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Career and Education Opportunities for Court Reporters in Birmingham, Alabama

Court reporter career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, 240 people work as court reporters in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 46% to 350 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for court reporters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.3% over the next eight years. Court reporters generally use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.

Court reporters earn about $11 per hour or $23,670 yearly on average in Alabama and about $23 per hour or $49,710 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for court reporters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Administration and Support in Alabama, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. Court reporters work in a variety of jobs, including: print shop stenographer, shorthand reporter, and realtime court reporter.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a court reporter. The most common level of education for court reporters is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying to be a court reporter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Court Reporter

Court Reporter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, court reporters use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. They also includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.

Court reporters ask speakers to explain inaudible statements. They also furnish transcripts of proceedings upon request of judges or the public. Equally important, court reporters have to transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats. They are often called upon to record verbatim proceedings of courts and other proceedings, using computerized recording equipment, electronic stenograph machines, or stenomasks. They are expected to take notes in shorthand or use a stenotype or shorthand machine that prints letters on a paper tape. Finally, court reporters file a legible transcript of records of a court case with the court clerk's office.

Every day, court reporters are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for court reporters to verify precision of transcripts by checking copies against original records of proceedings and precision of rulings by checking with judges. They are often called upon to record depositions and other proceedings for attorneys. They also file and store shorthand notes of court session. Somewhat less frequently, court reporters are also expected to record symbols on computer storage media and use computer aided transcription to translate and display them as text.

And finally, they sometimes have to transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats.

Like many other jobs, court reporters must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Court Reporter Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has 2 areas of study related to Court Reporter. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Journalism, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated 115 and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Registered Professional Reporter: The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) program is the only nationally recognized certification program that establishes your competence as a reporter.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Realtime Reporter: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Reporting Instructor: The CRI certification program for teachers of court reporting subjects has been developed to encourage excellence in the educational programs that prepare tomorrow's court reporters.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Legal Video Specialist: The use of video in the legal environment is growing fast.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Broadcast Captioner: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified CART Provider: Become a Certified CART ProviderSM and take advantage of the growing number of opportunities becoming available to realtime practitioners.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.