Frequently Asked Questions About Court Reporting
Q. What percentage of students obtained jobs after graduating?
A. The demand for court reporters is high and expected to grow 25% by 2016. There will be opportunities in local, state, and federal government agencies as well as corporations. People can even work as freelance agents, so there is no doubt that work is available for qualified people. As far as percentages go, it depends on the school. Some schools boast a 100% placement rate while others are significantly lower. Much of this is related to the type of resources the school has available to help students find jobs. Try to attend a school that has connections to businesses looking for employees.
Q. How long are court reporter educational programs?
A. Depending on your course load, it can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete a court reporter degree. There are accelerated programs that can be completed in 18 months. If you work on your degree part time, it will take about 2 years to earn it.
Q. How many class hours are required per week?
A. Typically students will need to spend 20 hours per week in the classroom and 6 hours per week doing homework.
Q. Are there schools that teach real-time theory?
A. Yes, there are several schools that teach this course. It is best to look at a course catalog or contact the school directly to make sure they have it.
Q. Am I required to purchase my own equipment?
A. Generally no. The school will usually provide equipment you can use while taking courses at the college or university.
Q. What kind of experience do the instructors have?
A. Most people that teach these courses are (or were) certified court reporters and have experience in the field.
Q. How does the stenographic machine work?
A. Data is entered into the machine phonetically. Just like typing on a computer, you use both hands to type phonetic symbols into the machine. The computer program then translates the “sounds” into readable text. This allows stenographers to type at speeds of 225 words per minute or above, which is fast enough to keep up with human speech.
Q. How do the machines know what symbol goes with what words?
A. The machines have a preprogrammed dictionary that it uses to parse the symbols. This dictionary is updated by the stenographer on a regular basis.
Q. How long does it take to get up to 225 words per minute?
A. This is difficult to judge because each person learns at different paces. The best way to improve your speed is to practice constantly.
Q. Are internships available?
A. Many schools have internship opportunities available for students pursuing a degree in court reporting. Generally, you will need to be typing at speed of at least 180 to 200 words per minute before you can work in a supervised environment.
Q. Are court reporters required to take typing tests?
A. Yes. A national test is conducted twice per year in May and November. Additionally, many states require stenographers to be licensed or obtain certification. When you pass the national test, most states will automatically give you state certification. It is best to contact your local organization for information about your state’s requirements.
Court Reporter Salary
Did you know that some court reporters make up to $77,770 a year?
One of the most important jobs in the courtroom belongs to the court reporter. They are an integral part of the judicial system because they produce permanent records of court proceedings. In short, a court reporter records verbatim the conversations that take place in a courtroom....