There are a number of benefits of becoming a court reporter. Most people, given the option, would choose to earn a comfortable income while attending school for the shortest period of time possible and amassing the least amount of debt. Perhaps the people who enjoy the highest earnings to schooling ratio are successful actors who never finished high school, but few ever obtain such status. That being said, court reporters benefit from the ability to earn less than a typical B.S. or B.A. degree, earn higher than average income, and enjoy job growth in certain industries.
1. Graduate in Less Time
Traditionally, students attend school for four years and earn a bachelor’s of arts or bachelor’s of science degree. While these options certainly provide students with a comprehensive education and prepare them for the working world, they take a lot of time and money. For people wishing to become a court reporter, it will only take between six months and two years to complete school, depending on whether they choose to earn a certificate or associate’s degree. Because you will be attending a vocational school if you decide to become a court reporter, you can skip over some of the more basic classes that people at four-year universities take. Instead, you can focus more so (although not necessarily exclusively) on courses directly related to your profession so that you will be appropriately prepared for a career in court reporting upon graduation.
2. Earn Higher Than Average Income
Court reporters, on average, make around $47,700 a year. This is almost $14,000 more than the $33,840 annual salary that is the average of all occupations. Perhaps the best part of your salary is that you will be able to achieve such income despite a briefer stint in school than those who choose a non-vocational route. This means you can start earning an income at least two years sooner and graduate with less student debt. Ultimately this means you will save a lot of money, which you can then put to better use elsewhere. Plus, there’s a lot of room for financial growth in the field of court reporting. People in the top 10% of the profession earn around $91,280 a year. This means that if you start your career earning $40,000, you will have a chance to increase your income by $50,000 per year over the course of your career!
3. Enjoy a High Growth Rate Compared to Other Legal Professions
The court reporting field will grow by about 14% from 2010-2020, which is about the average of all occupations. However, it is higher than the 11% that other professions within the legal industry will experience. A lot of the growth in the field is due to new federal regulations that require increased transcription services and captioning, thanks to the internet and other technologies. That being said, there will also be growth outside of the legal realm. Federal regulations also require captioning for a number of television shows and broadcasts, as well as for online programming. The growing elderly population will also call for the increased use of CART services, as used for doctor appointments, town hall meetings, and at religious services.