If you have questions about going to court reporting school, you’ve come to the right place! It can be difficult to ascertain if a career is right for you if you don’t first know what kinds of people are right for the job, what you can do after graduation, and what kinds of responsibilities and income you can expect. Of course, if you have questions particular to a college or university you are considering, you should call an admissions counselor there or go to their website.
What kind of person should become a court reporter?
Educators often say that the ideal student is disciplined, intelligent, and motivated. In addition, it is helpful for students to have good computer skills and have above-average language skills. Because the process for becoming a court reporter requires in many cases a few years of training, students should be persistent and dedicated. You will also have to do well under pressure and be able to perform well enough to pass an exam to earn state certification. You should also have a track record of meeting important deadlines on time, as people will not appreciate waiting for you to finish and/or edit your work. You should be responsible and be able to commit to showing up where you need to be on time. You should be prepared to do college-level work during your studies. Even though it is a vocational track and you will not be earning a liberal arts degree, you will often still learn about topics such as law, languages, computers, anatomy, and medical terminology.
What can I do with court reporting training?
Although many people think of court reporting as something that is done in a court room as trials take place, you will actually have a number of career options. You might choose to work as a judicial court reporter, but you might also decide you want to work in government or corporate reporting, in webcasting, broadcast captioning, in communication access real time translation (CART), in scoping, or in proofreading.
What is my income potential?
Income varies based on the experience of the court reporter and the type of reporting job they have. According to the National Court Reporters Association, the average income is $61,800 a year. It is important to keep in mind that you salary will in part depend on how much you are willing to work. Many court reporters earn their income on a per-page fixed amount, so the more projects you can take on and the more pages you can churn out, the more you will make! The same is true for freelance court reporters, who have the luxury of setting their own prices and making their own hours. Other transcribers are paid based on how many broadcasts, classes, or events they caption.
What will my responsibilities be?
Even though court reporters often use very modern machines to perform their work, the idea of transcribing important events is not a new one. Luckily, you don’t have to painstakingly write down everything with a pen and quill anymore! You will often be both a witness of and participant in social and cultural change, writing down important events, court cases that will later appear in law books, and conversations between important people. You have the significant responsibility of transcribing these events in an accurate and honest way so that they will be remembered correctly.