What Skills Will I Need for a Successful Court Reporting Career?

Technology and English skills are needed for a career in court reporting, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) operations, broadcast captioning or other realtime reporting. Depending on work setting, you may need to understand some of the processes used in fields like law, forensics and medicine, as well as the specialized language for these fields. Court reporting career skills are usually gained in an Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting or Realtime Reporting program. Schools offering Legal Transcriptionist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Skills You Need for a Successful Court Reporting Career

Court reporting programs certified by the National Court Reporters Association require students to capture a minimum of 225 words per minute for testimony. This speed is also required for federal government employment as a court reporter. Proceedings can be long, and you must be able to concentrate consistently throughout them. You must demand accuracy from yourself to be successful. Your transcription should be clear and accurate enough to be read aloud in public.

Important Facts about Court Reporters

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree
Work Environment Courts; attorneys' offices; remotely from home or a central office
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 10%
Median Salary (2014) $49,860 per year

Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

Academic Skills

Stenography theories are methods for conceptualizing and organizing what you hear in order to transcribe the information as fast as it is conveyed. There are many systems or theories for doing this. Besides knowing a useful shorthand theory, you'll need:

  • English grammar and punctuation skills
  • Understanding of courtroom and court reporting procedures
  • A large technical vocabulary, which could include terminology from:
    • Medicine
    • Law
    • Business
    • Other specialties

Technical Skills

Stenography machines and computer-aided transcription have changed the career skills required of a court or realtime reporter. With the following skills, you should be prepared for a rewarding and successful career as a court reporter:

  • Care and maintenance of your stenographic machine
  • Operation of the appropriate technology for
    • Court reporting
    • Broadcast or closed captioning
    • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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