If you are not sure what you want to do with your life, you may want to consider becoming a court reporter. From 2012 to 2022, employment of court reporters is expected to rise about 10%. There were 21,200 working court reporters in the United States. Working for a court reporting service can be a very rewarding career.
Some of the Benefits to Working as a Court Reporter:
- It pays well. Official court reporters make about $55,000 per year. The average salary climbs to between $70,000 and $80,000 a year for freelance court reporters. When you work as a freelancer, you can set your own hours. The amount you make will be set by your skill level, experience and the number of jobs you avail yourself of.
- You get a very flexible schedule. Working for a court reporting service gives you flexibility in how you choose to spend your time. If the court reporting service calls with a job that you do not want to take, you do not have to take it. It is just that simple. You can let them know when you are available to work. They do not tell you when you have to work. Working as a freelancer also means that you can take vacations when you want to. You can also opt to work when you have a family or medical emergency.
- There is a lot of job security. With the industry expected to grow that 10% over the next few years, you know that your services will be needed all of the time. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has said they expect there will be a shortage coming in 2018 when a number of current court reporters retire. Given the state of the criminal justice system in the United States and Americans’ proclivity to sue each other, it does not look like the need for skilled court reporters is going to go down soon.
- Every day on the job as a court reporter is different. Court reporters do a lot more that sit in a courtroom recording the proceedings. The number of places from which you will do your job is nearly endless. The court reporting service will send you to a new adventure every job you take with them. That means your job is rarely boring.
- There are a lot of great opportunities in court reporting. Skilled court reporters are needed for a variety of jobs all over the world. You can get to travel a lot with your court reporting service. Accurate record keeping is needed for a variety of industries. You will always be needed for legal proceedings and dispositions but stenographers are often needed to take down speeches, press conferences, sporting events, corporate conferences, meetings and events.
Steps to Becoming a Court Reporter:
- Get your education. If you have a high school diploma you can enroll in a program. You can take your classes at a traditional learning center, online school or take your classes at a combination of the two. You should decide what you will do based on your learning style and preference. The beauty of these programs is that you do not have to conform to an educational program that does not suit the way you learn. You tailor your program to your needs.
- Pass your exam. After you have completed your education, you need to take your licensing exam. The requirements about what is required for licensing court reporters varies from state to state so you will have to find out what you need to do.
- Join the NCRA. In some areas, you need to join a professional association to be fully licensed in the profession of court reporting.
- Start working! Get your equipment and head out and find a job and get to work.
There are some professions where the people who go into them know there will always be a need for their services AND that will give them the chance to chart their own course that may include travel to fun and exotic places. Anything in the medical field qualifies as such. Working as a court reporter is another. If you want a job that pays well, offers freedom and the possibility for adventure, this might be the career path for you.