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Court Reporter

Career Overview

Court reporters create verbatim transcripts of courtroom hearings, depositions, meetings, and any sort of converation or conference that requires an exact record of what was said. Because they are responsible for completer records of court proceedings, they often assist the judge or clerk in finding a document or file for the case before the court. They are also beginning to provide translation services for courtroom participants who do not speak English and closed-caption print-outs for deaf people involved in court proceedings. Court reporters are also employed by the broadcast industry to provide closed captions for telecasts or taped programs. Most television programs have a Spanish translation available today that crawls across the bottom of the screen.

Education

Most court reporters learn to become adept transcriptionists on the job. However there are training programs offered by vocational schools, community colleges and online programs that can prepare an individual for a career in court reporting. Some states require certification for transcriptionists; there are also three national organizations that provide certification following a standardized test.

Employment

There were 19,000 court reporters working in the U.S. in 2006, according to the Department of Labor. More than half were employed by state and local governments. Some of these court reporters found themselves in legislative proceedings, recording deliberations of state houses and city councils.

Job Outlook

This profession is projected to grow at over twice the rate of the anticipated average overall growth of jobs. Court reporters will find their profession expandng further into broadcast in future years; the volume of legal activity is also expected to increase.

Salary

10th Percentile $25,360

Median Salaary $49,710

90th Percentile $83,500

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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