Court reporters are individuals who have a strong interest in the legal system and who are extremely detail oriented. They enjoy organizing and searching for information and they play an integral role in the judicial system. A large part of a court reporter's job is recording spoken testimony that transpires during trial proceedings. This includes recording statements by witnesses and verbal exchanges between lawyers plaintiffs and defendants and judges.
According to the website Courtreportersalarydata.com court reporters are responsible for producing transcripts that are proof read and edited for accuracy. In some cases lawyers hire court reporters to record statements made at pre-trial depositions.
According to the website Crschools.net court reporters employ several different methods for recording legal information but they are usually trained and become experts in only one. Most court reporters use stenotype machines but some use electronic voice recorders and others use a method called voice writing.
According to the website Searchbydegree.com the amount of training for this career depends on the method of reporting to be used. The lengthiest training is for those that will use stenotype machines. Those planning to focus on the voice writing method need about a year to achieve a beginning level but more training to be considered at an advanced level.
Court reporter training must be obtained from a vocational program at a college or technical school that has been certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Overall employment prospects for court reporters are good. More than 50 percent of court reporters work for state and local governments but some work for court reporting agencies and a smaller number are self-employed. Wages for court reporters depend on employer location experience and level of certification. The median salary for those employed full time is approximately $46000.