If you would like to work in a unique field, consider becoming a court reporter. You’ll spend your time working in a courtroom creating transcripts of legal proceedings, or if you prefer, you can work in the broadcast television industry providing closed captioning for those who are hearing impaired.
Court Reporter Requirements
You can enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate of Applied Science degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Depending on which option you select, you will spend anywhere from twelve months to four years in an accredited training program that you can find nationwide at junior colleges, universities, and vocational schools. During your schooling, you’ll learn how to take dictations and create transcripts using shorthand as well as techniques for reporting in real-time during depositions, court hearings, and trials. Some courses that may be part of your curriculum are:
Court Procedures – This course gives in-depth examples of a court reporter’s role. Students learn the differences between the many kinds of court proceedings, reporting on trials, statements, depositions, and hearings. Students also receive an education on topics related to real-time transcribing and preparing transcripts and may study legal terminology throughout this course.
Foundation of Law – Students are taught an overview of law that covers all major areas of American law and the American legal system. Topics include administrative law, family law, property, and torts.
Introduction to Court Reporting – This introductory course gives students a general overview of the court reporting field. They learn about the court reporting equipment, job duties, ethical concerns they may face during their career, and professional advancement opportunities.
Introduction to Realtime Technology – During Introduction to Realtime Technology, students gain the ability to complete transcripts using basic functionality in their computer-aided software. By the end of the course, they will know how to perform several tasks including transferring steno notes into their software and writing in real-time as well as editing and translating transcripts.
Medical Terminology – This course familiarizes students with the basics of human anatomy, various diseases, and medications, Coursework includes learning how to spell the words, how to properly pronounce them, and describe them accurately.
Machine Shorthand – This is an intermediate course that helps students build accuracy and speed in taking dictation. Students should be able to raise their proficiency level to a ninety-five percent accuracy rate during Machine Shorthand.
Transcription – This advanced level course teaches students to transcribe multi-voice audiotapes. They also learn proper formatting for trial transcripts and depositions while increasing their transcription speed.
Vocabulary and Usage – This is a course designed for court reporting students that teach proper English usage with a focus on words that are frequently confused and misused.
Courtroom/Court Reporting Practicum
This is an on-the-job internship that allows students to work alongside an experienced reporter. Duties will include marking exhibits, making a title page, and swearing-in witnesses.
Obtain Licensure get
Not all states require licensure, and in those that do, court reporters are likely to be required to pass a state board-administered exam as well get certified and/or notary publics.
Court reporters are not required to earn certification from organizations such as the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) or the National Verbatim Reporters Association unless it’s necessary for state licensure as we mentioned above. However, it’s best to earn a credential to earn higher wages and have better job opportunities.
Salary and Career Outlook
Court reporters earned a median average salary of $55,00 in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Open positions are growing at an average pace and are likely to rise ten percent until 2022.
If you have questions about becoming a court reporter, please don’t hesitate to contact us.