Are you trying to decide what to do with your life? Have you considered becoming a court reporter. In the United States there are about 20,000 stenographers who are represented by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). You may think that the only place they work is in the courtroom but nearly 70% of all court reporters, and there are over 50,000 of them throughout the country, work in places other than in courthouses. Court reporter duties are to record accurately what is being said in depositions, court cases and other instances where interviews and testimony needs to be recorded exactly as it was said.
The job of a court reporter can be very interesting. Every day offers new challenges and the experience is often something new every day. If you work for a court reporter service, you are not required to take any job that you do not want to take or to work when you do not want to. This can be great for people who prefer to have more control over their lives and who enjoy the court reporter duties. If you are interested in becoming a court reporter for hire, there are some things you should take into consideration.
Decide if you have the skills you need to become a court reporter. It is a good idea to be interested in the law. The second thing you will need is perfect grammar and punctuation. If you are not interested in this, being a court reporter is probably not for you. You also need to speak perfect American English. At the end of the day, if a court reporter does not understand what is being said or cannot transcribe what is being said exactly, there can be major consequences for all of the parties later on. You need enough confidence to speak in front of other people. The last thing, that is one of the most important, is that you need to be great at typing. When they use a stenotype machine, court reporters can type up to 225 words each minute. Court reporters have to have a long attention span and be able to pay close attention to what is going on. If your mind tends to wander, this may not be the best career path for you.
Learn about what the day to day lives of court reporters. Learn about the court reporter duties. Some court reporters spend their days in courtrooms. When they are in court, they provide the official transcript of all of the proceedings. Often, court reporters who work for the different court reporting agencies do a number of things, in different settings. Here are some of the court reporter duties:
- Go toandnbsp;hearings, depositions and any other activities where written transcripts are going to be needed.
- Transcribe spoken dialogue from recording devices.
- Ask people to repeat themselves when they were not clear and read back testimony and other statements as needed.
- Prepare and edit transcripts that will serve as the official record of legal and other proceedings.
- Provide closed captioning services for television shows and movies.Attend meetings, speeches, legal proceedings and other activities and provide transcripts of everything.
- Handle real time translation for certain public events and classes.andnbsp;
Learn about the education that is required to become a court reporter. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs for the training of new court reporters. There are different programs that you can choose from if you are interested in becoming a court reporter. Some grant students a certificate when they have completed the program. Others award students with an associate’s degree in court reporting. Both the associate’s degree or the court reporting certificate make people eligible for entry level positions in this exciting field. Both of these programs are also very good to prepare people for the exams they will need to pass to get their court reporting licenses.
Once you have completed a court reporting program, you need to check with your state to find what their licensing requirements are. You can also check with associations, such as the NCRA, to find what your next steps are.
If you can manage the court reporter duties, this can be a great career.