Court reporter salaries vary a little between cities and individuals, depending on the type of court reporting work they do. For example, court reporters in Miami who work as independent contractors for attorneys might average a higher salary than court reporters who are full-time employees. Here are a few of the things prospective court reporters in Florida should know.
What do court reporters do?
Court reporters “create word-for-word transcriptions at trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings.” Also called stenographers, they operate specific machinery and use learned systems to transcribe by shorthand everything they hear in a proceeding. This can be in the courtroom or private office. They also often work for private companies or as freelancers, transcribing or captioning for the hearing impaired.
Types of jobs court reporters can do
If you are unfamiliar with the profession, you might not realize that a court reporter can take more than one career path. Court reporters are hired by courts to attend all trials and hearings to type up verbatim transcripts. But they can also be hired by attorneys to transcribe mediations, client meetings, or other formal or informal legal discussions. Furthermore, court reporters can be employees or they can be freelancers. Often, freelancers even work from home transcribing audio files attorneys send them.
Aside from legal work, court reporters can also become broadcast captioners who transcribe audio for television programs. Deaf or hearing-impaired people often need visual help to watch television and these captions allow them to read what other viewers are hearing. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) providers are also court reporters who work with the hearing impaired to transcribe audio from events, appointments, or meetings they might need help with.
How to become a court reporter in Florida
Florida has its own legislation as to certifying a court reporter, but does not currently have a state-issued license requirement. However, a formal education is necessary to understand the practice and gain the skills to become employable in the field. Education programs for court reporters usually take between two and five years. The time it takes will depend largely on the student’s commitment to practicing the skill and learning to use the equipment properly.
Once you’ve completed training, you will have to take and pass the Florida Court Reporters Association’s certification program. The program consists of a one-day Florida Rules and Ethics Certification Seminar and a certification exam. After certification, you will have to complete three continuing education units each year.
Court reporter salary in Florida
Because a court reporter can do so many different types of jobs, the salary range is actually pretty broad. But according to salary.com, the average court reporter salary in Miami, Florida, is $54,872. The range, however, is between $39,591 and $71,820. The average court reporter salary for Orlando is $53,475, and across the state, it’s $52,991. Salary ranges within the same field are attributed primarily to years of employment, education, certifications, and skill levels. As you can see, the average fluctuates a little among regions as well.
Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of court reporters employed. They are also the fifth highest in terms of the number of jobs available. The annual growth rate of the profession is estimated to be about 37 percent per year. And aside from simply making good money, living in the Sunshine State will give you the opportunity to experience Florida’s Gulf Coast whenever you’d like. There has never been a better time to be a court reporter in Florida!