Positions in the Court Reporting Field

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Positions in the Court Reporting Field


A court reporter is a witness to a proceeding that must accurately, and in an unbiased manner, record what was said by all of the people present.

A traditional court reporter will typically be required to complete a 2-year Associate’s degree program. Prices can range anywhere from $4,500 (Online Court Reporting School) to $27,000 when earning a degree from a Court Reporting College (Institute, or a College that offers Court Reporting degrees).

A court reporter can work in varying capacities. There are career opportunities available to them other than traditional positions, such as working in the courtroom or government offices.
One example is a captioner, also known as a speech to text reporter. They type whatever is spoken and it shows up on the television screen. Captions are used by people who are hearing impaired, or by others that may benefit from the written version of what is being said. Computer Assisted Real-time Translation (CART) is used when there is not a written script, or the program for which the captions are being created is live. A captioner is a trained stenographer, and will use a stenography machine to create captions. A study program to become a captioner requires a two-year degree.

Another example of a position court reporters can fill is that of a scopist. A scopist can edit transcripts translated by CAT (Computer-Aided Transcription) software. A Scopist in a courtroom will often work closely with court reporters. They review and edit transcriptions from court proceedings to finalize them before they are entered as an official record. Scopists are also able to freelance and contract out to private companies. The time commitment to study for this position is shorter, ranging anywhere from a few months to a year. The tuition costs are also lower, beginning with a couple thousand dollars and not exceeding $15,000.

All of the preceding careers require training. Cost and time expenditure will depend on the school and program chosen. Online court reporting colleges are less expensive across the board. While traditional court reporting schools are more costly, they are by no means outrageously priced. Financial aid is available, for qualifying candidates attending at participating schools.

The investment for a court-reporting career certainly has the potential to pay off. Compensation is highly competitive and there is a current demand for court reporters that is only expected to rise.

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