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California Court Reporters Encouraged by Job Prospects

Aug 14, 2008
California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and state residents are looking for new career opportunities. They want jobs that are in high demand with long-term growth potential. There is good news for residents of California. Court reporters have more job opportunities than ever and a recent federal study backs this up.

California Court Reporters in Great Demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009, a comprehensive study of job trends throughout the nation. The OOH predicts that the number of jobs will increase by 25% over the next several years. This trend is driven by an increase in the number of court cases but also by new federal regulations requiring more closed captioning to allow equal access to deaf and hard of hearing citizens.

California court reporters are employed in a variety of settings other than the court room. Private businesses often use court reporters to create official transcripts of functions such as conferences or labor negotiations.

As mentioned, the biggest trend in court reporting has been the increased demand for real-time captioning of television and web broadcasts. For decades, closed captioning has kept a large percentage of California court reporters employed. The increased demand for real-time rather than pre-recorded captioning has created new opportunities in the profession.

Demand Up but Graduation Down

Even as the number of jobs for California court reporters increases, the number of students entering the field has been dropping. There are many reasons for this decline but the two leading causes appear to be a misunderstanding of a role of a certified court reporter, and the mistaken belief that technology will spell the end of the profession.

California court reporters are often seen as low-level clerical workers when in fact they are well-respected legal professionals. They are well trained in legal procedures and have extensive knowledge of the jargon of many technical fields. According to a 2006 survey by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), reporters employed by court systems have an average income of over $72,000 per year.

Advances in recording and speech recognition technology have never endangered the careers of California court reporters. These new tools make their jobs easier, but nothing will ever replace the trained ear of a professional witness and record keeper.

A Demanding And Rewarding Field

California court reporters must complete a rigorous training program before they can complete certification and work in the field. The curriculum is very demanding and has a high dropout rate. For the reporters who complete the program, a long career as a highly paid and esteemed professional is waiting.

The current shortage of reporters effectively guarantees employment for new graduates. The NCRA and other organizations continue to promote the court reporting profession, educating new students in the exciting and lucrative career that could be theirs.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on CaliforniaCourt Reporters and CourtReporting , please visit http://www.huseby.com.
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