Need a Career Change?
How would you like to make good money in a diverse work environment and have a flexible schedule while working in an industry that provides services for the hearing impaired, or in the legal community?
Enjoy a Career as a Stenographer
Stenography is a dynamic, fascinating, and rewarding career.
What is a Stenographer?
A Stenographer is an individual who uses a stenography machine – similar to a typewriter, but has fewer keys, to transcribe audio-to-text.
Stenographers who do court reporting in the legal community are referred to as court reporters and generally work as an employee for the court transcribing legal proceedings in court rooms.
As a self-employed or freelance Court Reporter you may also transcribe depositions or other legal proceedings for attorneys in their offices. In which case, you can sell the transcription pages to the attorney, in addition to being paid for your time.
Stenographers who transcribe for the hearing impaired community using a technology called Communication Access Real-Time Translation, or CART for short, are referred to as captioners. This technology enables “real time” transmission of audio that’s been transcribed by a captioner to text, and then appears on a screen, such as a television or computer screen, where it can easily be read by those who might not have access otherwise. The text scrolling across the bottom of the television screens at the gym where you work out is an example of captioning (text on a screen, displaying audio content).
Captioners who work using CART may work for a reporting firm, own their own reporting firm, or work as an independent contractor and provide their services for the hearing impaired in diverse work environments such as: recreation and entertainment events, churches and classrooms, cultural and civic events, weddings and funerals, or conventions and conferences – anywhere communication access is needed.
Reporting is a career that offers nationwide employment opportunities for court reporters and CART providers, and self-employment opportunities as an independent contractor or by running your own reporting firm.
Stenography licensing requirements vary from state to state. In many states, there is no certification requirement for CART providers. Although, a National Court Reporter’s Association certification is industry standard, making it difficult to compete without one.
However, in many states a Certified Shorthand Reporter certification (CSR) is required for Court Reporters who work in legal settings. Twenty-two states use the NCRA’s certification process. Other states may use a state-approved certification process. In which case, NCRA certification is voluntary, but again, industry standard.
New federal legislation requiring increased captioning for the Internet and other technologies has increased the demand for court reporter services.
The median annual wage for court reporters was $47,700 ($22.93/hr) in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,710, and the top 10 percent earned more than $91,280.* Keep in mind, these statistics do not include self-employed reporters.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics