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Experts: Court reporting is a lucrative career choice

The New York Career Institute foresees a 20%

The New York Career Institute foresees a 20% job growth for court reporting and related fields in the next 10 years. Photo Credit: iStock

Heads up jobseekers, the New York Career Institute has a tip for you.

The school foresees a 20% job growth for court reporting and related fields in the next 10 years.

"There are opportunities out there in these fields, little-known fields that people wouldn't think about," explained Larry Stieglitz, director of enrollment management at the institute.

The jobs entail "taking down every word that's being spoken by as many people that are speaking," he said.

Stenographers take down notes in courts, depositions, business meetings and the like on tiny handheld typing machines. They later transcribe their notes into an official document. A stenography school graduate can also qualify for a career in closed captioning, which is transcribing what is being said in live broadcasting, such as the news and sports events, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. They often work from home.

The federal Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the employment of court reporters would rise only 10%, which it says is "average," between 2012 and 2022. The national median annual salary for court reporters in May 2012 was $48,160, according to the bureau.

But representatives from the New York Career Institute say the growth will be double the government's expectation, and that $50,000 is more of a starting salary. Stenographers and those in closed captioning can make six figures after just a few years, according to the school.

The institute offers 105-week associate's degree and 2-year certificate programs for court reporting.

However, Lisa Fowler, dean of academics at the institute, said not everyone has what it takes to be a stenographer. Students need to be able to type 225 words per minute with a 98% accuracy rate to earn their stenography degree.

"Not everyone is going to be able to develop that skillset, which is why it's such a lucrative field to get into," Fowler said. But, "they know that if they can develop that skillset then there is a long and prosperous career ahead of them."


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