Increasing student loan debt has many Americans rethinking the true value of receiving a formal college education. With this in mind, alternative training for high-paying careers are on the upswing. This allows millions to prepare themselves without owing hundreds of thousands of dollars once they graduate.
One such career is training for Arizona court reporters, which costs much less than getting a four-year degree. The demand for more positions in this field will continue to expand over the next five years, according to some industry experts.
Most of these jobs will be outside the courtroom where professionals will transcribe depositions and closed caption work to satisfy a new federal initiative aimed at providing services for hearing impaired students.
Some positions pay at least $35 per hour, while others can start at or above $100,000 annually.
1. Becoming a Court Reporter
You can enrol in a community college or technical institute to receive postsecondary training and education through certificate programs. Educational programs may also lead to an associate’s degree in court reporting. Either one qualifies you to be hired for entry-level positions.
Completing a certification program prepares you to take the licensing exam and typing tests to measure your speed. In addition, some states require that you work in a legal setting to receive a state license or certification through a professional association.
With most training programs, you will study English grammar, legal terminology, legal procedures and phonetics. Other parts of the program will teach you how to improve your speed and accuracy, which are two essential skills for this line of work.
2. Where You Will Work
Typically, you will work for the state or local government courts or in legislatures. You may also find work as a freelancer with law firms or private corporations to help with pretrial depositions and other recordings as needed.
You may also find that you have to travel between different offices or courthouses. If you work in the closed caption arena as a broadcast captioner, you might be able to work remotely from your home office.
Overall, court reporting is one of the growing, lucrative careers that you can pursue without investing thousands of dollars in formal training where jobs can be scarce. However, even its expanding popularity does not shield court reporting from speculation of being phased out by advances in voice recognition technology.
To date, this technology has not mastered the ability to understand various accents, or to distinct between two or more speaking voices. So while the tech world continues to tinker with those systems, you can pursue this exciting career opportunity.