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Join the Growing Field of Court Reporters

Columbus court reporting

So you have thought about becoming a court reporter. What next? Of course certified court reporters are known for typing faster than the average computer user, but the path to become a court reporter requires a little more than quick fingers. To become certified, a prospective applicant should practice their typing speed and accuracy, and apply to a certification program.

So You Want to Be a Stenographer. Great.

A certified court reporter can work in several different areas, but it can be helpful to know upfront what area you would prefer to go into. Stenographers are in demand at broadcasting agencies for closed captioning; at communications access for realtime reporting, or CART; and of course the court system. There are three different court reporter’s associations, and each represents a different area of stenography.

How a Prospective Stenographer Can Get Started.

The National Court Reporter’s Association is one of three certified court reporters’ groups in the U.S. To be certified by them, applicants must be able to type at least 225 word per minute. A traditional educational and certification program will take about 33 months to complete. It is recommended that students in a certificate program practice. A good starting point is 15 hours each week, practicing speed and accuracy when transcribing the spoken word. This will put them on the right track and boost confidence.

Certified Court Reporters May Be Afforded a Flexible Work Schedule.

Even stenographers are able to freelance nowadays. A flexible work schedule is achievable, especially for those who choose to work outside of the courts. You probably envision a stenographer as a diligent employee in a court room, but that is not quite accurate for most certified court reporters.

Of the roughly 50,000 court reporters in the U.S., more than 70% actually work outside of the courts most days. They may be employed as broadcast caption writers, as a recorder of minutes in a business meeting, or as a webcaster for virtual meetings. The field is expected to grow about 10% by 2022.

Becoming a certified court reporter is simple, but not necessarily easy. Not everyone can type with the speed and accuracy needed to do well in the profession. And it requires a diligence and presence of mind constantly during the work day. This is one job where there is never an opportunity to “zone out,” or there could be dire consequences. However, it is a prestigious field that is instantly recognized by everyone, and is expected to grow over the next few years. It could be the right job, for the right person.

Idaho Legal News

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