It’s time to make a move. Everyone reaches the point in their life when they know they need more. More money, more time, more fun, more challenges at work. As you investigate career options in New York, you might be considering making the move to a vocation as a court reporter, or stenographer. It’s a great move!
Court reporting is a “sense-able” job. The sense of hearing plays a very big role, but the sense of sight is valuable too. You must be able to see the gestures and emotions displayed in the courtroom; they have an important role influencing what the judge and jury are thinking.
Here are some of the reasons why you should go to school for court reporting:
I enjoy reading.
Most people understand the necessity of typing – recording – what’s going on in court or in any important venue, and that’s what court reporter stenographers do. What they don’t know is that in addition to being trained listeners, they also need to be good readers. It’s important to be able to read-back, quickly, what was said during a testimony, and it often happens more than once during court. Not only will you be able to type with an incredible speed – 225 words per minute (wpm) – you’ll also be a speedy reader!
According to the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), reading closed captions while listening to a televised program can increase your reading skills. While you prepare to go to school for court reporting, try putting your television programs on closed captioning. As you view closed captioning, watch for common mistakes and resolve to do better if you pursue that choice of stenotype career.
I don’t want to be ‘tied down’ to an office.
The flexibility of court reporting jobs have a special appeal to those who would like to avoid sitting in the same cubicle or office, day after day, with little change of scenery. If you want to be a court reporter for the same justice system and work in one location every day, that’s certainly an option, but you can freelance and ply your skills in different settings every week. In fact, you can travel further than you ever imagined!
In the U.S., New York City is among the cities demanding more court and hearing reporters, but you can take your skills to any area of the country. The U.S. government and many corporations have offices and facilities in other countries, where the need for stenographic record and data-keeping is often critical. While you are going to school for court reporting, you might want to renew your passport!
I want more money.
Wanting and needed more income is nothing of which to be ashamed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median (50%) income for court reporters in the U.S. was $49,860. That was 2014, so the numbers have changed for the better. At that time, the top ten percent of court stenographers earned $94,140 annually. If you want to live and work in New York City or Los Angeles, you’ll be among the highest paid court stenographers in the country!
I want to work less (or more).
Your life changes from time to time and it’s wonderful to have a job that is adaptable enough to change when you need to work fewer hours or more hours. In addition to working freelance as a court reporter or closed captioner at various sites, you can work at home, too, translating entries into documents and selling the transcripts to interested parties. You’ll have opportunities for many assignments, and every appointment is different. You can select as many jobs as your personal schedule will accommodate.
My job is boring.
School for court reporting is exciting for most, so you can imagine how enjoyable working as a court reporter will be! Every day that you work as a court stenographer, you learn something new, gain some information or insight into another reality that you didn’t have yesterday. Court reporting is rarely dull for people who enjoy learning and living life to its fullest!
I want a job that has development potential.
The NCRA predicts a shortage of court reporters by 2018. This is partially based on industry outlooks anticipating Baby Boomer retirement and the increased demand for stenotype professionals who specialize in closed captioning. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that broadcasting networks must make closed captioning available to everyone.
When you attend school for court reporting, you can obtain a Certificate in Stenotype Hearing Reporting or the Stenotype Court Reporter Associate Degree (AOS), which prepares you for an entry-level position as a court reporter. At 225 wpm, you should be able to seek almost any kind of job that requires a rapid data entry professional, including court reporting. After you have worked freelance as a court reporter, perhaps you may find more rewarding and/or better paying jobs in judicial court reporting.
Another type of professional stenographer job is Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), which is closed captioning for the hearing impaired. To take the exam to become a CART Reporter, you must already be in school for court reporting or completed the requirements to be a stenotype professional. So, in addition to working in courtroom settings as a judicial reporter, you may be a professional who offers real-time closed captioning or speech translation for sport and entertainment venues, internet meetings, television, churches, corporate gatherings – anywhere captioning is needed.
I want a better future.
Do you have friends or family members in dead-end jobs for low pay and dreading every work day? You don’t have to be one of them. In as little as two years, you can be earning more, doing something others only dream about!