Court Reporter Career




Building legal transcripts is extremely important in legal proceedings, and that is the responsibility of the court reporter.  Find more career info at our top programs.  Generally, a court reporter is a person who creates a verbatim written record of proceedings in a legal setting, such as a trial in a courtroom or a deposition in a lawyer’s office.  Court reporters may also work at home providing closed-captioning services for a television program.  A court reporter records spoken language using either stenographic or voice-recognition technology.  In addition to actually taking down the proceedings, a major portion of the work done by court reporters involves editing and producing the transcript.  The length of the editing process is based on the skill of the court reporter.  During a job, the court reporter strikes keys on a stenotype machine or quietly speaks into a special piece of equipment referred to as a “stenomask.”  Whichever process is used, from that point, the information is fed into an electronic dictionary contained within the stenotype machine or a computer, which then translates that information into readable text.

The number of court reporter jobs is rising, with certified court reporters having a significant advantage in finding employment.  Court reporters can find many job opportunities, including transcribing live events for the hearing impaired.  This service is called “closed-captioning” reporting.  As a result of part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, many television programs must now be broadcast with closed-captioning.  With the explosion of cable television programming, court reporters functioning as broadcast captioners are in demand for providing closed-captioning services for this type of media, as well as live Internet streams.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for court reporters is approximately $48,000.  This estimate, however, does not include the earnings of self-employed freelance court reporters, many of whom earn in excess of $100,000 annually, with most of the work being done from their homes.  The National Court Reporters Association indicates that only about 27 percent of the court reporters in the United States actually work in a courtroom.

The United States Department of Labor projects that employment for people with court reporting skills will grow by 18 percent.  This expected growth is faster than average when compared to all occupations between 2008 and 2018.  The requirement for broadcast captioning services is a primary reason for the increase in these job opportunities, and the outlook is even better for court reporters who have attained certification.

If you are ready to launch your career in court reporting, it is possible to get into this great profession within months instead of years.  Fill out the form to request information from our Top Court Reporting Schools and get a court reporter starter kit.

Find more information about court reporting careers at these sites:

* National Court Reporters Association
* Findlaw
* National Verbatim Reporters Association

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