There is an increased level of excitement throughout the court reporting industry this week, for this week, February 14-20, has officially been designated by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) as the 2016 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Court Reporters, vendors, and state/national association leaders are all going the extra mile to celebrate their profession. From attending career fairs to securing proclamations from government representatives marking the week official, the court reporting community is taking to the trenches to raise awareness and voice their opinions as to the benefits of working in the industry.
It has been predicted that the court reporting industry will steadily grow to a point where there are not enough reporters around to fill the number of job opportunities available; National Court Reporting and Captioning Week is creating a buzz about the industry which will, in hopes, prevent that by driving interest to the profession.
LiveDeposition has been working with court reporters for the past five years. One question I always like to ask reporters is what they feel are the benefits of being a court reporter. Here are some of the answers I have received:
- Flexibility to work and play. If you are looking for a career that is flexible in terms of how you spend your time, court reporting is for you. Freelance court reporters have the ability to set their own schedule and adapt it to meet their needs. It provides for a true work/life balance.
- It pays off. The average annual wage for an official court reporter is around $55,000; for freelance court reporters the average is between $70,000-$80,000. This amount varies depending on the number of jobs you make yourself available for, your experience, and your skill level. There are many court reporters who make six figures, it all depends where you live. Reporters working in New York or Los Angeles make a significant amount more than reporters that work in Alabama or Maryland.
- Job security. The court reporting industry is projected for significant growth over the next 10 years and according to NCRA they are predicting a shortage of court reporters by 2018 due to retirement. There is a large demand for qualified reporters, and that number is only going to increase. If you work hard and keep your skills fresh there will always be work for you.
- A different adventure each day. Each day brings on a new adventure, new people, and new stories. On Monday you might have a job in a downtown high rise, Tuesday you might be at a doctor’s office, and Thursday you might be in the back of a sausage packing plant sitting on an overturned bucket for a chair. There is never a dull day in the life of a court reporter.
- Earn a degree in as little as two years. A degree/certificate in court reporting is one of the best degrees you can earn in as little as two years. There are many options out there for your education. You can choose from online courses, traditional learning at a designated facility or choose to do both.
- Opportunities abound. There are opportunities for skilled court reporters all around the world. The world is your oyster and there is always a need for accurate record keeping. In addition to deposition and legal proceedings, knowing stenography will open the doors to a variety of jobs. Court reporters have been seen at governmental proceedings, press conferences, sporting events, corporate meetings and even in university classrooms.
Ask one hundred court reporters how they feel about their career choice and almost every one of them will tell you they absolutely made the right decision. Albeit a profession that is highly stressful, the good outweighs the bad and the benefits of being a court reporter are outstanding. If you are interested in a career in court reporting don’t let anything hold you back. Find out how to get started by visiting the NCRA’s Take Note website: www.crtakenote.com