By 2018, there will be 5,500 new court reporter jobs available in the U.S. with the greatest demand occurring in California, Texas, Illinois and New York,  according to the 2013-14 Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report.  About 60% worked for state and local governments, a reflection of the large number of court reporters working in courts, legislatures, and various agencies. Most of the remaining wage and salary workers worked for court reporting agencies. Around 13% of court reporters were self-employed. In addition to preparing and protecting the legal record, many court reporters assist judges and trial attorneys in a variety of ways, such as organizing and searching for information in the official record or making suggestions to judges and attorneys regarding courtroom administration and procedure. It is forecasted that the demand for court reporter services will be spurred by the continuing need for accurate transcription of proceedings in courts and in pretrial depositions, and by the growing need to create captions for live or prerecorded television and to provide other realtime translating services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Many courts allow only stenotypists to perform court reporting duties; as a result, demand for these skilled reporters will remain high.  Although many court reporters record official proceedings in the courtroom, others work outside the courtroom. For example, they may take depositions for attorneys in offices and record proceedings of meetings, conventions, and other private activities. Still others capture the proceedings taking place in government agencies at all levels, from the U.S. Congress to state and local governing bodies.

What career options are there for a court reporting school graduate?

  • Freelance – The freelance court reporter works at diverse locations, has flexible hours, and is paid for each job with a per-page transcript fee.

  • Closed-captioning – Working with broadcast television programming, enabling hard-of-hearing individuals to read the words spoken.

  • CAPTIONING FOR STUDENTS – Used to assist hearing-impaired students to function in a classroom setting in a high school or college.

  • Official – The official court reporter works in the same courthouse every day, 9 to 5, and receives a salary and a per-page transcript fee.

  • Realtime reporting – A simultaneous transcription in English on a laptop from a court reporter’s stenograph machine through a cable or wireless hookup.

  • New York State Civil Service – Opportunities to take exams to work in State Government, including the Workers’ Compensation Board, NYS Unified Court System, various City Courts and Family Courts, and others.

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