Court reporters typically have two ways they can work. They can be employed by a courthouse or they can choose to work as freelancers. Both have advantages and disadvantages. One big difference is the set of responsibilities that come with the different types work situations. When working for a court house it is common for court reporters to be assigned additional tasks such as researching and preparing. Freelancers work with more freedom.
Standard court reporters work on a full time scheduled basis, and they are not paid in the same ways that a freelance court reporter is. Freelance court reporters normally work on by contract and their hours will fluctuate. They also will spend time in various locations, as they normally do not have a set job site to work from. Because contractors earn per job and traditional reporters earn a salary, many times full time court reporters will take part time freelance projects to earn extra income.
What is great about being a freelancer, is the amount of freedom and control it can provide. As a freelancer you are able to choose the jobs you want to work on, the income is good, and often times they may work less to earn the same as a full time court reporter earns for their salary.
There are quite a few options for freelance court reporters. They are able to work in many different capacities. They can work producing closed captioning, they can be hired for arbitrations, board meetings, depositions, and municipal hearings.
Income for freelancers really depends on the person. There is potentially to make more than their more traditional counterparts, but in order to do this they need to be working consistently. A freelancer that is working full time has the potential to make $90,000 or more per year.
Regardless of whether a reporter chooses to work for a courthouse or privately, they will still find work in the traditional ways; through classified ads, online employment sites, etc. There is an abundance and a variety of positions available for freelance reporters. Many of the freelance positions require travel and possibly less than perfect hours, but there is also an opportunity to hear and see different things during each job, as well as learn many new and interesting things. Working as a freelancer also opens up doors to travel and learning many new and interesting things.