Court Reporting Industry




The court reporting industry can provide several job opportunitiesBecause court reporting plays such a vital role in the functioning of our legal system, there will continue to be a demand for skilled and competent court reporters.  Proper training is required to work in this industry, but that training is quite accessible to people interested in pursuing this type of career.  Obtaining certifications after completing training even further increases a court reporter’s value to his or her employer.

Technological Advances Help to Provide Higher Value Services

As with any industry, making the customer happy is the driving force behind development and growth.  In the field of court reporting, the primary customer base consists of attorneys, paralegals, and judges.  When a court reporter can make the jobs of these groups of people easier, job security for the court reporter is achieved.

From realtime reporting to online transcript repositories, technological advancement in court reporting has progressed from being a mere convenience to actually becoming an essential part of the judicial process.  These advancements not only save time, but, as a result, save considerable amounts of money for everyone.  Consider a paralegal who is working with a very lengthy transcript.  If that transcript can be viewed on a monitor and have its exhibits electronically linked to it, it saves the paralegal a significant amount of time, which saves the attorney time, which saves the judge time, and which ultimately saves taxpayers money by reducing the time spent dealing with paperwork in a courtroom setting.  

Employment Outlook for Court Reporting and Captioning Services

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the outlook for job opportunities for court reporters is “excellent.”  Not only does there continue to be a need for court reporters in the legal community, but, primarily as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, there is a steadily growing demand for court reporting services in the field of broadcast captioning.  Many court reporting schools offer programs with an emphasis in broadcast captioning.  This prepares their students to transition from the school environment directly into employment as a broadcast captioner.  Though much of the training is identical to that required to become a judicial court reporter, there are some differences.  People who have been specifically trained as broadcast captioners are in great demand by providers of this service.

The need for court reporters who provide Communication Access Realtime Translation, or CART, services for the deaf and hard of hearing is also increasing.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes a requirement that services necessary to accommodate people who are deaf or hard of hearing be provided for programs, services, and activities available through state and local governments.  Students who would otherwise be unable to participate in regular college programs now have the opportunity to attend and effectively take part in classes by utilizing the services of a CART provider.  Many job opportunities will continue to be available for people who have court reporting skills and offer CART services.  For additional information about the stenographer industry, read How to Become a Court Reporter from our informative court reporting article library.

Court reporting can be a rewarding careerReal Numbers for the Court Reporting Industry

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has helpful information regarding wages for the court reporting industry across the country.  Data tables are also available for particular geographic regions.  When considering the information provided in the BLS data tables, keep in mind that these numbers do not represent self-employed court reporters.  Because self-employed court reporters actually outnumber court reporters employed by specific agencies, the statistics shown for employment and wages can be somewhat misleading.  Some self-employed court reporters have hourly and annual wages far above those indicated in the data tables.  However, these court reporters also have to deal with issues such as self-paid health insurance premiums, travel expenses, office supplies, and other work-related expenses which most of the court reporters indicated in the BLS data tables would not have.

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Written by , CCR on 9/16/2012 Suzanne has been a court reporter and worked in legal communities for over 18 years. 

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