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Court Reporting is vital, exciting and rewarding

From the courthouse to TV studios, court reporters, judical reporters, depositions reporters and broadcast captioners are in demand. Our program has a 100% placement rate for graduates. And the U.S. Department of Labor reports that opportunities in the field are growing.

Reporting is a career that's vital, exciting and rewarding, with opportunities at your fingertips. Reporters can work in the legal community, provide communications access for people with hearing loss, be an independent contractor, or run their own reporting firm.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

From a local courthouse to the floor of the United States Senate; from a high-rise office building to a home office in a basement, careers in the reporting profession offer many diverse and unique professional opportunities for the right individuals.

The role of reporters continues to evolve from serving as information managers in complicated trials, to capturing depositions and business proceedings in digital format, to assisting millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons through advanced captioning technology. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities in this field will grow 25% through 2016, which is faster than the average. Also, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires that 100 percent of all new programming in the top 25 markets must be captioned, has established a high demand within the profession.

A career in reporting or captioning offers:

  • Flexible hours, often from home
  • A high demand for workers — in some specialties, there's a looming shortage
  • Full-time salaries that are solidly above the U.S. median, averaging over $45,000 a year
  • Education and training available at more than 100 community colleges and proprietary schools
  • An associate's degree and certification that can be achieved in two-four years.
WHAT DO COURT REPORTERS DO?

Court reporters capture the words spoken by everyone during a court or deposition proceeding. Court reporters then prepare verbatim transcripts of proceedings. The official record or transcript helps safeguard the legal process. When litigants want to exercise their right to appeal, they will use the transcript to provide an accurate record of what transpired during their case. During the discovery phase, attorneys also use deposition transcripts to prepare for trial. By combining their skills with the latest technology, some court reporters can provide realtime access to what is being said during a trial or deposition for the benefit of all involved parties. A court reporter providing realtime allows attorneys and judges to have immediate access to the transcript, while also providing a way for deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans to participate in the judicial process.

REPORTER CAREER PATHS

More than 70 percent of the nation's 35,000 court reporters work outside of the courthouse. Because court reporting involves a highly specialized skill set, reporters have a variety of career options:

Judicial Reporter
Official court reporters work for the judicial system to convert the spoken word into text during courtroom proceedings. The reporter also prepares official verbatim transcripts to be used by attorneys, judges, and litigants. Official court reporters are front and center at controversial or famous cases — criminal trials, millionaire divorces, government corruption trials and lawsuits — ensuring that an accurate, complete, and secure record of the proceedings is produced. Official court reporters may also provide realtime during a courtroom setting to allow participants to read on a display screen or computer monitor what is being said instantaneously.

Freelance reporters are hired by attorneys, corporations, unions, associations and other individuals and groups who need accurate, complete, and secure records of pretrial depositions, arbitrations, board of director meetings, stockholders meetings and convention business sessions.

Broadcast Captioner
Broadcast captioners, also called stenocaptioners, use court reporting skills on the stenotype machine to provide captions of live television programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers through realtime technology that instantly produces readable English text. Captioners provide captions for local stations, national networks and cable channels. They caption news, emergency broadcasts, sports events, and other programming.

CART Provider
A version of the captioning process called Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), also known as live-event captioning, allows court reporters to provide more personalized services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. CART providers accompany deaf and hard-of-hearing clients as needed — for example, to college classes — to provide an instant conversion of speech into text using the stenotype machine linked to a laptop computer.

Webcaster
Webcasters are reporters who use their training to capture financial earnings reports, sales meetings, press conferences, product introductions, and technical training seminars and instantly transmit the captions to all parties involved via the Internet. As participants speak into telephones or microphones, the words appear on everyone's computers, accompanied by any relevant documents or graphics.