Court Reporter Average Salary

What can you expect to make salary-wise as a court reporter? Job prospects are expected to be excellent as openings for court reporters continue to outnumber job seekers in some areas. Certification and a specialization in CART, broadcast captioning or other special services can increase your opportunities to make more money as you grow in your career.

Court reporters in 2006 experienced a median annual earning of $45,610, and the highest paid ten percent earned more than $77,770. Court reporters who worked in local government earned an annual median wage of $45,080 and those court reporters who worked for business support services earned an annual median wage of $41,720 in 2006.

These salaries often are modified by the type of reporting job, the individual reporter’s experience and level of education and certification and location. Many court reporters supplement their income, however, with freelance work. CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) providers and broadcast captioners, for instance, are paid by the hour; however, broadcast captioners receive a salary and benefits if they work as captioning company employees.

Additionally, document backlogs in various cities can push overtime pay for court reporters to record levels. With employment of court reporting jobs projected to grow 25 percent before 2016 and with the possibility of freelance jobs, a proficient court reporter’s salary can grow to over six figures, according to a Yahoo! Education article. This type of income makes the necessary four-year education or more seem easier to swallow financially.

Salaries also may depend upon the electronic skills displayed by the court reporter. A wide variety of hands-on experience with various reporting apparatus such as stenotype machine and voice-writing equipment can increase your value as an employee. Your membership in organizations such as the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT), the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association), the United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) and/or the National Verbatim Reporter Association (NVRA) can help increase your skills and your networking possibilities. Many corporations can provide health and life insurance, savings plans options for retirement as well as travel expenses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many high-paying court reporting jobs are located in areas such as Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton areas of Oregon and Washington or in the Oakland-Fremont-Hayword, California metropolitan area. Those salaries range between $39 and $47 per hour. California, in fact, hires the highest number of court reporters at 2,300 and those jobs come with an hourly mean wage of $33.50.

But, you don’t need to live in a large city to make a great salary as a transcriber or court reporter. With the help of electronic devices, many rural court reporters can earn great money as freelance transcribers working at home. The companies that may seek home transcribers include colleges, universities and professional schools, business support services and local governments, doctors’ offices and more. With the added experience of freelance work, you can place yourself in the position to demand top dollar for your skills.