Do you think you want to work as a certified court reporter? If you have never given the thought of becoming a court reporter much thought, you might want to revisit the idea. There are a lot of great benefits to going into the profession.
Before you set out on the road towards becoming a court reporter, you should ask yourself some questions.
- What kind of attention span do you have? Being a court reporter requires a lot of listening to proceedings that may not be all that exciting. Some of it can be interesting but you have to be able to pay close attention regardless of how interesting or boring what the people are talking about or describing.
- How is your vocabulary and grammar? If you are interested in becoming a court reporter, having a great vocabulary and grasp of the rules of grammar. You need to know the difference between the different versions of words such as “to” and “too” or “their,” “there” and “they’re.” There may be times when you have to get the correct spelling of a specialized term but, for the most part, you need to be a great speller to be a certified cour reporter.
- How good are you with computers? You need to be adept at using technology if you want to succeed in this field.
- How fast can you type? You can always work on this but you should know that the average speed at which court reporting firms expect their people to type is about 225 words per minute. That translates to about 200 words per minute for a jury trial and 180 words per minute in other settings. This needs to be done with an accuracy of 95%.
- How good is your hearing? This is also a key point for many people who work in court reporting services.
If you think that you have all the skills it takes for becoming a court reporter, now you should look at the great benefits this job offers:
- Court reporting pays well. If you work in the court system, you can expect to start out at about $55,000 per year. When you move to doing freelance court reporting, you can start out at as much as between $70,000 and $80,000 per year. It is not unheard of for court reporters to bring in a six figure salary.
- It is a flexible career. If you want to be able to control your work schedule, this may be the the career path for you. People who work for court reporting firms can decide what their schedule and take only the work they want. This can help you be with your family when you want to be and to work when you want to.
- You will always have a job. In today’s economy it is important to pick a career that you know will always be in demand. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has said that it expects the next decade will see a lot of growth in the need for qualified court reporters. Not only are more and more opportunities opening up for these people but a number of people are retiring, leaving more opportunities for new court reporters.
- There is a lot of diversity in the world of court reporting. The term “court reporter” is a bit misleading. This implies that the people who work in this field only work in the court system and that simply is not true. Many court reporters work all over. Court reporters are needed whenever the proceedings or events need a real record. This can be needed for speeches, legal depositions, press conferences, corporate conferences and a host of other events. Court reporters are even hired to attend and report on sports events. Every day can be an adventure.
- There are many opportunities for court reporters. As was mentioned, these services are needed for a host of reasons. It seems every year brings more and more reasons people need the services of good court reporters. The number of opportunities for people trained to work as a court reporter is nearly endless.
If you are looking for a great career with lots of opportunity and job security, you may want to consider becoming a court reporter. It can be a great option.