If you are seeking an opportunity to become a good stenographer then you must first know the training process, job responsibilities and the certification required for it. Let’s discuss these in details for better understanding:
Stenographers are also known as a court reporter. There major task is to prepare accounts for meetings, speeches, legal proceedings and several other important events where precise and exact transcripts are required. Postsecondary certificate is usually required for this job. Certification as a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) is mostly required at several places along with a license or certification. In several states typing test is also conducted as per requirement.
ProfessionalProfile of a Stenographer
Stenographers have a device which is called stenotype. It let them record shorthand versions of sounds or words. This system has been designed in a way that it let the stenographer to press use multiple keys at a time to make words. Actually, the device is made on the basis of phonetic sounds of words.Not only at legal proceedings, can stenographersalso be seen at business meetings, press conferences or at various trainings and seminars sessions.
This job starts with the creation of computer dictionary words and partial words. These words are then used to convert into simple texts from stenotype words. After transcribing, it is the responsibility of the stenographer to write and edit the matter without any spelling and grammatical mistake. They may also provide various copies too if requested for it.
Career outlook and salary offered
According to a recent survey, the court reporters get an average annual salary of $54,760. This field is expected to grow further by 10-20% in the coming years and there will be approximately 2000 vacancies.
Basic educational requirements for Stenographers
Various schools and colleges are now offering training programs for stenographers. The course is usually for 33 months or so. After completion of this course, it has been observed that the stenographers can take down a minimum of 225 words per minute which is the minimum requirement at various places.
The course includes word processing and transcript preparation. Students are provided lessons to use specialized instruments and various unique techniques to enhance their speed. It also offers internship programs for the students where only qualified students are allowed to transcribe courtroom events and accurately index transcriptions.
Certification for Stenographers
Certificate for stenographers is voluntary. They may choose to become a certified stenographer so as to grab better opportunities. There is a special designation for the certified ones at various government organizations too. There are many places where proper exam is conducted and one needs to clear it. The position of Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) and the Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR) are also offered in various states or country.
To get these special designations, a stenographer must have qualified all the required tests and also possess proper knowledge and skills. Moreover, it is always advisable to get the certification if someone is really seeking a career into this field. It opens up various opportunities for a longer time.
Working as stenographers
There is no doubt that work of stenographers requires extensive shorthand training as it is a skill-intensive job. In addition to that, they also need to know how to use the stenotype machine and related technological tools. Since a large portion of their work is related to court, and you have to work in the capacity of court reporter therefore you will have to spend a large amount of time in trying to achieve an optimum level of speed and accuracy.
In addition to the technology skills, stenography or court reporters also need to have excellent communication ability. This includes a sound understanding of English language or the official court language along with the grammar, punctuation and also standard legal and medical terms, particularly those are used in courts. They have to work in quick-paced environments, and therefore to keep everything accurate one needs to put in a high amount of effort.
Most of the jobs are found in courts and sometimes in medical clinics where they are required to record everything from deposition to trials. In addition to the courtrooms, stenographers can also engage in private practice, where they often use their skills for recording important events and meetings. Another fast expanding application area of stenography is the closed captioning services for people with impaired hearing. You can easily find a job as a stenographer to provide closed captioning services for both recorded television programs and live events.
In order to get better prospects for jobs, one can also do an additional secondary certificate or training in court reporting. Such a career can be a lucrative and rewarding one, particularly for individuals with extensive credentials.