Career Opportunities for Court Reporters

A court reporter, commonly known as a court stenographer or law reporter, is responsible for accurately transcribing spoken or recorded speech into written form. Most court reporter educational programs provide a broad, basic structure to prepare students for licensure and certification, which allows students to explore different areas within the field of court reporting.

Although court reporters require extensive training and professional stenography skills, becoming a court reporter can create a diverse range of career opportunities.

Judicial reporting

Most court reporters work within the legal profession and receive professional training with stenographic technology. One popular career choice for court reporters, judicial reporting, involves transcribing court proceedings, depositions, and administrative hearings. Becoming a judicial reporter requires proficient knowledge of legal terminology and an advanced grasp of the English language.

Court reporters are often hired to transcribe court proceedings because of their ability to transcribe in real-time with high accuracy. Unlike digital transcription technology, court reporters can actively search for information within their transcriptions when needed and transcribe overlapping dialogue.

Becoming a judicial reporter is a great way to learn more about the legal profession. Judicial reporters are often hired by courthouses or parties of lawsuits to obtain an impartial, unbiased transcription of the proceeding. Judicial reporters receive the opportunity to work with a variety of different legal professions from marijuana lawyers to judges.

Closed captioning

Since court reporting curriculums mainly involve mastering machine shorthand and obtaining a high degree of accuracy in typing, becoming a court reporter creates a wide variety of career opportunities outside of the legal profession. For instance, court reporters can work for talk shows, national broadcast companies, local television stations, etc. In addition, court reporters have the option of working on closed captions for movie studios.

Closed captioning is ideal for anyone looking to maintain an extensive knowledge of current events, including sports, business, and entertainment. Most full-time captioning jobs prefer individuals with extensive training and a specialized education. Closed captioners are typically expected to monitor captions, meet strict deadlines, and caption both pre-recorded and live videos.

A career in closed captioning creates the option to work full-time or freelance. Working full-time in closed captioning requires a flexible schedule, especially in real-time captioning, as breaking stories are not uncommon. On the other hand, a freelance career in closed captioning provides flexibility and the ability to work from home. Becoming a freelance closed captioner can also serve as an extra source of income.


A career in webcasting involves real-time reporting for internet-based events, including sales meetings, press conferences, and training seminars. Corporations often utilize webcasting services to build brand recognition and gain the attention of a large audience. Over recent years, webcasting has gained popularity due to its versatility over webinars. Webcasting allows multiple speakers and high-quality, unlimited streaming.

Anyone interested in a career in webcasting should not only be able to accurately transcribe voice-to-text in real-time, but they should also be tech savvy. Webcasters are expected to be familiar with online recording, editing, content management, and audio production. Like closed captioning, webcasters have the option to work freelance or full-time, and are often hired to work remote positions.

Before committing to a career as a court reporter, be sure to research state licensure and certification requirements. For instance, West Palm Beach court reporters do not have to obtain a state-issued license to practice in Florida, but must pass the Florida Court Reporters Association’s professional certification program.

But it’s worth the effort — pursuing an education as a court reporter can create a wide variety of career opportunities, ranging from the courtroom to television.