How to Break Into a Career in Court Reporting
People are always searching for new and exciting career opportunities. Exciting jobs can be great to have, but difficult to find, and even more difficult to obtain.
Starting a career as a stenographer, also known as a court reporter, can be very rewarding and lead to great career opportunities for the future. Being a court reporter is no easy task, however, and there are various factors that you should know before you attempt to break into the professional court reporting industry.
- Court reporters have to go through a certification process and education program that typically takes over two and a half years (33 months). In other words, this job is not just something that someone can acquire overnight.
- There are three national court reporting associations that run these education and certification programs in the United States. The largest being the National Court Reporters Association, which represents more than 20,000 stenographers in the United States, followed by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, and the National Verbatim Reporters Association.
- In order to develop the necessary skills and attributes for court reporting, students should practice at least 15 hours each week transcribing the spoken word.
- The minimum typing speed needed to be qualified and certified as a professional court reporter is 225 words per minute. Along with 200 jury charge words per minute, and 180 literary words per minute, all categories must maintain a 95% accuracy rating.
- Just four years ago in 2012, there were over 21,000 court reports in the United States. Over the next six years, the number of stenographers is expected to grow 10% in the United States.
Becoming a court reporter can lead to a very successful career, but breaking into the industry is extremely difficult. Because there are such delicate and serious issues being discussed and handled inside the court, the level of perfection needs to be very high for court reporters. If you’re serious about starting a career as a court reporter, and you are aware of what will be required of you and the work that is involved, then good luck and enjoy your new career!