FREELANCE COURT REPORTER CAREER PATH
Freelance court reporting careers are a great choice for detail-oriented, self-motivated people who know they want to be court reporting professionals but also want to drive their own success and work on their terms. Freelance court reporters often work in traditional courtroom settings transcribing legal proceedings, but there are a number of other job opportunities for freelancers.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO WORK AS A FREELANCE COURT REPORTER?
People interested in working as freelance court reporters can typically do so without earning four-year degrees. While some court reporting professionals have completed bachelor-level or even advanced degrees, many prepared for their careers by earning associate degrees or pursuing certifications in court reporting.
Freelance court reporters must have an excellent grasp of the English language, including proper grammar and spelling, as well as working knowledge of often-complex medical and legal terminology. It’s also important to understand how to properly use stenography machines and other freelance court reporting tools with great speed and accuracy.
Most states have licensing requirements for anyone working as a court reporter, including freelancers. Earning a court reporting degree should prepare you for licensing examinations and any other applicable requirements. There are also several professional organizations offering advanced court reporting certifications, such as the NCRA, AAERT and NVRA.
WHAT DO FREELANCE COURT REPORTERS DO?
There is some variation in the duties of freelance court reporters depending on the specific line of work. In general, however, freelance court reporters are responsible for capturing complete, accurate and secure records of legal or business proceedings, meetings or events, and documenting dialogue and gestures using stenographic equipment.
Freelance court reporters who work in traditional legal settings are often called upon to document and transcribe depositions, hearings, trials and other court proceedings. However, some freelance court reporters choose to focus on broadcast or webcast captioning. Others provide CART real-time transcription services for the hearing impaired.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FREELANCE COURT REPORTING JOBS?
Working as a freelance stenographer — rather than as an employee of the courts or a private company — provides flexibility to take only those reporting jobs that fit with your schedule. Freelancing can be a great option for court reporting professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit, or for those juggling other responsibilities.
Some people pursue this career option because the ceiling for the freelance court reporter salary largely depends on the reporter’s efforts. The median salary for all court reporting professionals in the U.S. as of May 2019 was $60,130. Motivated, skilled freelance court reporters may earn significantly more.
PURSUE A FREELANCE COURT REPORTING CAREER WITH MACCORMAC COLLEGE
Graduates of MacCormac College’s two-year court reporting degree program are prepared for success, whether they choose to pursue freelance opportunities or opt for more traditional work environments. When you complete our program, you will gain valuable knowledge and skills, including specialized language and terminology; how to create accurate transcriptions; speed-building techniques; how to use stenography equipment effectively; and much more.
To learn more about how a degree from MacCormac College can prepare you for a successful career as a freelance court reporter, contact us. Then, apply online for admission to either our on-campus or online classes.