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Career and Education Opportunities for Court Reporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee

There are many career and education opportunities for court reporters in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. About 170 people are currently employed as court reporters in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow 72% to about 300 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for court reporters are expected to grow by about 18.3%. Court reporters generally use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.

The average wage in the general category of Administration and Support jobs is $19 per hour or $38,813 per year in Tennessee, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,095 per year nationwide. People working as court reporters can fill a number of jobs, such as: freelance court reporter, court monitor, and data transcriber.

The Chattanooga area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree 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 training to become 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 Chattanooga 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

Chattanooga State Technical Community College - Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga State Technical Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,488 students. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Court Reporting/Court Reporter which graduated two students in 2008.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a medium sized university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,807 students and an admission rate of 79%. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Lee University - Cleveland, TN

Lee University, 1120 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311. Lee University is a small university located in Cleveland, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,147 students and an admission rate of 64%. Lee University has 2 areas of study related to Court Reporter. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Journalism, bachelor's degree.

Bryan College - Dayton, TN

Bryan College, 721 Bryan Drive, Dayton, TN 37321-7000. Bryan College is a small college located in Dayton, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has an admission rate of 72%. Bryan College has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Southern Adventist University - Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University, 4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370. Southern Adventist University is a small university located in Collegedale, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,731 students and an admission rate of 70%. Southern Adventist University has a bachelor's degree program in Journalism which graduated two students 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.