Associate degree programs in court reporting are designed to teach students how to compose real-time, verbatim transcriptions of court proceedings. Students can expect to learn the shorthand techniques used in court reporting and develop skills in using machines and computer programs designed for transcription purposes. Students may also learn about legal and medical terminology. Some programs may offer or require internships. Programs don't always require a high school diploma or a GED for admission, but students should confirm this information with their desired school.
Associate Degree of Court Reporting
Curricula feature a series of courses that pertain to skills needed in court reporting. These courses emphasize speed, accuracy and efficiency, and they train students to be able to record 225 words per minute with 95% accuracy using computerized stenotype machines. These courses may be supplemented by topics in composition, mathematics, and the humanities. Students may take the following courses:
- Court reporting theory and procedures
- Real -time reporting
- Medical terminology
- Jury charge
- Business law
- Technology for court reporters
Popular Career Options
Graduates may be prepared to work for local, state and national governments, in legislatures and courts. Graduates who are not interested in working in a court environment may find employment in providing closed captioning for television programs or in transcribing events for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Here are some job titles that may be available to graduates:
- Congressional reporter
- Court reporter
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As of May 2015, court reporters earned a median annual salary of $49,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These professionals could expect a 2% increase in job opportunities from 2014-2024, the BLS predicted, which is a slower than average rate compared to other career fields.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates who are interested in learning more about law and legal procedures may enroll in bachelor's degree programs in legal studies. These degree programs can prepare individuals for careers as court clerks, paralegals and legal secretaries. These programs may also serve as an excellent background for attending law school. Individuals who are interested in learning about political theory and governmental dynamics may enroll in bachelor's degree programs in political science. Graduates of these programs may find employment in nonprofits, international organizations, the legal field, and the media.
While associate's degree programs in congressional programs are not available, aspiring reporters can gain relevant transcriptional skills by pursuing an associate's degree in court reporting. From there, they can enter the field or enroll in a bachelor's degree program in a related topic.