Do you see a career as a court reporter in the future?
Court reporters are professionals who are highly trained to draft various types of legal transcriptions from trials, depositions, and court hearings.
There are many positive aspects of being a court reporter.
However, before you take the leap, it’s also critical that you consider some of the downsides as well.
By doing so, you will have a better idea of what to expect.
This can help you decide whether court reporting is the perfect match for you.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Court Reporter
- 2 Cons of Being a Court Reporter
- 3 Should you Become a Court Reporter?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Being a Court Reporter – Summary Table
Pros of Being a Court Reporter
Here is a list of several reasons why you may want to consider becoming a court reporter:
1. Great Salary
A career as a court reporter offers a nice salary.
The national average salary for a court reporter is $61,660 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This salary may vary depending on various factors such as experience, employer, certifications, qualifications, and location.
Additionally, as you earn more experience working as a court reporter, you will open the door to a higher-paying salary.
You may also consider using your experience as a way to seek a higher-paying salary or obtain a raise from your employer.
2. Good Future Job Outlook
By choosing to become a court reporter, you will feel confident knowing that the job outlook is positive.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected job growth projection for court reporters is expected to increase by 3% between the years 2020 and 2030.
This is also equivalent to 2,100 new job opportunities per year.
So, if you’re considering becoming a court reporter, you can rely on a high level of job security.
3. Few Academic Requirements
One of the biggest perks of being a court reporter is that you don’t need to have substantial academic requirements.
You can easily receive the certification and education you need from various local community colleges.
Fortunately, these credentials are the bare minimum required to get you hired as an entry-level court reporter.
Furthermore, depending on the state in which you reside, you may need a state license or a professional association certificate.
The good news is that you won’t need a bachelor’s or graduate degree to become a court reporter.
4. Many Opportunities to Freelance
As a court reporter, you will have the ability to pursue various freelance court reporting opportunities.
As a freelance court reporter, you are in control of creating your own schedule.
This provides you with a lot of flexibility.
Court reporters are in high demand throughout the country.
So, if you find that your state requires you to meet certain requirements, you can transfer these same skills to pursue work as a freelancer.
Additionally, you may find that your earning potential is much higher as a freelance court reporter.
5. Expand Your Skills
Another perk you can enjoy as a court reporter is the ability to expand your skill set.
The skills that you develop can be transferred if you decide to look for a new job in the future.
Some of the most notable skills you may develop throughout your career as a court reporter include:
- Time management
- Attention to detail
6. Job Gratification
Job satisfaction is extremely important in any career that you choose.
Being well-compensated plays a huge role in job satisfaction.
It’s also important that you feel confident knowing that your work is positively impacting society.
As a court reporter, you will receive job gratification.
The services that court reporters provide are beneficial.
The work they perform must be concise and accurate.
7. The Work is Fascinating
Another reason to consider becoming a court reporter is because the work is very interesting.
During your work, you will be transcribing legal proceedings.
You will never get bored with the work you perform because you will always be presented with different situations.
As you are listening to various criminal matters and disputes, you will learn a lot about the law in the process.
8. Opportunity to Advance
Another benefit of working as a court reporter is that you will have plenty of opportunities to advance in your career.
Once you’ve gained enough experience as a court reporter, you will have the chance to transition to higher-paying, higher-level positions within the court and judicial systems.
If you choose not to remain in the criminal justice industry, you can still utilize your skills and move on to a different line of work.
Cons of Being a Court Reporter
Now that we’ve listed all the pros of being a court reporter, here is a list of cons to help you carefully make the right choice.
1. Stressful Work
Court reporting, for the most part, is predictable.
However, the job itself can produce a lot of unwanted stress.
Unfortunately, this is a part of the job, mainly due to the tight deadlines that reporters have to meet on a daily basis.
Additionally, court reporters have to multitask throughout the day, which can be exhausting.
However, you can use your time wisely during your breaks to do something enjoyable, such as reading a book or watching something funny, to help relax you.
2. Hours are Long
You may find that your hours and schedule are, for the most part, flexible as a court reporter.
But there will be days when you must work long hours.
For example, you may be scheduled to attend a court deposition that starts early in the morning.
You may also have to work late at night if your schedule calls for it.
Many times, proceedings can linger for a few hours, which means you have to sit for the entire duration.
3. Expectations are High
In order to be successful as a court reporter, it is important that you provide accurate work.
If you want to maintain your reputation in your field of work, you must ensure that you are reliable.
Submitting work that is 100% accurate all the time can be challenging, even for experienced court reporters.
The best way to improve your skills is to practice during your free time.
You can do this by taking online courses.
4. Sitting Down All Day
The work environment as a court reporter is sedentary.
Most of your day is spent sitting down, looking at a computer, and typing.
You will be performing these duties for long periods of time throughout your day.
This can cause issues with your health in the long run.
The best solution for this is to try and include exercise during the time you are not at work.
5. Certification is Required
Court reporting requires certification.
You may even need additional requirements, depending on the state you are in.
You must pass an exam before you are officially able to work as a court reporter in your state.
This could be problematic for those looking for a career that doesn’t require you to pass an exam or meet additional requirements.
6. Work is Redundant
While you may get a lot of cases that are different in nature, you will still be performing the same type of work.
Your transcription work will be very similar, if not the same, in many of the cases you take on.
With this being said, the nature of the work you do can quickly result in burnout as your routine remains the same every day.
7. Physical Strain
As mentioned earlier, you will be required to work long hours as a court reporter.
As a result, you will be putting yourself at a high risk of physical strain.
For example, working long hours and transcribing difficult cases can lead to various repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel.
Furthermore, extended use of voice recognition devices and stenotype devices can cause chronic pain.
Should you Become a Court Reporter?
If you consider yourself disciplined and are naturally talented at typing, a career as a court reporter may be a perfect match.
Court reporters must also enjoy listening to various criminal cases on a daily basis.
Besides the good, being a court reporter also comes with a lot of stress.
You will have to work long hours, and many times it may come unexpectedly.
Weekends may be a part of your work schedule as well.
However, if you can get past these challenges and accustom yourself to them, a job as a court reporter can be extremely rewarding.
Pros and Cons of Being a Court Reporter – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Court Reporter||Cons of Being a Court Reporter|
|Great Salary||Stressful Work|
|Good Future Job Outlook||Hours are Long|
|Few Academic Requirements||Expectations are High|
|Many Opportunities to Freelance||Sitting Down All Day|
|Expand Your Skills||Certification is Required|
|Job Gratification||Work is Redundant|
|The Work is Fascinating||Physical Strain|
|Opportunity to Advance|