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Important Information About What Court Reporters Do - Sophia Belnap - Blog

Important Information About What Court Reporters Do

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If you are interested in a career in the legal field, but don't want to become an attorney or paralegal, the job of court reporter could be a good fit for you. Court reporting is an exciting field that places you right in the middle of the action in the courtroom. It is an essential job to the operation of the judicial system. Here is some important information about what court reporters do and how you can get started on your career path.

What Do Court Reporters Do?

According to the National Court Reporters Association, court reporters "use cutting-edge technology to bring the spoken word to text in real time." The NCRA also says that today's court reporters can type 225 words or more per minute. Many court reporters work right in the courtroom and type transcripts of the judicial proceedings as they happen. This is usually done using a steno machine connected to a computer and a special alphabet that allows the court reporter to write the transcript more quickly than they could by hand.

What Is the Starting Salary?

As with all jobs, the salary of court reporters in Tampa varies greatly depending on their experience. On the low end of the spectrum, a court reporter can earn around $30,000 per year. More experienced court reporters make salaries of approximately $94,000. The average court reporter will make around $60,000 per year, however.

What Types Of Careers Are Available?

While many people associate court reporters with courtroom proceedings, there are many other jobs that someone certified in court reporting can do. A court reporter can often work as a freelancer, capturing the proceedings in legal depositions or other business meetings. There are also opportunities to work as broadcast captioners. Captioners provide remote and live captioning of television programs and special events, including theatre and sports. In an emergency situation, captioners would be called upon to provide important information to the hearing impaired community. 


CART Captioners provide assistance in real time to hearing impaired individuals in small settings, such as the classroom. Finally, certified legal videographers work alongside official court reporters to capture video depositions which can then be used as evidence in court.

What Type Of Education Should a Court Reporter Have?
A court reporter should have completed an accredited court reporting course through a school or university. They should then research the requirements within their state as to certification. Many states have a certification program that must be completed before a court reporter can start their career. Additional certifications are offered through professional organizations like the National Court Reporters Association, although these are not required.

How Do I Get Started?

Research court reporting programs and courses in your area. You may want to speak with a professor or student resources professional at your chosen school before you commit to a program. Make sure you feel confident in your decision and don't settle for a program you aren't comfortable completing. Once you have completed your program, you should study for the certification test. Don't take this test until you are comfortable with the material and feel you can pass. 


Once you have passed the certification test, it is time to start looking for a job and narrowing your application options. If you have always dreamed of a career in the courtroom, look for opportunities in your area and apply. Be sure to dress professionally for your interview and make a good first impression. After you have gotten a job in the court reporting field, don't hesitate to look for opportunities to advance your career. Continue to educate yourself about the court reporting industry and up-level your skills whenever possible.


Court reporting is an exciting and challenging field that could be a great fit for you if you enjoy being a good listener, have great communication skills and love a fast-paced environment. Consider the above information and do some research. You might discover a completely new career that is fulfilling and lucrative!


Publish Date: November 14, 2021 9:40 PM

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