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Stenotype Jobs for Court Reports

Court reporters may be employed by court agencies to provide transcription in court, but may also work on their own account or for court reporting agencies, either as employees or as freelancers. In a courtroom environment they may make suggestions regarding proper procedure, do research for items in the official record and assist in other ways. Many court reporters work outside the courtroom in depositions and other situations that require an official legal transcript, such as arbitration hearings or other formal proceedings. Court reporters also often provide real-time transcription for public events, religious services, web-casts, and educational services.

Former court reporters and graduates of court reporting schools are employed by television producers and stations in order to provide real-time closed captioning of live programs for the hearing-impaired. Court reporters can command earnings which rival those of the attorneys whose speech they transcribe. They also receive personal gratification for the work they do with the hearing-impaired.

Court reporters had median annual earnings of $41,550 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,770 and $55,360. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $23,120, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $73,440. Median annual earnings in 2002 were $40,720 for court reporters working in local government.

Both compensation and compensation methods for court reporters vary with the type of reporting job, the experience of the individual reporter, the level of certification achieved, and the region of the country the reporter works in. Official court reporters earn a salary and a per-page fee for transcripts. Many salaried court reporters supplement their income by doing additional freelance work. Freelance court reporters are paid per job and receive a per-page fee for transcripts. Communication access real-time translation providers are paid hourly. Steno-captioners receive a salary and benefits if they work as employees of a captioning company; steno-captioners working as independent contractors are paid hourly.

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