Careers in Court Reporting
A Career That has it All
If you are looking for a profession with immediate employment opportunities, outstanding salary potential, and the chance to be where the news is being made, then look into court reporting at Cerritos College.
Cerritos College Court Reporting Program has prepared students to become court reporters for over thirty years. The Court Reporters Board of California approved our program to train court reporters in July 1974, and the National Court Reporters Association approved our program in January 2000. To enter our program, all you need is a high school diploma and a basic understanding of the English language and grammar. Students progress at their own rate. Few careers can match the excitement of Court Reporting.
As a court reporter you report actual conversations between people - quickly, easily - in court trials, hearings, depositions, meetings and conferences.
In training to be a court reporter, you will learn to use a court reporting machine. Its unique keyboard allows you to write phonetic sounds which are displayed in the English alphabet so they can be easily read and translated by use of a computer into finished transcripts.
Today's court reporting machines integrate with computers and current software technology for fast, efficient translation and editing of notes.
As a court reporter, you can match your career to your lifestyle: work independently or in a structured environment; stay in one location or travel across the country - even the world; work in law, medicine, government, or business. Much of the time can be spent at home preparing transcripts.
Court reporting...the opportunities are endless and the rewards are great.
A Career With Choices
The great thing about a career in court reporting is the freedom and flexibility that it offers. You can just about pick the type of life you want to lead by becoming one of the many types of court reporters.
Official Court Reporter:
Here you are employed full time by the court system; usually assigned to a specific judge and court; are on a fixed salary with full benefits, and receive additional compensation for each transcript produced. Official court reporters also have a predictable daily schedule.
Administrative Hearing Reporter:
Hearing reporters take verbatim recordings of some workers' compensation hearings. The reporters will prepare transcripts when a party requests and pays for them. Other hearings, including human services cases, are tape recorded, from which a private firm prepares written transcripts. Licensing cases are recorded by private court reporters that have been designated by the State.
Freelance Court Reporter:
If you like more flexibility, freelancing might be for you. As a freelancer you work independently of the court; most of your time is spent reporting depositions, which are testimonies obtained by attorneys prior to a trial to use as evidence. You can work as many or as few hours as you wish, and your earnings are commensurate with your production. A majority of your work (preparing transcripts) can be performed at home.
When you link the court reporting machine with a computer-aided transcription (CAT) system, a reporter can provide realtime testimony (instant display of the spoken word) which appears on computer terminal screens located throughout the courtroom. In this way, hearing-impaired participants can read the testimony as it occurs, or judges and attorneys can use it to recap, review, or research.
Television Closed Captionist:
If you want to be where the news is being made, you can participate by reporting live television broadcasts - such as news programs, political debates, and sporting events - to provide on-screen captions for hearing-impaired television viewers.
Preparing medical records for physicians is an important facet of health care. As a member of the medical community, you can add great value by producing medical reports faster and more efficiently through the use of the court reporting machine. Many do their transcription at home.
Rapid Text Entry Specialist:
Working in a business environment, you can use the court reporting machine to input data into computer databases two or three times faster than traditional typing.
If you prefer transcription and editing to court reporting, you can work directly for a court reporter. Using a computer, you will assist in all facets of transcript production.
Court reporting isn't just a job, it's a profession. As a court reporter, you can make a significant contribution to society, while realizing the personal and financial rewards that go with it.
Above-average income, prestige, and the satisfaction of a job well done...it's all yours with a career in court reporting.
Depending on the type of court reporter you become, your income potential is limited only by the time you are willing to invest. From a national survey by the National Court Reporters Association, the mean income for court reporters was $61,950. The potential to earn over $100,000 is a reality.
Court reporters play a major role in the accurate and timely reporting of the events that shape business, law and politics. Judges, attorneys, politicians all need the court reporters to make things happen. When newsworthy events are taking place, the court reporter is usually at center stage.
Whether it be in the courtroom, law office, or at conventions, the court reporter is needed. With a unique set of skills, court reporters are constantly in demand. And you can be a member of this highly respected profession.
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Occupational Handbook 2003