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Court Reporter course

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Overview

Court reporters are an important part of the legal process; they create a verbatim record of depositions and court proceedings that can be used to display discrepancies in the appeals process. Due to its relatively high median salary and a flexible schedule, court reporting made the list of the best jobs that do not require a four-year degree by CareerCast, a careers website.

Court reporters transcribe legal proceedings using two formats: stenography and voice writing. In an online court reporting associate degree program, course work tends to focus on stenography, the process of writing in shorthand. A specialized stenotype machine, which uses a keyboard to create words through key combinations rather than single characters, is used to transcribe legal proceedings. Court reporters must be extremely detail oriented and have good grammar skills. Court reporters are also very fast typists. Some can type more than 300 words per minute, according to the National Court Reporters Association.

Course Work

Example courses
Legal dictation and transcription
Machine shorthand
Court reporting procedures
Keyboarding applications
Vocabulary development
Medical terminology
Law and legal terminology

Core course work in an online court reporting associate degree program includes machine shorthand, punctuation and usage, legal terminology, reporting communications, medical terminology, keyboarding and legal dictation and transcription. Students can complete elective courses in voice writing classes such as voice theory and voice writing technology.

An online court reporting associate degree cannot be completed entirely online as students must complete an internship with a court reporter.

Many states require court reporters to obtain a license to work in legal settings. About half of all states accept the Registered Professional Reporter certification from the National Court Reporters Association, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To receive the RPR certification, students must pass a written test and a skills test, usually at a pace of at least 225 words per minute with 95 percent accuracy.

Job Outlook

Highest-paying states*
Oregon $65, 000
Colorado $70, 000
Maine $75, 000
California $77, 000
New York $84, 000

*annual mean wage per the BLS

Employment growth for court reporters is about as fast as average, with a projected employment increase of 14 percent by 2020. Many training programs report that nearly all graduates are able to find jobs, according to the BLS.

Most court reporters work for the government or law firms and provide transcriptions of legal proceedings. Others work for television stations and provide closed captioning services.

Court reporters earn a median salary of about $48, 000. The top 10 percent earn more than $91, 000 annually, according to the BLS.

Source: www.usnews.com
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