Court Reporter: Career Profile, Job Outlook and Educational Requirements
A court reporter creates verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings, meetings, speeches, conversations and other events when written accounts are necessary for legal proof. Either a certificate or an associate's degree in court reporting is typically required to attain employment as a court reporter, and a number of states also require you to hold a license or certification. Read on for more info about this career.
What You Need to Know About a Career As a Court Reporter
Court reporters are used in a variety of settings, including court trials and providing captioning for different events. The field of court reporting is expected to grow slightly slower than average; however, reporters with experience in captioning for the hearing-impaired and deaf will have better job prospects. Some postsecondary education is required for this profession, and many states expect court reporters to be licensed or certified.
|Job Outlook||9% growth from 2019-2029|
|Certification||Typically required in many states, commonly offered through the National Court Reporters Association|
|Education Required||Certificate or associate degree usually required|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Skills Do Court Reporters Need?
The field of court reporting includes providing professional transcriptions, broadcast captioning, and CART (Computer Assisted Realtime Translation) for courts, businesses, government, individuals and television stations. Court reporters use typing, listening and grammar skills to provide these services, either in an office or court setting, or dictation from home.
What Is the Employment Outlook?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of court reporters is projected to grow 9% over the 10-year period from 2019 and 2029, which is a much faster rate compared to all occupations. Voice writing and electronic reporting are on the rise, while traditional stenographic court reporting is becoming rarer, largely because of budgetary constraints. Federal legislation mandates that all new television programming be captioned for the hearing impaired, further enhancing the job outlook for court reporters that wish to branch out into broadcasting. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives hearing-impaired college students the right to request CARTs of their lectures.
What Certification Options are Available?
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) offers three registration and four certification designations, including the Registered Professional Reporter, Certified Realtime Reporter, and Certified Legal Video Specialist. The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) offers various national certifications that are accepted by many states, including the Registered Broadcast Captioner - Master and the Registered CART Provider - Master. To earn these designations, you need to pass one or more examinations; some certifications may have additional qualifying requirements.
What Kind of Education Do I Need?
Certificate and associate's degree programs in court reporting can prepare you for entry-level employment in the private and public sectors; you may also complete on-the-job training. The NCRA provides a list of postsecondary schools nationwide that it has certified as meeting standards in court reporting education. Earning a bachelor's degree in court reporting may help you further your career.
Courses you may take in a court-reporting program may include:
- Legal terminology
- Machine shorthand
- Court transcription
- Transcription speed building
You may also have to complete an internship to fulfill degree requirements.