Court reporters work during a court’s proceedings to record and document this information. They use many different types of machines and typewriters to accomplish this task. This includes transcribing all pre-trial and trial happenings.
Court reporters record proceedings of courts, assemblies, committees and other types of legal proceedings. They use several types of recording devices such as cassette recorders, steno-type machines, microphones and more. They also take notes in short hand to transcribe at a later time. Symbols are recorded on digital media devices and later translated into text by the use of computer software programs such as Court Pages and Reporter Base. They use pre-made formats in which to transcribe these proceedings. They file these transcripts with the court clerk. They file shorthand notes and keep these for future records. They may ask people to speak more legible in court and will often be asked to read portions of testimony back when requested in court. They provide judges, lawyers and others with copies of transcripts.
Court Reporter Salary:
The average court reporter salary is currently $48,000 a year or $25 an hour. This amount is the current national average. There are several states that do pay a higher than average salary for a court reporter. The top paying states with the highest court reporter wages are California, Colorado, Maine, New York and Oregon. In California, the court reporter income is about $76,000 a year or $37 an hour.Colorado and Maine offer an average court reporter salary of $80,000 a year or $38 an hour.New York state offers an hourly wage of $40. This is a court report income of $83,000 a year. The top place to work for court reporters is in Oregon. In Oregon, the court reporter salary is $85,000 a year or $41 an hour. If you want to make the most money possible, it may be worth looking into these five states that offer higher than normal wages. You may also be able to increase your wage by working in certain industries such as local and state governments and business support services.
Court Reporter Education:
If you decide that you want to become a court reporter, you will need to get the required training and education. More than thirty four percent of all court reporters have an associate’s degree. A small few have master’s degrees and some have no degree at all. Most employers are looking for reporters with an associate’s degree. The normal time to complete a court reporting degree is about two years for an associate’s degree. Courses will include English and composition courses, court reporting, machine shorthand, transcription, language, medical terminology, foundations of law, legal terminology, real-time transcription, real-time theory, testimony, jury charge and much more. Most work will be done in the classroom and will require several transcript projects to be completed. The NCRA provides licensing exams for legal reporters. This includes a written and practical test.
Court Reporter Work Environment:
The environment for a court reporter is typically in a court room. Some reporters may work in an office as a captioner or even may work from their own homes. They will often sit in a court room at a desk to the side and transcribe the events as they are happening. This may include headphones and several types of recording devices and machines. Court reporters will need to type at very high speeds of at least 225 words per minute. They will be sitting for very long periods of time and will need to be able to understand all types of dialects and accents. They must have very good hearing and perform their job to the highest of accuracy. Court reporters will need to maintain their composure and self control no matter what is happening in the court room. They will need to be able to handle highly stressful environments. The same tasks will need to be completed day in and day out so a court reporter must be able to do this easily and accurately. They will need to process information quickly and complete tasks and able to meet very strict deadlines. The average court reporter will work a normal forty hour full time schedule. Some court reporters that work on a freelance basis may work more hours than normal.
The job of a court reporter is a very important job to have. You will be working with highly sensitive information that must be handled both accurately and ethically. Also, the career of a court reporter has a very good outlook for the future. Currently, there are more than 22,000 people who are employed as court reporters. There is an expected 3,100 jobs to be added to the market by 2020. The most jobs are now being offered for captioners who do not work in a legal environment. Some colleges also offer placement services.