Court Reporting (Continuing Education)
This is a continuing education zero credit hour program.
Note: Criminal history may disqualify individuals from employment opportunities or restrict the issuance of occupational licenses.
CRTR-1008. Real Time Court Reporting I. (0 Credits)
Devlopment of computer and machine shorthand skills necessary for writing realtime for production of projects and assignments.
CRTR-1010. Real Time Court Reporting II. (0 Credits)
Continued development of computer and machine shorthand skills necessary for writing realtime for production of projects and assignments.
CRTR-2013. Court Reporting Technology II. (0 Credits)
Instruction in the operation, maintenance, and assembly of a computer-aided transcription system, including the computer functions necessary for transcript production.
CRTR-2031. Court Reporting Certification Preparati. (0 Credits)
Preparation for taking the Texas Certified Shorthand Reporter and the Registered Professional Reporter examinations through the use of mock examinations. This course is deigned to be repeated.
CRTR-2041. Court Reporting Technology III. (0 Credits)
Continued instruction in the operation of computer-aided transcription system(s) including dictionary building and transcription projections.
Court reporters create word-for-word transcriptions at trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings.
Court reporters typically do the following:
- Attend depositions, hearings, proceedings, and other events that require written transcripts
- Capture spoken dialogue with specialized equipment, including stenography machines, video and audio recording devices, and covered microphones
- Report speakers’ identification, gestures, and actions
- Read or play back all or a portion of the proceedings upon request from the judge
- Ask speakers to clarify inaudible or unclear statements or testimony
- Review the notes they have taken, including the names of speakers and any technical terminology
- Provide copies of transcripts and recordings to the courts, counsels, and parties involved
- Transcribe television or movie dialogue to help deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers
- Provide real-time translation in classes and other public forums for the deaf or hard-of-hearing population
Court reporters create word-for-word transcripts of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, or other events.
Court reporters play a critical role in legal proceedings, which require an exact record of what was said. They are responsible for producing a complete, accurate, and secure legal transcript of courtroom proceedings, witnesses’ testimonies, and depositions.
Court reporters in the legal setting also help judges and lawyers by capturing, organizing, and producing the official record of the proceedings. The official record allows users to efficiently search for important information contained in the transcript. Court reporters also index and catalog exhibits used during court proceedings.
Some court reporters, however, do not work in the legal setting or in courtrooms. These reporters primarily serve people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by transcribing speech to text as the speech occurs.
The following are examples of types of court reporters who do not work in a legal setting:
Broadcast captioners are court reporters who provide captions for television programs (called closed captions). These reporters transcribe dialogue onto television monitors to help deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers or others viewing television programs in public places. Some broadcast captioners may translate dialogue in real time during broadcasts; others may caption during the postproduction of a program.
Communication access real-time translation (CART) providers are court reporters who work primarily with deaf or hard-of-hearing people in a variety of settings. They assist clients during board meetings, doctors’ appointments, and any other events in which real-time translation is needed. For example, CART providers may caption the dialogue of high school and college classes and provide an immediate transcript to students with hearing problems or who are learning English as a second language.
Although some court reporters may accompany their clients to events, many broadcast captioners and CART providers work remotely. An Internet or phone connection allows them to hear and type without having to be in the room.
Court reporters who work with deaf or hard-of-hearing people turn speech into text. For information on workers who help deaf or hard-of-hearing people through sign language, cued speech, or other spoken or gestural means, see the profile on interpreters and translators.
Court reporters may use different methods for recording speech, such as stenotype machine recording, steno mask recording, and electronic recording.
Court reporters use stenotype machines to record dialogue as it is spoken. Stenotype machines work like keyboards, but create words through key combinations rather than single characters, allowing court reporters to keep up with fast-moving dialogue.
Key combinations entered on a stenotype machine are recorded in a computer program. The program uses computer-assisted transcription to translate the key combinations into the words and phrases they represent, creating real-time, readable text. The court reporter then reviews the text for accuracy and corrects spelling and grammatical errors.
Court reporters also may use steno masks to transcribe speech. Court reporters who use steno masks speak directly into a covered microphone, recording dialogue and reporting gestures and actions. Because the microphone is covered, others cannot hear what the reporter is saying. The recording is sometimes converted by computerized voice-recognition software into a transcript that the court reporter reviews for accuracy, spelling, and grammar.
For both stenotype machine recording and steno mask recording, court reporters must create, maintain, and continuously update an online dictionary that the computer software uses to transcribe the key presses or voice recordings into text. For example, court reporters may put in the names of people involved in a court case, or the specific words or technical jargon typically used in that type of legal proceeding.
Court reporters also may use digital recorders in their job. Digital recording creates an audio or video record rather than a written transcript. Court reporters who use digital recorders operate and monitor the recording equipment. They also take notes to identify the speakers and provide context for the recording. In some cases, court reporters use the audio recording to create a written transcript.
- Court Repor
- 2018 Median Pay: $60,130 per year, $28.91 per hour
- Typical Entry-Level Education: Postsecondary non-degree award
- Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
- On-the-job Training: Short-term on-the-job training
- Number of Jobs, 2018: 15,700
- Job Outlook, 2018-28: 7% (Faster than average)
- Employment Change, 2018-28: 1,100
Most court reporters work in courts or legislatures. However, some work from either their home or a central office providing broadcast captioning for television stations or for hard-of-hearing individuals.
Many community colleges and technical institutes offer postsecondary certificate programs for court reporters. Court reporters typically receive a few weeks of on-the-job training. Many states require court reporters who work in legal settings to have a state license or a certification from a professional association.
The median annual wage for court reporters was $60,130 in May 2019.
Employment of court reporters is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Those with experience and training in techniques for helping deaf or hard-of-hearing people, such as real-time captioning and communication access real-time translation (CART), will have the best job prospects.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for court reporters.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of court reporters with similar occupations.
Learn more about court reporters by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Court Reporters,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm (visited April 22, 2020).
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