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The Pros and Cons of Court Reporting Jobs

Court reporting jobs can be challenging and rewarding, but they don't come without their drawbacks. Are they for you? Well, take a look at the pros and cons.


Picking a career is never easy, and that’s because there are literally so many options out there, narrowing down to just a few, or one career that you want to work for the rest of your life is really hard.  That’s why it’s important to realize both the positives and negatives that you can always expect from a career before you choose to take one on.  Take court reporting jobs, there are plenty of positives about taking on the position.  But there are also plenty of negatives when it comes to finding the career, so it’s important that you know what you’re in for, before you step into the court room.

First up the pros, and what you can expect to gain by finding court reporting careers.

1) Great careers options as this is an in demand career.

Court reporters are always needed because they are actually required for most legal proceedings.  That means any community with a courthouse that hears regular cases is going to need to have one on staff, or on call, and that could be you.  Plus figures show that the demand is only going up, so you can be sure that you’re always going to have career options when it comes to a career of this type.

2) Good starting salary.

Another thing that you’re going to find, is that once you are ready for employment, you can expect a pretty decent starting court reporter salary.  Most typically they fall around the $40,000 to even $50,000 type of range, so you can be sure that you’re able to pay the bills.  Not all careers can say that especially for starting out, so they are assuredly great options when you’re looking to begin a new career path.  What’s more, there’s always room to have that go up depending upon the different jobs that you’re actually able to find.

3) Not too stringent educational requirements.

Another thing that you’re going to find, is that unlike most careers in the legal field, there is also not too restrictive educational expectations.  In fact, here knowing legal things about the justice system really isn’t that important, as you’re more required to keep a record of events.  Instead, it’s more important to have an understanding of grammar and the English language, so there is plenty of opportunity to find simple four year degrees that can really pay off in the end.

But of course, you wouldn’t know the positives are pros without the cons to tell you so, and here are some of the most common negatives that you’re going to encounter:

1) Long and difficult training process.

You have to learn a whole new system of typing as a court reporter, so there is a pretty long and difficult training process.  This is because they at times have to keep up with extremely fast speech, without getting lost. That means that you have to know the system for abbreviating on the special type of typewriter that court reporters use.  This way, you can abbreviate words to allow for you to be able to type at around at least 225 words per minute, to keep up with any running dialogue.

2) Not a lot of room for advancement.

While you can start out at a great salary, you can also expect to stay there for some time as there isn’t really an advancing legal structure for court reporters.  What you’re going to find is that you’re basically just a secretary, but that’s utilized with special typing skills inside the courtroom.  That means this isn’t the type of gateway job that can lead to becoming a lawyer or a judge like some other career paths may be able to provide.

3) Difficult certification process.

If you want to become eligible for court reporting careers you have to get state certification, and there are a few different types of certifications that you can achieve.  Whether you’re looking for a job as a Certified Real-time Reporter, Certified Broadcast Captioner, Registered Professional Reporter or Certified Legal Video Specialist, you’re going to find that there’s a rigorous test required for each.  This is intended to make sure that you’re really ready for the job, and ready to be hired, and that means a difficult test that captures some of the hardest points of the job on the whole.

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