Court Reporting and Stenography Career

 

               

 

Court reporting is one of the most promising career choices available today.  With job growth expected to increase by 18%, according to the United States Department of Labor, obtaining the skills to become a court reporter can be a smart investment in your future.

How Long Does Training Take?

Most court reporting schools offer programs that are anticipated to be completed within a specified amount of time.  There are some programs, however, that are designed to allow the student to complete training at his or her own pace.  In general, two full academic years, including summer semesters, is the minimum duration for training to use a stenotype machine.  It is possible for voice writing to be learned in a shorter period, but to become highly proficient takes comparable practice time.

What Can I Do With the Skills I Learn?

One of the greatest aspects of learning to become a court reporter is the broad range of career options it allows.  After learning the basic skills of stenography, you can choose to focus on judicial court reporting, broadcast captioning, or CART services.  Other even more specialized services include convention reporting, webcasting, and high-speed transcription.  With court reporting being such a versatile skill, employment opportunities are rarely in short supply.

How Much Money Can I Make?

The amount of income that can be earned using stenography skills is based on a variety of factors.  It can depend heavily on location, number of hours spent working, and type of employment.  For court reporters and broadcast captioners, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages report for May 2011 lists the national mean annual wage at $53,710.  Considering percentile wage estimates, some court reporters earn in the 10% range at about $26,100, while court reporters earning in the 90th percentile make $92,400 and more.  The highest paying states with annual mean wages of $76,990 to $85,670 are California, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Oregon.  The lowest paying states, having annual mean wages of $27,770 to $35,850, are Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida.  

How Do I Get Started?

Finding the court reporter training program that is right for you is the most important decision you will make in getting started on your path to becoming a court reporter.  Different programs are designed to accommodate a variety of students and circumstances.  A program that may be perfect for someone else may not be the right program for you.  Before making a decision, consider all of the aspects of your lifestyle, such as your work schedule, family responsibilities, and ability or inability to commute.  Determine the best training options for you:  full-time or part-time, structured or self-paced, on campus or online, stenotype machine or stenomask.  With your ideal program in mind, go to our extensive list of court reporting schools and take the first step towards your career in court reporting.


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