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South Dakota can be an interesting place to work for aspiring court reporters. If you are one of them, read this article for detailed information.

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Information About Becoming a South Dakota Court Reporter

Educational RequirementsPost-secondary education or an Associate’s degree
Experience/TrainingCertification and License
Key SkillsAssertiveness, Client Relationship, Confidentiality, Communication and Verbal Skills, Morality, Impartiality, Courage, Ability to Work Independently, Grammar, Punctuation and Proofreading, Listening Skills, Proficiency with Voice & Typing equipment
Annual Mean Salary – US (2021)$ 65,240
Annual Mean Salary – South Dakota (2021)NA
Job Outlook – South Dakota (2018-2028)0%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*Net Online

Court Reporting Jobs in South Dakota

As far as court reporting jobs in South Dakota are concerned, there is expected to be a 0% increase in employment opportunities in the state from 2018 till 2028.

Steps to Work as a Court Reporter in South Dakota

Court reporters are required to work in a legal setting with the responsibility to help the judge and lawyers if need arises, especially with documented information and transcripts. Many court reporters receive formal education, as the minimum entry educational requirement is an associate’s degree in court reporting. If you are looking to become a court reporter in South Dakota, then below are some of the basic steps.

Step 1: Finding if the Job is Right for You & Choosing a Program
  • Court reporting is typically a full-time job with no fixed schedule and tight deadlines. Before you decide to select it as a career, make sure you have all the information about basic requirements and job responsibilities.
  • Once you have identified your path, select a degree program that will help you prepare for the job and pave way for career growth.
  • Court reporters can enroll in an Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting program or even go for Court Reporting Bachelor’s Degree.
  • The quickest entry into the field is through 18 months court reporting training program and diploma.
Step 2: Successfully Completing Court Reporter Program
  • When finalizing a university for your degree program, make sure that it meets the requirements set by the National Court Reporters Association.
  • A specialized program, all court reporting degrees prepare students for real-life courtroom setting. Courses are taught in courtroom behavior, legal procedures and terminologies, broadcast closed captioning, Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) method, and using stenograph machine.
  • The National Court Reporters Association has set some requirements that include meeting the minimum skills for machine shorthand. At the time of graduation, a candidate should be able to achieve transcribing speeds literary at 180 wpm, jury charge at 200 wpm, and testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm.
Step 3:Obtaining License & Certification
  • Just like many other states, South Dakota also requires court reporters to have state-issued license.
  • The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) offers many certifications that can be obtained throughout your career. Many advanced certifications help in making you stand out as a skilled court reporter.
Step 4: On-the-Job Training & Employment
  • Most court reporters start at a junior level and learn the trade from experienced reporters.
  • Court reporters typically work for government courts and are also hired by law firms or corporations on as-needed basis.
  • There are many career options for court reporters as they can work as hearing court reporters, broadcast captioners, court stenographers, legislative court reporters, deposition reporters, and court recording monitors.

Responsibilities & Job Description of a Court Reporter

Professionally trained, court reporters are skilled in translating each and every word spoken during court proceedings, presenting the information in a simple form, and archiving it for judicial record. A specialized field, court reporters work as broadcast and captioning experts and real-time translators who provide services to hearing impaired individuals. Some of the most common tasks performed by court reporters are:

  • Attend court hearings, depositions, trials, and proceedings that require written transcripts.
  • Report the actions, gestures, and statements of the people who are part of the proceedings.
  • Make use of different reporting equipment like stenography machines, audio recording devices, and microphones to capture word-by-word dialogues in the courtroom.
  • Keep a record of court proceedings and reproduce it if and when asked by a judge.
  • Accurately capture all testimonials and statements.
  • Provide copies of all transcripts and data to the legal team, prosecutor, council, or concerned party.

Since it is the responsibility of a court reporter to capture a verbatim record and gather information in real-time, they are required to be fully trained, especially in the areas of speed and accuracy. Reporters must be trained to work under tight deadlines and in pressure situations.

Salary Figure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, the annual mean wage of court reporters in the US is $ 65,240. O*NET Online has projected a 3% growth for court reporters in the USA between 2020-2030.