According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporting employment is predicted to grow faster than the national average due to high demand for court services, depositions, broadcast captioning, translation and other related services. Job opportunities will be good, particularly for certified court reporters.
Job opportunities for court reporters are expected to remain strong with job openings outnumbering job seekers in several areas. Certified court reporters and those who specialize in providing Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), broadcast captioning or webcasting services should have the most opportunities (see: court reporting careers). The favorable job market is the result of fewer people entering this profession, especially as stenographic typists.
The number of court reporting jobs is expected to grow 25 percent between 2006 and 2016. The growing need for court reporters will be driven by the need for transcription of proceedings in courts and depositions, the growing need to write captions for live TV and the need for other real-time broadcast captioning and translating services for the deaf.
Larger numbers of civil and criminal cases will create new jobs for court reporters, although budget limitations are expected to weaken the ability of federal, state and local courts to increase the demand for court reporting services in legal venues. Many courtrooms are now using tape recorders that are maintained by electronic court reporters and transcribers to record court proceedings. These electronic reporters and transcribers are used for only a small number of cases, however, and traditional stenographic court reporters will continue to be used in felony trials and other proceedings. The use of audio and video technology does not replace the ability of court reporters to turn spoken words into readable, searchable, permanent text, and they will continue to be needed to for legal transcripts and proceedings for publication.
In the future, more reporters will be needed for caption work outside of legal proceedings. New federal legislation mandates that all new television programs be captioned for the deaf, and all new Spanish-language programming must be captioned by 2010. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives deaf students the right to request access to real-time translation during classes. These factors should continue to increase the demand for court reporters. Although these services forgo transcripts and differ from traditional court reporting, they require the same skills.