In five years there are going to be 5,500 job openings for court reporters and captioners. Why? The average age of a court reporter in the USA is 55. I have written in past blogs about people asking me if I believe there is a future in court reporting. Speaking from all of my years of experience and paying attention to the court reporting industry, I promise that there is great opportunity for anyone that wants to go to court reporting school.
Working as a Stenographer
Stenographer jobs are highly skilled positions that require extensive training in shorthand, as well as the use of the stenotype machine and related technology. Individuals in court reporter programs therefore spend a great deal of time working on achieving both speed and accuracy in stenography.
In addition to stenography skills, court reporters must have an excellent grasp of the English language and of grammar, punctuation and spelling, and they must understand a large number of both legal and, sometimes, medical terms, particularly when working inside a courtroom. Stenographers often work in very fast-paced environments, and their work is held to very high standards.
Stenographer jobs may be found inside courtrooms, where these professionals are called upon to record everything from depositions to trials. Outside of the courtroom, stenographers work for private business, where there work is often used for important meetings and events. One of the most quickly expanding areas of stenography is in closed captioning services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Stenographers in this area may provide closed captioning services for both live and recorded television programs, as well as for live events, such as speeches, religious services, and civic events.
Stenographers may be employed by the court system, by court reporting companies, or they may work on a freelance basis. This career, which calls for a secondary educational program in court reporting and often state licensure and/or professional certification, can be a lucrative and rewarding one, particularly for individuals with extensive credentials.