The court reporting industry currently faces a shortage of court reporters. Some of the factors contributing to this shortage cannot be controlled, but others can be addressed and remedied. For instance, we at Connor Reporting can’t change the fact that the average age of a court reporter is on the rise. We can, however, increase our efforts to educate young prospects and raise awareness about the many advantages of pursuing a career in court reporting.
From flexible education requirements to attractive job prospects, and from high earning potential to various travel opportunities, court reporting presents an exciting, lucrative career option for young professionals. As such, Connor Reporting wants to help prospective court reporters break into the industry. In this blog post, we’ll outline how to become a certified court reporter in Indiana.
A court reporter types a real time transcription of everything that happens in a court of law. He or she will typically use a stenotype or voice writing equipment to record everything that the judge, jurors, clerk, bailiff, plaintiff, defendant, attorneys and witnesses say, as they are saying it. It’s worth noting, however, that this career is not limited to the courtroom. A variety of industries are in need of court reporting services, and young professionals have the opportunity to create freelance careers in diverse fields.
The requirements for becoming a court reporter differ in most states. In Indiana, there are no legislatively mandated licensing procedures. However, since court reporting demands a specific skill set, the industry has established unofficial requirements. For example, prospective court reporters must type quickly and accurately (225 wpm), possess basic language interpretation and translation skills and have a working understanding of court processes and procedures.
It is preferred that prospective court reporters receive a 2-4 year degree from an institution approved by the NCRA, such as the College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Indiana. To learn more about the College of Court Reporting’s one-of-a-kind approach to education and evaluation, check out Connor Reporting’s profile of the institution.
Although a college degree is not required, possessing one proves advantageous for prospective court reporters. An education in court reporting emphasizes legal terminology and court procedures, English grammar, business law and medical vocabulary, providing students with both the necessary understanding of court processes and valuable experience.
In general, the educational requirements to become a court reporter are far more flexible than those of many other professions. Most court reporting schools offer two-year certification programs that are less financially demanding than four-year college degree programs. Many schools also offer convenient online programs, making a court reporting education even more accessible. Plus, given the current state of the industry, court reporting college graduates enjoy incredible job prospects.
The path to becoming a successful court reporter doesn’t end after college. Court reporters must complete continued education courses to receive and maintain certification from esteemed national agencies, such as the NCRA, the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). Achieving these certifications both increases a court reporter’s earning potential and ensures future job opportunities should the reporter decide to move to a different state.
Considering the current demand for court reporters, there’s no better time than the present to pick up the stenograph and pursue a career in court reporting. Ready to make the leap? Connor Reporting is always looking for a few good hands. Whether you’re a tenured professional or an ambitious beginner interested in working for an established firm with a sterling reputation, contact us today.