Official reporting is for those who want the benefit of consistent pay, the stability of schedule, and health benefits. If you prefer a more structured work schedule and knowing where you will be every day, this is the route for you.
You can become a freelance court reporter and:
- Work with an agency as an independent contractor
- Work for an agency as an employed court reporter
- Start your own court reporting agency
- Work for international agencies and travel the world as a court reporter
Freelance reporting is for those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and like going somewhere different every day. You will have to be good at managing your time and budgeting your finances because as a 1099 contractor your benefits (health insurance, equipment insurance, retirement, etc.) are your responsibility.
Since a deposition can take place in a boardroom, the back room of a bar, or a deponent’s farm, you have to be adaptable to situations as they happen.
You can become a proofreader or scopist for other court reporters:
- Some new court reporters proofread and edit transcripts for other court reporters until they are certified.
Real-time Broadcast Captioning
- Work with an agency captioning television programs for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Onsite CART Provider
- Provide access for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals in classroom or professional settings.
Remote CART & Real-time Captioning
- Provide access for deaf and hearing impaired clients via the internet. With training and technology, these services may be provided from your home.
Steps to Become a Court Reporter
|Step One||Choose a Method: Steno or Voice|
- The voice method means you will “take down” or speak into a mask while court or deposition proceedings commence.
|Step Two||Verify the appropriate prerequisites for certification in your state.|
- That may mean getting a national certification for court reporting as well as receiving a state certification if required by the state in which you wish to practice.
|Step Three||Get Certified|
- The school you attend should train you on how to meet the requirements for national certification and prepare you to take the required tests. Yes, tests.
|Step Four||Keep Your Certification Current|
- Both national and state certifications require continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain your status as a certified Court Reporter. There are annual conventions and mentor opportunities that allow you stay current with your CEUs.
Once you’ve become a certified court reporter, our Career Services Office can help you find the right career path.
Brown College of Court Reporting enjoys strong, lasting relationships with area courts, law firms and other businesses that hire our graduates because of our reputation for excellence. The education our students receive, and the externship they are required to complete, helps prepare them for success in the real world.
Our Career Services Office maintains a list of current job opportunities and helps students throughout the application process. We’ll provide guidance with resumes, cover letters and employment applications. Our office can also arranges for students to participate in mock trials and helps them schedule externship hours.
The outlook for court reporters is excellent, as job openings continue to outnumber job seekers in some areas. Court reporters with certification and those who choose to specialize in providing CART, broadcast captioning, or webcasting services are strongly positioned.
According to an independent study conducted by Ducker Worldwide (Ducker), one of the nation’s leading marketplace analyst firms, demand for court reporters will exceed supply within five years, yielding a nationwide shortage. 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.
Good to Know:
- 100% of certified Brown College graduates for 2014 are employed!
- 10% growth rate through 2022 expected for the court reporting
- Job prospects are excellent, especially for those with certification
- Training required to become a court reporter varies by specialization; licensure requirements will vary by state
- Individuals who have the desire to start, the drive to succeed, and the will to finish the program have the best job prospects
- Demand for realtime broadcast captioning and translating, including online programming, will spur employment growth
A recent CNN “Money” report spotlighted court reporting in a lineup of “Six-Figure Jobs That Aren’t On the List of Usual Suspects,” while CNBC noted that “this job makes six figures, with no college degree.” How many career choices can you say that about?