Court reporters usually create verbatim transcripts of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, and other events. Sometimes written accounts of spoken words are necessary for correspondence, records, or legal proof, and court reporters provide those accounts. They play a critical role not only in judicial proceedings, but also at every meeting where the spoken word must be preserved as a written transcript. They are responsible for ensuring a complete, accurate, and secure legal record. In addition to preparing and protecting the legal record, many court reporters assist judges and trial attorneys in a variety of ways, such as organizing and searching for information in the official record or making suggestions to judges and attorneys regarding courtroom administration and procedure.
Hours: Many official court reporters work a standard 40-hour week, and they often work additional hours at home preparing transcripts.
Opportunities: More than half worked for State and local governments, a reflection of the large number of court reporters working in courts, legislatures, and various agencies.
Pay: Wage and salary court reporters had median annual earnings of $45,610 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,160 and $61,530. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $23,430, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $77,770.
Training: The amount of training required to become a court reporter varies with the type of reporting chosen. It usually takes less than a year to become a novice voice writer, although it takes at least two years to become proficient at realtime voice writing.
Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Court Reporters, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos152.htm (visited July 28, 2009 ).
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