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How long did it take to get the experience needed for being a Court Reporter?

Hi! I'm going into the Office Administration program at Job Corps in Tongue Point, and my ultimate career goal for the program is to get in either as a general administrative assistant or get a foot in the door for court reporting. I'm already able to type 50 words per minute with minimal errors (few to none, honestly) and was wondering what else I would need experience in or certificates in for getting into the job. Note: I am not immediately planning to jump off into this career, and am welcome and open to receiving suggestions of other jobs that could relate and help with experience for this career later on. office-administration court-reporter Office administration career

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Rachel’s Answer

Hi Alexis,

This is a message from my mom who has been a court reporter for the past 40 years...

1) The best bet is to focus on English and grammar right away. Talk with English teachers to focus on words and language.
2) Hone your research skills. Being a court reporter is all about researching a new field in a quick timespan. Like if the case is about a dentist, I dive into the vocabulary of dentistry so I can quickly type their transcript.
3) Read newspapers to start making sense of current events.
4) Learning roots of words. Anything word etymology will be important because typing is phonetic for court reporters. It's a theory that has to be picked up for shorthand.
5) And extra credit would be to start familiarizing yourself with court room lingo and a small grasp of the law (but you'd get that more in court reporting school...)

And lastly, the average speed for court reporters is 100-120 word per minute but most are much higher. (I type 225 wpm). But it's not just about typing, it's about typing while listening to multiple voices at a time. And the device used is a stenotype machine. And it has less keys than a computer without any symbols on them.

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Hope that's helpful about the world of court reporting. But obviously these skills can be used for a lot of other administrative or research-based careers. (Although there is a huge demand for court reporters right now and they make a pretty decent amount of money too).

My mom could talk for hours about court reporting so I can always offer more insight if needed..

Good luck!
-Rachel
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Kim’s Answer

Alexis,

The court reporters I've seen "type" on special machines that are much different than typewriters. I think the keys represent sounds, or syllables, I'm not really sure. I just read something that says they enter at the rate of 100 wpm! Anyway, I don't know anything about it, but, I found this link on a Texas careers page that has a lot of other links.
https://texascareercheck.com/OccupationInfo/OccupationSummary/23-2091.00/

And here is a link to the school program here in San Antonio. I just read that there is a shortage of court reporters here, so, this may be a very good field to get into!
https://www.alamo.edu/sac/academics/program-index/public-policy--service/court-reporting/

I would recommend you try to get your administrative position in a law-related business. Research "litigation support services." They differ from law offices, but, provide a lot of services for law firms.

Good luck to you!

Thank you for answering!! I appreciate the links as well as the mention of those who go in typing 100 words per minute, it's certainly something I will be working on while training in order to get my speed up to at least 80-90 at minimum and maybe I can get to 100 wpm as I continue going. Court reporting is not something I plan on going into right out of the gate, so the tip to go into law related businesses and those types of services is very helpful. I appreciate your response to my question! Alexis K.
oops, sorry for the confusion! I meant trained court reporters enter data at 100wpm, using their machines, not that people enter the field typing 100wpm! A lot of office jobs ask for 30-45 wpm. Good admins type 60-80 wpm. To raise your typing speed, try practicing with non-sense words. Seriously. Eyes see letters, punctuation, and spaces, rather than seeing words or sentences. Also suggest listening skills (police dispatcher) and dictation practice. Lots available on line! good luck! Kim Igleheart
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Constance’s Answer

Hi Alexis, I am not a court report; however I believe the process is the same for any position/role that you are interested in. That is being well prepared for a role during the interview process. This could require scheduling meet and greets with court reporters. Getting to know the dynamics of a courtroom. Understanding the requirements of the role so that you can articulate properly in an interview. As far as length of time goes, here are the steps I would follow…
Degree level: An associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate is required for this role. That means you are looking at a minimum of two years before you can even be considered for the role. Furthermore, licenses are not always required but can be required so my recommendation would be to plan on obtaining a license before you begin applying for roles.
Training: short-term on the job training is required; therefore I would recommend looking for courtroom volunteer opportunities, as well as any volunteer opportunities in a courthouse. The more familiar you are with any roles inside a courtroom/courthouse, the better. This also gives you the opportunity to network with judges and clerks of the court. During interview time, this is will be a plus!
Key Skills: active listening; excellent comprehension; concentration (not being easily distracted); better than average time management skills; ability to adapt quickly; detail oriented; typing, writing, & speaking skills; ability to use a stenotype machine and/or recording devices, (Make your skills with these devices are above average)
Networking: Use online networking to help you become more knowledgeable as well as gaining the opportunity to meet and talk with current court reporters.
I would estimate you are looking at a minimum of three years of preparation/work experience for a role as a court reporter. Remember the more you put into your career, the better your outcome will be.
Best of luck Alexis!
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Updated Translate

Constance’s Answer

Hi Alexis, I am not a court report; however I believe the process is the same for any position/role that you are interested in. That is being well prepared for a role during the interview process. This could require scheduling meet and greets with court reporters. Getting to know the dynamics of a courtroom. Understanding the requirements of the role so that you can articulate properly in an interview. As far as length of time goes, here are the steps I would follow…
Degree level: An associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate is required for this role. That means you are looking at a minimum of two years before you can even be considered for the role. Furthermore, licenses are not always required but can be required so my recommendation would be to plan on obtaining a license before you begin applying for roles.
Training: short-term on the job training is required; therefore I would recommend looking for courtroom volunteer opportunities, as well as any volunteer opportunities in a courthouse. The more familiar you are with any roles inside a courtroom/courthouse, the better. This also gives you the opportunity to network with judges and clerks of the court. During interview time, this is will be a plus!
Key Skills: active listening; excellent comprehension; concentration (not being easily distracted); better than average time management skills; ability to adapt quickly; detail oriented; typing, writing, & speaking skills; ability to use a stenotype machine and/or recording devices, (Make your skills with these devices are above average)
Networking: Use online networking to help you become more knowledgeable as well as gaining the opportunity to meet and talk with current court reporters.
I would estimate you are looking at a minimum of three years of preparation/work experience for a role as a court reporter. Remember the more you put into your career, the better your outcome will be.
Best of luck Alexis!
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