The Job Future for the Court Reporter
There has been some differing viewpoints as to future job prospects for court reporters or steno typists. Some have said that since government spending is at an all time low considering budget cuts and all, that job openings for court reporters will be scarce. Others have claimed that tape recordings will replace the job of the court reporter.
However, there have been some career studies conducted that claim that the demand for court reporters will rise with a greater increase than other job fields. The theory behind this is related to the increase in civil and criminal cases whereby court reporters are needed to accurately and quickly transfer the spoken word into written text. Many expect court reporter job openings to outnumber job seekers.
Another reason is due to the new legislature requiring television and other forms of media to provide close captioning to the deaf and hearing impaired. In addition to this, foreign speaking college students along with deaf and hearing impaired college students attending class now have the right to have their training transcribed for them with the use of steno typists.
Will Automation Take Over?
As far as tape recorders replacing court reporters, there have been some disasters reported among attempts to replace court reporters with tape recorders. Among these have been failed equipment that was not recognized until after the proceedings have concluded. In addition, tape recorders have the tendency to pick up more than just speech sounds. They also pick up a great deal of other sounds and clutter. These have made the recordings difficult, if not impossible to hear and transcribe. Studies have shown that the best method of accurately reporting a court proceeding or other event is through the use of a court reporter.
Court Reporter – More Than One Road
An efficient court reporter can find work in many avenues, such as courtrooms, depositions, business meetings, training seminars, religious services and television stations. The average salary of a good court reporter varies between $33,000 and $70,000 per year. A court reporter’s salary will increase significantly after the first 5 years of proving himself in the areas of speed and accuracy. Usually with time, the court reporter may obtain further certifications, which will also add to his value as an employee and consequently increase his salary.
Potential Court Reporter Benefits
Most employers offer benefits that include a retirement package and medical insurance. Government benefit packages are often considered the best and these are usually included with employment as a court reporter for US District Courts.
One such District Court offers the following benefits: 13 days of paid leave per year plus 10 paid holidays, Health benefits under the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Program (FEHB), Life insurance benefits under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), Flexible Benefits Program, Federal Employees’ Group Long Term Disability Program (FEGLTD), and Long Term Care Insurance through the Federal Judiciary or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Although freelance court reporters enjoy a measure of freedom and independence, they must provide their own health insurance and save for retirement on their own. Check these website’s for additional information: