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Why Select A Court Reporting Career

Most people who watch television are familiar with court reporters who sit in the room while a trial is going on. What many fail to realize, however, is that they are making transcripts of conversations, legal proceedings, and speeches not only in the courtroom, but in meetings and at other events as well. A court reporting career is important because sometimes this verbal account is required for use in later proceedings.

Verbal accounts that have been written are sometimes required to support records, provide legal proof, and sustain correspondence needed to resolve various issues. As a result, they have many responsibilities including ensuring accurate, complete, and secure legal records of the proceedings they witnessed. They also frequently assist attorneys and judges in organizing and searching for required information or even making suggestions.

This position has evolved over time and, as such, encompasses a much larger range of duties than ever before. Many court reporters today even find themselves providing closed-captioned transcriptions and real-time translating for those who are hard-of-hearing. As a result, there are many methods for achieving the desired results such as stenographic documentation, computer-aided transcription, electronic reporting, and voice writing.

The job at any setting requires work both before and after the transcription actually takes place. Maintaining a computer dictionary, ensuring the accuracy of names and addresses, copying and distributing the final product, and developing easy to access storage and retrieval systems are all important. However, not all the work is done on site.

One of the newest versions of this industry are official records where records are taken live over the Internet. These individuals are called webcasters and are closely associated with broadcast captioners who work in the television industry. This latter area is a growing field for both network television stations as well as public and private broadcasting. As such, they can work in a variety of settings and many today are opting for home-based options.

The amount and type of training required is directly related to the specialization selected. For example, a real time voice-writer may require up to two years of training whereas becoming a court reporter often takes a little over 30 months. Students must possess good listening skills, a solid grasp of the English language, and the ability to work under time constraints over extended periods of time.

Many technical and vocational schools and colleges provide training in this field and more than 60 programs throughout the nation have been certified by the National Court Reporters Association. In order to be considered proficient, students must achieve a rate of 225 words per minute. However, it’s important to remember that this is not regular typing, but a form of shorthand. Due to the ever-increasing demands, prospects for those interested in a Court Reporting Career can be assured that this is an option will provide a solid income in the future.

Discover what the average court reporter salary is per year starting out in the field. See salary graphs that show the pay by city, and state. Learn about the average salary. It’s all available from