Although when you think of court reporting an image may come to mind of someone quietly typing away in a court room, you actually have a number of options after you graduate from court reporting school. You could become a judicial reporter, but you could also work in captioning or work as a transcriptionist. You might also decide to work as a freelancer or specialize by only working with broadcast television or for government agencies, for example.
Judicial Court Reporter
As a judicial court reporter, you will be trained to take word for word records of conversations that occur in courts, at public hearings, and in government meetings. Not only will you need to be incredibly accurate in your recordings, but you will need to be able to perform well in high stress situations. You might have seen a court reporter before if you’ve ever been to a public hearing or in a court room. They sit close to where the people speaking are and listen intently to make sure they catch everything. You might use a number of technologies to accurately record events. You might also use a stenograph, which replaces sounds and words with symbols to allow you to type out more in less time. You might also record actual text, or start an audio file and then go back later and type a transcript based on the recording. Your transcripts will become official record that others can look at later as part of research or an appeal.
Communication Access Realtime Translation
This is sometimes referred to as live-event captioning or realtime captioning. If you decide to pursue a CART career, you might work in a classroom, courtroom, religious house, or be hired for conferences. People might also ask you to caption public events, meetings, or presentations. Or, you might work for a network and caption news shows or other programming, such as sporting events or emergency announcements. If you choose to work in CART, you will probably use a number of technologies to do your work, including a stenotype machine and computer software. When you work in this field, you will be responsible for helping people who are deaf, hearing impaired, or learning a second language.
In this profession your job will be to take dictation or handwritten notes and turn them into type using a variety of technologies, such as headsets, computers, or other transcribing machines. It is important that your command of the language, including spelling and grammar, are impeccable. You will have to go back over your work when you finish and edit it to make sure it is free of all errors. Your work will turn audio recordings or incomplete files into completed, official records that can later be used to review information or contribute to new material. There is a push for standardized records, especially ones that can be maintained electronically, so you will be helping people to stay organized and keep track of details vital to a number of industries.