Court Reporter Jobs
Another career that is within the legal profession but differs significantly from that of a paralegal is that of a court reporter. Court reporters are responsible for providing an accurate, verbatim written account (transcript) of verbal court proceedings such as depositions, trials, hearings, meetings and other legal matters that require written proof, or a record that can be researched or read later. Court reporters also store their written accounts and assist legal professionals, such as attorneys and paralegals, in research of these written records.
Court reporter training is available through about 100 postsecondary vocational and technical schools and colleges, and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has certified over 60 programs. The amount of training required to become a court reporter varies with the type of reporting chosen, ranging from less than a year to nearly three, with the average length of time about 33 months. NCRA-certified programs require students to capture a minimum of 225 words per minute, which is also required for employment with the Federal government.
Some states require court reporters to pass a test and to earn licensure or to be notary publics. Others require the Certified Court Reporter (CCR) designation, which a court reporter may obtain by passing a test administered by a board of examiners.
Skills necessary for a successful court reporter include good English skills such as grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation; superior communication, listening, and hearing; and the ability to work well under pressure and in the face of constant deadlines.
Many court reporters find employment in courtrooms by working for judges on the local, state, and federal level. Others decide to freelance by owning their own court reporting firms, like Jacque Perli of Rapid City, SD.
Court Reporter Pay
Court reporters are paid quite well for their work, and potential growth for the industry is excellent. Here are the latest salary figures from Glassdoor.com: