What Do Court Reporters Actually Do? A Look Inside

mendigoFor those who are looking to get into the legal profession, but are wary of the educational cost in terms of time and money to become an attorney, there are other options available. One of the most popular and in-demand opportunities in the legal profession is to become a court reporter.

Today, court reporters are found all around the country in local, state and federal courtrooms as well as in a number of other industries. With the outlook being very bright in terms of job opportunities, becoming a court reporter is certainly one of the best legal professions to consider.

What is a Court Reporter?

Also known as a court stenographer, a court reporter is a person assigned to transcribe either spoken or recorded words into written form. A court reporter will either use a machine that types out in shorthand or utilize voice writing equipment to provide official, written transcripts of depositions, court hearing and many other types of official proceedings.

While many court reporters can be found in courtrooms around the country, they also serve local, state and federal agencies, private law firms, non-profit organizations and trade associations and more.

In certain states, court reporters are also required to be notary public as well. This provides them the power to administer oaths for those to state that the transcript provided is accurate as well as to witnesses. There is also a National Court Reporters Association which some states require their court reporters to be members of as well although other states may have their own form of certification for their court reporters.

What is a Court Reporter Salary?

The salary of a court reporter will vary depending on location, experience and if the court reporter is either part of an organization such as the county, state or federal court system or if they are independent or freelance in nature. The average national salary for a court reporter is $53,000. The highest paying state for court reporters is New York where the average is roughly $84,000.

While the salary can be affected by numerous factors, the work environment consists of far more than just a courtroom setting. Freelance court reporters in particular are used to record pre-trial depositions, public speeches and provide closed captioning for films and TV shows to be displayed for home viewers and more.

What is the Future for Court Reporters?

With court reporters in the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, there are new opportunities opening up for those who are just getting into the profession. In addition, the need for closed captioning services can be found at a number of institutions that are growing by the day. For those who are considering the field of court reporting, this represents a golden opportunity to jump into a field where the possibilities are wide open.

There is little doubt that the field of court reporting is looking very bright for the foreseeable future. With more job opportunities, good salary, flexibility of freelance work and robust demand, becoming a court reporter is one that offers a great career opportunity.

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