CNN Writes Article About How Much Court Reporters Earn

The article is entitled, Five Surprising Salaries.  You can read it here. In the article the CNN.com writer explores how much people like elementary school principals makes, how much paramedics and astronomers make, et cetera.  And then they get to us.  The court reporters.  Here is a snippet of the article:

What they do: Court reporters transcribe court proceedings, meetings, speeches and other events where verbatim documentation is necessary. Any time someone says Strike that from the record, court reporters are the ones writing that record.

Surprising salary: $59,970*. You might not have thought typing could earn you so much money, but once you realize court reporters can't miss a word -- often in fast-talking situations -- it makes more sense.

What's surprising to me is not that CNN.com would consider our profession news worthy.  What's surprising to me is that they are surprised at the earning potential of a court reporter.  Why shouldn't we earn $59,970 and even way, waaaaay more?  Who else is capable of functioning as the Officer of the Court during deposition proceedings, virtually the right arm of the Supreme Court?  Who else can take down dictation at blinding speeds of 200 wmp or 225 and 250 in spurts?  And then be asked to read it back with 97.5% accuracy to a room full of expectant attorneys?  (Certainly not a tape recorder!)

I guess I'll forive the write for this sentence, You might not have thought typing could earn so much money.  Would that it were.  If only all we had to do was to sit mildly by in the side lines -- just typing away.  Yeah right!  We're in the game.  We've got to keep abreast of what's going on, who's saying what, what's happening next.  To an outsider, sure, it looks like we're day dreaming and flapping our fingers across the keyboard.  But that's the beauty of a training court reporter, he/she is trained to make it look easy.  And lest you think the court reporter wields no power other than to passively take down testimony, just wait until she takes her hand off the keyboard to say, Hey, you want a clear record?  Then speak one at a time.  The record-making stops and starts with us.

Typing?  Sheeesh.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Author
Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Janie | Sunday, January 18, 2009

What if you are a 52 year old woman (wants to change careers) who has always type for her jobs BUT did NOT have to type FAST and tried to type More than 45 words per minute accurately and NEVER could get over that? Do you have a Chance? I would LOVE to do this but AM I Short changing myself thinking I can`t because I don`t have the speed in the last 30 + years?

Experienced,

PLEASE Advise me.....

Janie27@attnet


  Comment by Todd Olivas | Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Janie,

I admire your desire to accomplish your goals. I personally don`t think age is a limiting factor for this career. You most certainly do have a chance because here is a little secret ... your ability to type on a standard QWERTY keyboard has nothing to do with writing on a stenograph machine.  They are completely different skills, in my opinion. I probably only type about 45 words per minute as well, so stop worrying about it and investigate a court reporting school near you!


  Comment by minnie ford | Tuesday, February 09, 2010
i flew through court reporting school and passed the state board on the first try. here`s the rub, i could not pass the typing test at 35 wpm. if i can do it so can you.


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