They’re a vital part of the legal process, but few of us know much about them or the skills they need to possess. Court reporters – they’re so much more than just typists.
For starters, the speed of transcription required is higher than you might imagine. To be certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), they have to be able to capture a minimum of 225 testimony words per minute on a stenotype machine. Depending upon the certification program, additional requirements might include the ability to transcribe 200 words per minute of jury charge and 180 literary words per minute and do it all with a 95% rate of accuracy.
Very few people come close to such a level of competence without a great deal of practice, and a court reporter will typically spend up to fifteen hours a week working to able to transcribe at that speed with consistency.
The image of a person busily typing during a trial is familiar to most of us. But it’s a little-known fact that 70% of the more than 50 thousand court reporters in the United States don’t work in the courtroom. The process of court reporting includes specific outside jobs such as deposition court reporter, deposition video recording and more.
A deposition court reporter will spend on average about 33.3 months in the court reporting education and certification process.
In addition to the NCRA, there are two other major associations in the United States: the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). Finding a local court reporter can be accomplished through contacting one of these organizations or a local court reporting agency.
A deposition court reporter can expect an average starting salary of around $43,000. And The rate of employment growth is predicted to increase by 14% at least through the year 2020.