How to Get a Job with a Court Reporting Agency

Video deposition

A court reporting agency provides court reporting services to courts, law firms, and other agencies all over the country. Court reporters are trained to transcribe conversation as it is happening, which requires a high degree of listening and the ability to get everything in writing without losing track of the conversation.
Over 70% of the over 50,000 court reporters in the U.S. work outside the courtroom.
They are needed in a multitude of different situations. Court reporting agencies work with courts, firms, and agencies that need highly skilled court reporters.

In the United States, there are three different court reporting associations that a professional court reporter may belong to; the National Court Reporters Association, the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, and the National Verbatim Reporters Association. A court reporter must be certified to belong to one of these associations.

There are different certification programs out there. However, most of them require a court reporter to be able to record 225 testimony words per minute. Additionally, a perspective court reporter may be required to transcribe 200 jury charge words per minute and 180 literary words per minute. Finally, the court reporter must be able to do all this with at least 95% accuracy.

The process of becoming a trained and certified court reporter takes roughly 33 months. During this time, the student must practice by transcribing at least 15 hours of spoken word every week. Developing the speed and accuracy needed for certification is a long and challenging process. However, by the time they are done, they are ready to provide an accurate transcription of any conversation.

It has been projected that the need for court reporters is going to increase by at least 10% between 2012 and 2022. This means there will be ample employment opportunities for those looking to get into court reporting. Those interested can look into the different options for court reporting.

For example, many think of court reporters as only stenographic court reporters. However, those trained on a stenotype machine only represent a percentage of all court reporters. A stenotype records shorthand version of what is being spoken in court. Learning to be a stenographic court reporter requires learning shorthand in addition to accurate recording skills.

Trained and certified court reporters can contact a court reporting agency for employment. Working through an agency can provide consistent and ongoing work, and can offer some options in where you work.