is directed to attach a ‘letter of explanation’ for any irregularities in their application, including the number of internship hours. It is recommended that those who are licensed as SLPs attach a letter explaining that in their university, the focus was on speech and language, and that audiology was a separate degree that they did not take, as evidenced from their transcripts.
For exam dates and other information, see Misrad Habriut’s site. This website also has links to the bibliography of the different tests.
Each of the four health funds, Meuchedet, Maccabi, Clalit and Leumit have branches throughout the country. The differences between the health funds lie mainly in the location of their facilities, the types of supplemental policies offered, and additional services offered within the framework of their facilities. Most large cities have a clinic in almost every district. Speech therapists either work in the Kupot or work privately. If you work privately, some Kupot will reimburse members for private treatment of articulation & fluency difficulties but as of 2020 will generally not reimburse for language therapy. Each case will be judged individually by their Kupat Cholim.
When you have a private practice you can see either see patients on a strictly private basis, or, if you have an agreement with a Kupah, you can receive members of health funds and then be reimbursed by the funds. There are many practices that combine the two.
Child Development Centers
Child development centers may be run through Misrad Habriut or private funding. Centers usually offer a range of paramedical, counseling and educational services for children using a multidisciplinary team of speech therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists; in some places, drama or music therapists and social workers are employed as well. Child development centers typically offer therapy in both individual or group therapy formats.
Schools and special needs institutions employ speech and language therapists. Speech therapists are particularly required in special needs pre-schools.
Since speech therapy is language intensive, a good command of Hebrew is essential. It is strongly advised to study Hebrew before you arrive and then to take Ulpan upon arrival. In addition to regular Ulpan, Misrad Haklita offers an Ulpan for medical professionals – shlav bet. They will open this class provided there are enough people interested. Be in touch with your branch of Misrad Haklita to find out when the next class will begin.
Even where speech therapists work entirely with English speakers, it is still necessary to deal with the various agencies that make up the Israeli medical network. When you first arrive in Israel, it is worthwhile shadowing an Israeli speech therapist as an opportunity to learn the technical language that you won’t necessarily gain in Ulpan.
When you start looking for work, subscribe to local community email lists, Facebook & Whatsapp groups, where vacancies for therapists are advertised or where you can post a description of the type of work you are looking for.
The following Facebook groups are available for therapists to network & connect with other therapists:
- קלינאיות תקשורת מתקשרות is the biggest Hebrew speaking Facebook group.
- דרושה קלינאית תקשורת is a group specifically for job hunting
- Anglo SLPs in Israel is a group for English speaking speech therapists living in Israel
You can also join the Speech and Language Therapy Association (Ha’Aguda Leklina’ai Tikshoret) where job vacancies are listed:
The Professional Association of Speech Therapists
Ha’Aguda Leklina’ai Tikshoret
Petach Tikva 49127
Tel: 03 924 8358
Fax: 03 921 7815
Another way to identify job openings is to directly contact your local health funds or local hospitals and speak to the department head of Speech Therapy.
The government employment bureau for academics, known as the Bureau for the Placement of Professionals (Lishka Le Ta’asukatAcadama’im), provides information about job openings. In Jerusalem, go to:
21 Rechov Yaffo (opposite Safra Square), Jerusalem
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8:30 – 11:30 AM and 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Monday, Wednesday, 8:30 AM – 13:30 PM
Phone: 02 501 3100
Etti and Bilha speak English.
Please click for a full listing of Lishkat Taasuka locations throughout Israel.
In addition, the Ministry of Education might be contacted regarding positions for speech therapists both in regular and special education schools.
Finally, word of mouth is often one of the best sources of job leads. Don’t hesitate to let everyone you can know that you are seeking work, and follow up on any leads they may offer. Many positions are filled without ever being advertised.
If you intend to work in any public institution including schools or hospitals, you must have all of your academic diplomas recognized by Misrad Hachinuch (Ministry of Education) for salary assessment purposes. When you work in a public institution, your salary is partially based on your level of education. See Recognition of Academic Degrees.
NOTE: The Israeli department of education does not recognize doctorates that are not PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees.
This includes all professional doctorate degrees (DPT, DNP, OTD, OD,DC, AuD, DPM, DO). They will be recognized only as Master degrees.
