Keeping A Record Of What Is Said In Court: Court Reporting Degree

Do you have a passion for the legal process? Would you like a career where your actions play an important role in the process, but without having to spend years studying to become a lawyer? If so, one of the most efficient ways of making this a reality is through a court reporting degree. It can enable you to work in an environment where you are in the position to hear every detail of court cases and fulfill the very important role of documenting everything. It is a great career path for anyone with an interest in the legal industry, but who also desire an occupation that can give them the freedom to work anywhere in the United States.

Court Reporting Degree Information

Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting

The Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting degree can take between 28 and 44 months to complete depending on the learner. It is an NCRA certified program that is typically available either online or onsite. In addition to general education courses, this type of degree program may also include courses such as Court Reporting Transcript Production, Court Reporting Procedures, Speedbuilding, CSR/RPR Preparation and Courtroom/Court Reporting Practicum.

Court Reporting Degree FAQ

Who is An Ideal Candidate To Study For A Court Reporting Degree?

Since most of your time will be spent on legal proceedings, it is important that you have a genuine interest and passion for the legal industry if you want to become a court reporter. It is also a career path where attention to detail and the ability to concentrate is enormously valuable. Court reporters must also be very reliable as well as punctual when in regards to their work. In addition, it is important for court reporters to maintain confidentiality, especially when working with sensitive information. Neutrality is another vital trait for court reporters, as is good time management and organizational skills. Since the job may also require you to speak up in court to ensure that all the information is captured correctly, it means you need to be assertive. Finally, court reporters should be very proficient in English and have impeccable grammar skills.

Is It Possible To Study For A Court Reporting Degree Online?

In addition to traditional campus based degree programs for court reporting, there are also online courses available. These tend to offer greater flexibility, making them ideally suited for students with other obligations who are unable to complete their education at a brick and mortar institution. Court reporting is most commonly found online as an associate’s degree program. There are also numerous certificate programs available online for court reporting. In addition to a computer and internet connection, students who want to study online for their court reporting degree may also have to invest in additional hardware and software. This includes a computerized steno machine as well as transcription software. When choosing an online degree program look for one that is accredited by the National Court Reporting Associate (NCRA.)

NCRA Certifications

Students in need of a license requirement can also sit for the Registered Professional Reporter Exam. It is not necessary for candidates to be members of NCRA to take the exam, so it can be taken by entry-level or official reporters as well as students. In addition to passing a written knowledge test, students must also pass a number of skills tests in order to gain their NCRA certification.

What Are My Possible Career Options With A Court Reporting Degree?

The most common career path for students with a court reporting degree is to become either full-time court reporters or freelance reporters. However, other careers that can also benefit from this type of degree include scopists, broadcast captioning and communication access real-time translation providers. This means that court reporters tend to work for either law firms, the government or television stations.

What Type Of Duties Might I Have When Employed As A Court Reporter?

When employed as a court reporter your primary responsibility will be creating transcriptions of whatever legal proceedings you are asked to attend. These word-for-word transcriptions can be of trials, but also other legal proceedings, such as administrative hearings and depositions. You will have to be able to use specialized equipment, such as stenography machines and be able to provide the judge with whatever portion of the proceedings he would like to hear again. It would be your job to make sure that all the names and technical terminology you record is correct and if anything that the speakers say are inaudible or unclear to ask them to clarify their statements. After you have created your recording or transcriptions, you may be asked to provide copies to all the parties involved in the proceedings.

Students with a court reporting degree may also work outside the legal industry by providing services such as the transcription of movie or television dialog. This is done to assist viewers who may be hard of hearing or deaf.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Working In This Field?

According to data available from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporters earn a median annual wage of about $51,320. However, this figure can be less than $26,610 for those in the lowest ten percent and more than $95,990 for those in the highest ten percent. One of the things that can impact your potential income as a court reporter is whether you work full time in a court setting or in a freelance capacity. Freelance reporters not only have more control over their work schedules, but can also sell their transcripts in addition to being paid for their time. Unfortunately, the projected employment growth of court reporters is only about three percent until 2016, which is slower than the average for other occupations. This is why a court reporting degree can be very beneficial for anyone interested in this career. Students can also improve their job prospects by being experienced in communication access real-time translation and real-time captioning. Some states also pay more than others, so your location can play a big role in terms of what you can earn.

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