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Career and Education Opportunities for Court Reporters in Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for court reporters. Currently, 1,890 people work as court reporters in Texas. This is expected to grow 32% to about 2,500 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for court reporters are expected to grow by about 18.3%. In general, court reporters use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information.

Court reporters earn approximately $24 per hour or $50,570 annually on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $23 per hour or $49,710 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as court reporters in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. Court reporters work in a variety of jobs, including: stenographic court reporter, caption writer, and stenocaptioner.

The Brownsville area is home to ten schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Brownsville where you can get a degree as a court reporter. Given that the most common education level 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 Brownsville 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

The University of Texas-Pan American - Edinburg, TX

The University of Texas-Pan American, 1201 W University Dr, Edinburg, TX 78539-2999. The University of Texas-Pan American is a large university located in Edinburg, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,584 students and an admission rate of 64%. The University of Texas-Pan American has 2 areas of study related to Court Reporter. They are:

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

The University of Texas at Brownsville - Brownsville, TX

The University of Texas at Brownsville, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520-4991. The University of Texas at Brownsville is a medium sized university located in Brownsville, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 17,309 students. The University of Texas at Brownsville has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated thirty 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.

LICENSES

COURT REPORTER/STENOGRAPHER

Licensing agency: Court Reporters Certification Board
Address: PO Box 13131, Austin, TX 78711-3131

Phone: (512) 463-1630
Website: Court Reporters Certification Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas photo by Jaedza

Brownsville is situated in Cameron County, Texas. It has a population of over 175,494, which has grown by 25.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Brownsville, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Brownsville cost $102,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred sixty-four new homes were constructed in Brownsville, down from eight hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Brownsville are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 13.4% of Brownsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Brownsville is 10.8%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Brownsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Calvario Lutheran Church, Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Mexicana Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Brownsville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Brownsville is home to the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield and the Miguel Fernandez Hide Yard as well as Friendship Gardens and Washington Park. Visitors to Brownsville can choose from Best Western Rose Garden Inn, Comfort Inn and Best Value Colonial Hotel for temporary stays in the area.