Influenced by new federal regulations that require the usage of captioning for electronic media, there will always be a demand for court reporters, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Reporters that are profoundly skilled in the digital captioning of spoken information and sound effects are maintaining a competitive edge. In Los Angeles, top court reporters can earn an annual salary in excess of $92,000. Industry experts say the courtroom is not the only place where these specialists work.
“Because of our proximity to Hollywood and the entertainment industry, we also utilize advanced technology to provide transcripts for the Golden Globes, Emmys, Television Critics Association and various press junkets,” said Mason Farmani, CEO and managing partner at Barkley Court Reporters.
Farmani said he has witnessed pivotal developments in this evolving field since 2010.
“For deposition hearings, we have seen an incredible increase in remote attendance,” Farmani said. “Our court reporters provide clients with the type of technology they need, in order for them to hear a witness and mark a transcript without being physically present. Reporters who are developing their technological talents and keeping up are the ones in demand.”
How will a court reporter’s role change by 2022?
“As technology grows, the demand for highly technical and accommodating court reporters will increase. They are the ones who will be requested to travel around the world on high-profile cases with lucrative billings.”
How does one prepare for a career in this vocation?
“I encourage aspiring court reporters to attend an online or in-person school with a court reporting program. Don’t give up. Attend continuing education in various state and national associations. Participate in certification programs and speed contests. Invest in technology and keep equipment and software current.”
What is your message to endeavoring court reporters?
“According to recent data, there are about 32,000 stenographic court reporters currently working nationwide. A decreased enrollment rate of new students, combined with an increase in retirement figures, will create a serious shortfall in the job market by 2018. So this is a perfect time to enroll in a court reporting program and become a highly skilled reporter.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.