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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Court Reporters

Modern Times
Court reporting can be a lucrative career, especially since court reporters and stenographers are often in high demand in various parts of the country.

See what it takes to become a court reporter, then step inside a typical day to see if this is the right career for you.

They Are Certified

The first step in this career path is often to become a Stenographer. Each state has different rules for whether stenographers must be certified or not.

Certification as a stenographer may help beat out the competition for an available position. Court reporters must be certified and sometimes licensed, as well.

They Speak a Different Language

Court Reporters use shorthand to transcribe notes on proceedings. There are various kinds of shorthand, such as Pittman 2000 or Gregg Diamond.

This writing method enables a person to capture every word of a conversation as it’s happening without falling behind. It can take between 1-2 years of constant practice to become fluent.

They Can Make a Great Living

Across the country, a person working as a secretary might make a maximum of $30k per year. In Florida, for example, West Palm Beach court reporters can make anywhere between $38-$65k per year, depending on skill level and experience.

Some job openings list salaries over $100k, so there’s ample room to move up and freelance opportunities abound.

Will Technology Outpace Court Reporting?

Some may fear that voice recognition software will soon put court reporters out of work, but such attempts have failed repeatedly.

Court reporters are able to identify and record multiple speakers with ease, accurately discern thick accents, as well as stop proceedings in real time to make someone repeat a statement.

How Much Schooling Is Required?

You can begin as a stenographer in as little as six months, but to become a full court reporter, you’ll need to complete a 2 to 4-year degree program and possibly become licensed.

Three organizations serve the court reporting community; the NCRA, the NVRA, and the USCRA.
As many court reporters are getting close to retirement and the most advanced technology still cannot handle the complexity of a court reporter’s job, the demand for this profession is projected to increase in the coming years.

Freelancers set their own hours, travel, and even work internationally. Court reporting could be your ticket to a lifelong career.