A two-year associate's degree program in court transcription prepares students to transcribe and record testimony, judicial orders, and legal opinions in formal proceedings. Students in these programs learn how to use stenotype machines, which allow court reporters to press multiple keys at a time to record letters that represent words, sounds, and phrases. Students hone their speed and accuracy skills in court transcription and are prepared for entry-level work in the field.
Students interested in enrolling in court transcription degree programs must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school students should focus on classes involving English, writing, health and government. Graduates of these programs can pursue court reporting licensure or certification, which is required in many states.
Associate's Degrees in Court Transcription
The coursework for a transcriptionist degree focuses on the use of a stenotype machine as well as legal and medical terminology frequently used in court. The curriculum combines classroom and laboratory work and emphasizes real-time reporting and computer-aided transcription, with some courses offered online. Classes in this program include:
- Court procedures
- Legal terms
- Keyboard applications
- Legal dictation
- Medical terminology
- Machine shorthand
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that career opportunities in the court reporting field are anticipated to grow 2% from 2014 through 2024. This growth is going to be spurred by an increased need to create captions in television and continued services in legal proceedings. As of May 2015, the BLS reported the average salary for a court reporter as $54,720 per year.
The National Verbatim Reporters Association offers three certifications to court reporters, including Real-Time Verbatim Reporter, Certified Verbatim Reporter, and Certificate of Merit. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding certificates and licensure.
Two-year associate's programs in court transcription teach students how to quickly and accurately record the proceedings of a court case. These programs pave the way for many job opportunities in related fields and for earning credentials in court reporting.