Interview with Sharon Ron, Speech Therapist
Thank you to Sharon Ron for participating in this interview. If you have further questions, please be in touch with Sharon at email@example.com.
Please provide us with a brief description of your work.
I am a speech therapist. I work with neurogenic swallowing, communication and cognition disorders in adults – basically, medical speech pathology.
What is your current position and place of employment?
I run a private clinic in Jerusalem treating adults with neurogenic speech, language & swallowing disorders. I teach courses at the BA & MA level in Hadassah Academic College, Michlelet Strauss & University of Cincinnati. I also tutor for the Israeli SLP license exam.
How did you find your job?
I went on the ASHA website (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), and searched for speech therapists who did the same type of work in Israel as I was doing in Virginia. I emailed them, and they all directed me to the same person. I contacted her, and now we have a private practice together. It helps to go through a professional organization! I also visited all the major hospitals in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that employ speech pathologists, and shadowed each of them for a day. I did all of my research during pilot trips in the summers before we made Aliyah, and it made me feel so much more knowledgeable and prepared for moving here.
On the ISHLA website, there are always job postings. If you are a member of the Aguda, they will also send emails of SLP job opportunities.
Who are the major employers in your field?
Ministry of Education (schools), & Ministry of Health (hospitals, kupot, nursing homes, rehabilitation, etc.)
What experience do you need to get into your field?
You need experience working in a specialty. It is very helpful to come with a specialty.
Do you need Hebrew to work in your field in Israel?
You definitely need Hebrew to work in speech therapy in Israel. If possible, it also helps to have an Israeli accent and good dikduk (grammar). That being said, there are always English speakers looking for SLPs to work with their kids in English; but all in all, Hebrew is pretty important.
What degree does someone making Aliyah need, in order to break into your field?
A Master’s degree, and your C’s from ASHA. This is the requirement for Americans. The minimum degree & certification you need depends on which country you are making Aliyah from.
Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
If your Hebrew is strong enough, there are still advantages to studying in Israel but it’s not essential. The speech therapy programs are difficult to get into in Israel; and where you study does not affect your salary. Keep in mind that the Israeli degree for a speech therapist is a BA. An Israeli BA. is equivalent to an American MA. Even if you come with an MA. and C’s, you still need to get an Israeli license through Misrad Habriut.
What are the benefits of working as a speech therapist?
Speech therapists are very much in demand in Israel. You will always be able to find work. It is also a family friendly job. In a private practice, you make your own hours, and there are not really any emergencies.
What is the salary range?
In an institution like a school, hospital, kupah (public health clinic), Merkaz Lihitpatchut Hayaled (child development center), sessions can range from 25-180 NIS per hour. In a private practice, sessions can range from 100-450 NIS per hour. An average hourly rate is 100-350 NIS. It also depends if you are providing home visits or sessions in your office, obviously a home visit should charge a higher rate for extra time & travel expenses. If you are providing a specialized service, and you are the very best, you can charge more.
What are the upcoming areas of specialty you would recommend?
There are a lot of areas of speech therapy that are not dealt with here, especially in remote areas. In the North and South, for example, there is a need fr SLPs who focus on dysphagia in kids and adults. Everywhere int eh country, AAC would be an excellent field to specialize in, especially the hi tech side. Stuttering, voice and almost any other specialty area.
Are there any major events or conferences in your field?
There is a two day annual conference in February of each year, with several in person classes, webinars & yimei iyun.
What recommendations do you offer Olim looking to work in this field?
Come with an open mind. You might end up working in a different area here than you did abroad. Work somewhere for a year or two just to get experience, and then go for your dream job. If you want to open your own practice, you need to be really committed. It requires a strong stomach to deal with the ups and downs that are part of running your own business. The MATI course is very helpful, and I recommend that you take it before starting your own practice.
Any advice for students interested in going into your field?
I recommend that students shadow speech therapists to discover which area and population interest you the most.
How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
Make good contacts in the field. Find colleagues who are helpful, not competitive. It can be very competitive in the sub specialties.
A special thank you to Gabrielle Hodes, registered speech therapist, for her professional contributions to this article.
This article was last updated on June 18, 2020.