Court Reporter 

(Female, Age 33) from Waltham, MA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 33 who works as a Court Reporter in Waltham, MA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Court Reporter
Salary $47,000
Other Compensation None Set
Company Size (not answered)
Location Waltham, MA
Years Experience 2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I am an independent contractor working for a court reporting firm. There are four full-time office staff. There are roughly 15 to 20 contractor court reporters for the firm. We provide verbatim transcripts for whomever needs one. We work in pre-trial depositions, arbitrations, city council meetings, corporate meetings, board hearings, and any other arena where a transcript of proceedings would be needed.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I go to a location and take a verbatim transcript of the proceeding. I then work from my home office to produce a transcript of the proceeding. I e-mail the finished transcript, and then the firm produces the actual transcript and mails it along with the invoice to the client.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
I am self-employed. I only get paid if I work and am responsible for all of my own taxes and retirement.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I suppose well.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I do not work with others on a daily basis. I have anywhere from one to five jobs, as we call them, a week. I do not mind working with others in these settings. So I have a variation all the time.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 6
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 7
Supervisors: 8
Job Title: 5
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 3

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
A television advertisement for the school.

What was the application process?
Resume, paper application, and testing.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I went out and interviewed several firms before choosing the one I am currently with. I advise making a spreadsheet with different questions one wants answered and using it in the interviewing process. I usually did individual interviews. If my questions weren’t answered by the person I initially interviewed with, I spoke to someone higher up the ladder. That usually did happen.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Where did I go to school. What were my earning expectations. What level of experience did I have.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I think the particular firm I chose could have given me more training and more explanation of office procedure. There really wasn’t much explanation, and still two years later, I have to ask them questions about how to do something.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Each firm is very different in how they handle training new reporters and the court is different also. The firm I chose was ready to send me out right away, but I asked if I could sit in with a few reporters before I began working solo. It is very scary and nerve racking the first time one reports solo. It is such a great responsibility to be a keeper of the record and stressful. I sat out with different reporters for about two weeks. Then the first few transcripts I turned in, the office would check them and give me corrections or tell me they had a different style of doing something and do it that way, etc.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, as much as it could. There is no substitute for on-the-job training.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
No. I think it had to do with the reporters I sat out with and the courts I interned with. And unfortunately, I didn’t even really know what questions I needed to ask at the time.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
One must go to a court reporting school, either online or in the classroom. I suggest in the classroom because VERY few people have the discipline to complete an online course.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
An eye for detail. Great English and grammar skills, both spoken and written. Both of those things are necessary to make sure that you produce an excellent transcript. One would need discipline in order just to finish school. The education is very challenging because of the amount of knowledge one needs. Organizational skills are important so make sure that you can manage keeping track of your jobs and any documents and exhibits that one will maintain. I would consider this a high-stress job. One must be able to maintain composure in even the most trying times. Several people may be yelling at one time, and it is the court reporter’s job in a freelance situation to get things under control and maintain the record.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Absolutely. My career is very skill-specific and one cannot learn it without training.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Practice, practice, practice. And I would say don’t be afraid to speak up if you cannot hear or things are getting out of hand to the point where you cannot understand what is being said. Also, I would advise to find a working court reporter whom one can confide in. Do not discuss the challenges, mistakes, and concerns that may exist with the office personnel of the firm where one is contracting. That will only cause them to second guess the reporter and it takes longer for one to prove themself.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. I plan to continue to improve and increase my workload and the difficulty of the jobs that I am able to do.

What are your current career goals?
There are state and national certifications I would like to attain, and there are several levels of the certifications to be completed over a few years.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Massage therapist five years 24,000/year Massage therapist. I performed massages for members and their guests.
Prior Job 2 Massage Therapist ten years 25000 I also had my own massage therapy practice.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:96.6

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
unknown Metropolitan College BS in Court Reporting
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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