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Court Reporting Could This Be The Career Path For You?

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There are many different career paths for people to follow. However, it can be a bit more difficult for people to change career fields after already getting started in one. This often involves going back to school, which is daunting for anyone — on both a personal and financial level. If a person is going to return to school, they should pursue a career that is both stable and in demand. Most likely, they won’t want to be in school for a long period of time. Ideally, those returning to school want a field that they can enter after a minimal amount of schooling, that offers plenty of job prospects. Court reporting is not a field that necessarily comes to everyone’s mind immediately. However, it certainly has much to offer, and is both interesting and not so difficult that it would be a rough career for newcomers to transition into. With that being said, there is more to court reporting than what might initially meet the eye. Court reporters have great responsibilities, and require a good amount of training. This is a serious career, and many can gain from it if they apply themselves correctly.

What Does Court Reporting Entail?

Many are unaware of exactly how much work and dedication goes into the task of court reporting. It is, after all, a subtly important job. If a court reporter makes a mistake, the entire legal record of a case is compromised. Court reporters detail information that can be referred to by judges, attorneys, and even juries. A court reporter’s records can be stored for decades, and in fact in perpetuity. A ruling could be overturned, an appeal granted — and thus, a case years-old unearthed. Furthermore, being a certified court reporter doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work within a court. In fact, of the 50,000+ court reporters active in the United States, 70% work outside of court. Of course, there are some uniform things that court reporters need to be capable of in order to be active within their fields. Usually, the minimum amount of words per minute court reporters need to be capable of typing is 225. This is no small feat, though you can improve your typing speed through practice. Furthermore, as a court reporter you should be a member of an official court reporting association. This association may be the association that certifies you, and provides you with both protection and connections. It’s certainly easier to be hired if you’re a member of an official association. The three national associations in the U.S are the National Court Reporters Association, the National Verbatim Reporters Association, and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers. But before joining an association, you must be certified. So — how do you get certified as a court reporter?

How Do You Become Certified As A Court Reporter?

Becoming a court reporter is not an overlong process, but you do need to commit to it. On average, the court reporting education and certification program takes about 33.3 months — under three years. A student can expect to spend up to 15 hours per week listening to and transcribing the spoken word to better perfect their skills. Certification requirements differ by program. Usually, the expectations of a certified court reporter include the ability to transcribe 225 words per minute, the ability to transcribe 200 jury charge words per minute, and the ability to transcribe 185 literary words per minute with 95% accuracy.

What Is The Projected Future Of This Field?

Court reporting is a field that is project to grow. It’s believed that from 2012 to 2022, the employment of court reporters will grow by 10%. In 2012, there were an estimated 21,200 court reporters in America, with 20,000 of them represented by the three court reporting associations mentioned above. With that kind of presence and growth, you can be assured that this is a strong career field — with plenty of opportunities available for you in the future.

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