Are you a fast typer? Do you have a strong eye for detail that most people overlook? You may want to consider becoming a court reporter. This is easily one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States today, a hybrid between technology, writing and the judicial system that is requiring more and more participants to stay afloat. Thousands of students are studying the art of stenography and translation in schools across the country — if you’ve considered applying your skills to a successful and highly demanded career field, continue reading below to get yourself started on the right track with nationwide court reporting.
What Is Nationwide Court Reporting?
The field of nationwide court reporting revolves around recording and reporting the occurrences in the courtroom for future reference. It’s estimated more than 70% of the nation’s 50,000 court reporters work outside of the court, however, and this field only grows more and more flexible by the day. The three national court reporting associations in the United States regularly over see the rigid standards and requirements that outline the field — the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT).
How Does Court Reporting Work?
Thanks to court reporting information can accurately be transcribed and saved for a variety of involved parties. Court reporter responsibilities require a fast typing hand, consistent focus and an eye for detail. A stenographic court reporter, for example, uses a stenotype machine to record shorthand versions of the spoken word at speeds of 225 words per minute. Similar fields that involve the transcribing of language include, but are not limited to, interpreters, educational transcriptionists, translators and journalism.
What Are The Requirements?
Due to the rigorous and highly specific nature of the field, it takes at least a few years of hard study and practice for an individual to meet the standards of court reporting. The court reporting education program and certification process both take an average of 33 months. Those studying to become court reporters, from students to interns, should be prepared to spend as many as 15 hours per week transcribing the spoken word in order to develop their skills proper. The minimum speed required to become officially certified by the NCRA is 225 words per minute.
What Is The Technology?
Modern digital technology has made accurate recording and information storage an easier task. As such, court reporters rely on a combination of hard skill and modern technology to do their jobs to the best of their ability. A stenographic court reporter will use a stenotype machine to record shorthands of the spoken word, as fast as 225 words per minute on average. The year 2012 saw over 21,000 court reporters working full-time in the country.
How Do I Get Started?
If you want to pursue a career in the field of national court reporting, you need to figure out which program you want to enter into. While the certification program may differ from state to state, the ability to capture 225 testimony words per minute in addition to requirements for court reports, such as transcribing 200 jury charge words per minute, is generally the standard. The employment of court reporters is projected by industry professionals to grow a stunning 10% between 2012 and 2022. While some court reporters work outside of the court, others are established at court reporting firms. With figures like this, the time has never been better to pursue a career in court reporting.