Court Stenographer Career Options
Some people are lucky enough to know from childhood what career they want to enter when they become adults. Others have to sample several career options before landing on the one that excites them. For many people, finding a job that pays well and is not excessively competitive is very important. If this is relevant to your interests, then you may want to check out court reporting.
Court reporting is a versatile career that allows professionals to earn a substantial income doing interesting work. The training and skills required to become a court reporter has turned this profession into a highly specialized, well-paying career. Add to that the licensing and credentialing requirements and you have a job that offers a certain amount of prestige too.
Though the majority of court reporters are women, there is no shortage of talented men in the industry. One example is Mark Kislingbury of Houston, Texas. In 2004, Mark was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for transcribing 360 words per minute with at 97% accuracy. He also won the National Court Reporter Speed Contest seven times. Obtaining prestige such as this is only a fringe benefit to becoming a court reporter.
One main benefit to entering the court reporter profession is the variety of work environments you will enjoy. Most court reporters work in a courtroom (hence the name). However, you can find court reporters in a variety of places including boardrooms taking minutes for meetings, public events like concerts, and some even work from home on close-captioning projects for live and broadcast television shows. Those that freelance experience even more work-place variety. The work also tends to vary quite a bit. One day you may be working on a deposition. Another day you may be transcribing a business conference or providing closed-captioning services.
One hidden benefit of a career in court reporting is that the bulk of your job is done from home. Court reporters travel to the location to take diction. However, the data they record is edited at home. The advent of the Internet has opened the door to additional opportunities to work remotely. This makes the job perfect for parents and others that need a flexible work schedule. This type of job can even serve as a part-time or secondary income source.
Another benefit, of course, is the salary. Most court reporters earn a wage that is paid on a regular basis. However, some government court reporters are paid a per page bonus on top of their regular paycheck. Freelancers are typically paid on a per page basis which allows them to earn more than their employed counterparts. However, like all other types of freelancing, income is based on hours put in on the job. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
The skills and knowledge obtained a court reporter can transfer to other careers such as medical transcription and data entry. In fact, you may find yourself with more job offers than you can handle because employers like the output stenographers can produce at their high rates of speed. If you can read machine-generated shorthand, then you will find the field of scoping wide open. In this job, you would be responsible for proofreading and editing transcripts produced by other court reporters. Scopists are some of the most sought-after court reporters in the industry.
Before you can get a job, though, you must first graduate from an approved court reporter educational or training program. These programs are available online and offline. It is important to take the time to scope out the schools offering them and pick the one that offers the best combination of high-quality teaching, hands-on instruction, and placement assistance.
Court Reporter Training
There are a variety of stenography degrees you can earn. The degree types range from certificate to master’s and you can specialize in one of several types of stenography. A sample of possible degrees includes an Associate in Judicial Reporting,....