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If you are detail oriented and have mad listening, concentrating, and writing skills, then you may have a calling as a court reporter or stenographer. You won’t just find court reporters or stenographers in the courtroom—you are also needed 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!
A court reporter or stenographer attends court hearings depositions or any other type of event where a transcript is necessary. You are responsible for translating, word for word, the transcriptions onto 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 you report what is being said, but also you will address gestures, body language, and actions within your notes.
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. You'll create and edit transcripts for the court and provide copies for whomever is involved.
The document created by the court reporter becomes the official record of the court proceedings.
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 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 Reporters Association offers certification for court reporters, broadcast captioners, and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). As of right now, 22 states accept Registered Professional Reporter certification.
Whichever certification is offered in your state, they all require successful completion of a written exam as well as a skills test to ensure you are capable.
The annual pay for a court reporter is more than $55K, according to bls.gov. Freelance court reporters can make more due to the fact that they sell their services in addition to the transcript. Court reporters who have years of experience can make over $100K, but those fresh in the industry will make around $26K.
Job outlook for court reporters between now and 2026 is projected to grow 3 percent. 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.
Find a local criminal justice school with court reporter programs.