What Does a Court Reporter Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


A court reporter produces authentic written transcripts of criminal proceedings, for instance, trials, hearings, and legislative meetings. Also referred to as a court stenographer, she or he affords an accurate, phrase-for-phrase, complete record of these activities so that fascinated events like lawyers, judges, plaintiffs, defendants, and the jury, can reference them as needed.

Some individuals who are educated as court reporters don't work in a prison putting. They might also caption live or recorded television pronounces and public activities for folks who are deaf or difficult of hearing. Someone who does this is referred to as a broadcast captioner, caption writer, closed caption editor or, definitely, a captioner.

verbal exchange get admission to actual-time translation (CART) company, also called a actual-time captioner, assists folks that are deaf or tough of listening to by using translating speech into textual content in the course of meetings, doctor's appointments, and instructions. They from time to time accompany their clients, but more frequently they paintings remotely via the Internet or smartphone.

Court Reporter Duties & Responsibilities

This process calls for candidates that allows you to perform obligations that consist of the subsequent:

  • Attend hearings, depositions, lawsuits, and different varieties of events that need a written transcript
  • In addition to spoken phrases, they have to document the speaker's identity, actions, and gestures
  • Use specialised stenography machines, microphones, recording gadgets, audio, and video gadget
  • Play lower back or examine returned any a part of the proceedings at the choose's request
  • Ask audio system for explanation on any unclear or inaudible testimony or statements
  • Provide the courts, prison counsels, and worried parties with copies in their transcriptions
  • Transcribe the speak of films or television programs for deaf or tough-of-listening to individuals

Many court docket reporter paintings in a court, but no longer all do. Some court docket newshounds work for broadcasting corporations to offer the closed captions for television packages. Others may fit as Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) vendors to transcribe enterprise conferences or excessive faculty or college lessons and offer a replica to deaf or difficult-of-hearing individuals at the give up of the consultation or occasion.

Court Reporter Salary

  • Median Annual Salary: $fifty five,one hundred twenty ($26.50/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $one hundred,270 ($forty eight.21/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $26,a hundred and sixty ($12.fifty eight/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017

Education, Training, Licensing, and Certification

Court reporter jobs typically require as a minimum two years of university-degree education, and some states may also require a professional license:

  • Education: To train to grow to be a court docket reporter, take lessons at a network college or technical faculty. Depending at the application, you could earn either an partner degree or post-secondary certificates upon final touch.
  • License: Some states require a expert license to paintings on this subject. To get one, you'll need to skip a written exam. Your training software will typically put together you for this test. To discover what the licensing requirements are within the state in which you need to paintings, visit the Licensed Occupations Tool on CareerOneStop.
  • Certification: Various expert institutions offer voluntary certification. While this credential is not required, it is able to make you a extra perfect task candidate.

Court Reporter Skills & Competencies

In addition to formal training and licensing necessities, to be a successful court reporter, you need unique gentle abilties. These are personal characteristics with which you are both born or accumulate via lifestyles enjoy.

  • Listening Skills: To record what transpires throughout complaints, you have to be able to apprehend everything you pay attention.
  • Writing Skills: Court reporters ought to be excellent writers; you'll want to have extensive understanding of grammar and an incredible vocabulary.
  • Reading Comprehension: You have to be capable of understand written files
  • Concentration: It is critical to preserve awareness for lengthy stretches of time.
  • Attention to Detail: Accuracy is important; missing anything can be damaging.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for court docket reporters over the following decade relative to different occupations and industries is lower than the common for all occupations, driven via tightening budgets and growing use of era.

Employment is anticipated to grow by way of about three percent over the subsequent ten years, that's lower the average increase projected for all occupations among 2016 and 2026. Growth for different legal aid worker jobs is projected to be eleven percentage over the following ten years.

These growth charges compare to the projected 7 percentage boom for all occupations. Individuals that graduate from court reporting packages, or have training and enjoy in actual-time captioning and CART may have greater opportunities for employment. 

Work Environment 

Slightly multiple-1/3 of courtroom newshounds paintings in courtrooms, at the same time as another 30 percentage paintings in commercial enterprise help offerings roles. Some court docket journalists paintings on a contract basis as wished. The velocity and accuracy necessities, along side the time-sensitive nature of the work, may additionally reason a diploma of strain in this job.

Work Schedule 

Court newshounds commonly work a 40-hour agenda if they work in a court docket environment. Freelance court docket reporters can also set their personal schedules.

How to Get the Job


You can search for open courtroom reporter positions via on line activity seek sites, inclusive of Indeed.com, Monster.com, or Glassdoor.com. You can also discover and follow to court docket reporter jobs immediately through the courthouse or via specialised activity-seek sites that cater to the felony industry. The profession center of your court docket reporter college might also have job postings.


You can contact the profession center at your court docket reporter college and paintings with them to discover internship opportunities.

Comparing Similar Jobs 

Individuals inquisitive about turning into a court docket reporter can also be interested in the subsequent similar positions, indexed right here with their annual salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017