Court Reporter

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If you are detail oriented, have mad listening, concentrating and writing skills, you may have a calling as a court reporter or stenographer. You won’t just find court reporters or stenographers in the courtroom, they are also necessary in broadcasting to translate verbal to written dialog for the hard of hearing and deaf. Court reporting is a fast paced and highly rewarding career!

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What is a court reporter/stenographer?

A court reporter or stenographer attends court hearings depositions or any other type of event which a transcript is necessary. The court reporter is responsible to translate, word for word, the transcriptions on to a readable document.

Some court reporters or stenographers services are needed in other industries, aside from the courtroom, such as television real time translation for the deaf or hard of hearing, public events, business meetings and schools.

Wherever a record of exact translation is needed, a stenographer/court reporter can be found. Not only do they report what is being said but they also will address gestures, body language and actions within their notes.

The document created by the court reporter becomes the official record of the court proceedings.

Court reporter/stenographers duties include attending hearings or public forums where written records are required. They use specialized equipment such as stenography machines or video and audio recording devices. Create and edit transcripts for the court and provide copies for whomever is involved. Court reporter/stenographers also provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired or deaf by turning speech into text.

How do I become a court reporter/stenographer?

Post secondary education is required to become a court reporter. This degree can be obtained through a community college’s court reporting curriculum. There is also a certificate program through trade schools. Either a certificate or associate’s degree for court reporting will be enough to find a job in the industry.

Licensing is required and varies state by state. The National Court Reporting Association offers certification for court reporters, broadcast captioners, and Communication Access Real Time Translators (CART). As of right now, 22 states accept Registered Professional Reporter certification.

Whichever certification is offered in your state, the all require successful completion of a written exam as well as a skills test to ensure you are capable.

How much will I make as a court reporter/stenographer?

The annual pay for a court reporter, as of 2015, is $49,500 according to bls.gov. Freelance court reporters can make more due to the fact that they sell their service in addition to the transcript. Court reporters who have years of experience can make over $90,000 but those fresh in the industry will make around $27,180.

Job outlook for court reporters between now and 2024 is projected to grow 2%. While that seems slow, there will still be a constant demand for stenographers due to federal regulations requiring more closed-captioning for television, the Internet and other technologies.

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