Criminal Justice School Info

Court Reporter Career

Court Reporting Degree Are you thinking about a court reporter career? Earning a court reporting degree will allow you to become a valued member of this exciting field. The court reporting profession has made many advances as technology has improved. Traditionally, a court reporter career was limited to working with a steno machine, but today there are many other options available if you want to become a specialist.


Steno Machine

A steno machine is the basis of the court reporting profession and it is the first thing you will learn about. This is a small machine that combines a typewriter with shorthand. There are keys on the steno machine, but not as many as a typewriter. The court reporter records everything that is spoken by using a combination of the appropriate keys to document letters, words and phrases. The ability to document words and phrases is how court reporters are able to keep up with people as they speak. The traditional guideline for court reporters is the ability to type 225 words per minute (wpm), or charters per minute.

As you advance in your education and career, you will learn about real time reporting. Traditionally, court reporters use their machine to document the proceedings and then transcribe their notes later. The real time reporting process requires a connection from the steno machine to a computer. This allows the translation to happen instantly.

Court Reporter Career Specializations

Electronic is another area of specialization if you are considering a court reporter career. Audio equipment is used during this process to make a recording of the proceedings. The job of the court reporter is to ensure the recording is clear, of high quality and to make notes about the specific people who are speaking for each comment.

Voice writing is another newer form of court reporting. The court reporter uses special tools to repeat everything that is said into a microphone, which serves as the official record. Written transcripts are developed from the recordings.

Many court reporters have begun to work outside the court system. The demand for court reporters for other industries has risen because of the internet as well as the increase in close captioning. Meetings of all kinds are now held in one place, and a court reporter is hired to create a real time transcript of the event that can be streamed to people all over the world. Another area that has seen an increase in job opportunities is television close captioning. This also involves real time reporting (closed captioning) for television shows, etc for audiences who are hearing impaired.

Other Court Reporter Specializations Include:

  • Freelance Reporter
  • Official Reporter
  • Captioner
  • CART Provider
  • Legal Videographer
  • Scoping

Getting Started In A Court Reporting Career

Most people begin building their court reporter career with a degree, usually an associate's degree. You can earn your degree from one of many online court reporting schools, or campus based court reporting schools. Then they obtain a basic level of certification. Many jurisdictions require certification to be employed, but there are some that do not. If you want to develop your career more quickly, obtaining certifications that show a higher level of proficiency will help advance your career. There are also additional certifications you can obtain that are for specific specialties within the field of court reporting. Some of these specialized areas are related to video recording and real time reporting. Most court reporter certification will require continuing education to keep your certificate valid. You can see that there is a wide variety of choices if you start a court reporting career and there are also many opportunities for advancement as you increase your experience, knowledge and certifications.



Court Reporting Career Outlook

Court Reporting