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Career and Education Opportunities for Court Reporters in Seattle, Washington

For those living in the Seattle, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for court reporters. There are currently 150 working court reporters in Washington; this should grow 13% to about 170 working court reporters in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 about $34 per hour or $71,140 yearly on average in Washington and about $23 hourly or $49,710 per year on average nationally. Incomes for court reporters are better than in the overall category of Administration and Support in Washington, and better than the overall Administration and Support category nationally. People working as court reporters can fill a number of jobs, such as: court stenographer, print shop stenographer, and freelance court reporter.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a court reporter, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Court reporters usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so it will take about two years to learn 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 Seattle 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

University of Puget Sound - Tacoma, WA

University of Puget Sound, 1500 N Warner, Tacoma, WA 98416. University of Puget Sound is a small university located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,829 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of Puget Sound has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated two students in 2008.

Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA

Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric which graduated sixty-three students in 2008.

Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has 2 areas of study related to Court Reporter. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree which graduated 37 students in 2008.
  • Journalism, bachelor's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 2 areas of study related to Court Reporter. They are:

  • Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty-seven, eight, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Journalism, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student 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

Certified Court Reporter

Licensing agency: Department of Licensing
Address: Business and Occupations Unit, Court Reporters, 405 Black Lake Blvd., Bldg. #2, PO Box 9649, Olympia, WA 98507-9649

Phone: (360) 753-1061
Website: Department of Licensing Business and Occupations Unit Court Reporters

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.