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He said, she said. Have you ever noticed how people’s memories get fuzzy from time to time? They tend to remember that which is flattering and deliberately forget that which might be damaging. That’s why court reporters perform such important functions in the judicial system. They make sure that he actually said what he said.
What is a Court Reporter?
A court reporter is an official record keeper in a courtroom. All the testimony, arguments, questions, and decisions get logged into a public record. Whether onto recorded tape or a stenograph machine, the entire dialogue of a court case must be preserved for future reference. In this way, it is much harder for people to deny what they’ve said or lie about things they never said.
Becoming a Court Reporter
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has set up programs to help court reporters receive the training they need. To become a voice writer, you can usually complete your education in less than a year.
However, to become a true stenographer, it usually takes about 3 years (33 months) at most schools. And keep in mind that some states require that you become a notary public before you can legally practice as a court reporter.
Career Outlook for Court Reporters
The career outlook for court reporting is pretty favorable according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This industry is expected to grow about as fast as average for other occupations. In addition, there is increasing pressure for TV stations to include closed captioning for their programs.
Thus, court reporters can have an additional source of income if they offer to provide real time translations. The median salary for court reporters is just above $41,000. However, program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.
Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.