A deposition reporter has a crucial role to play in court proceedings. During a trial, a deposition reporter takes down the verbatim record and gathers important points that a witness possesses. Highly trained individuals, they maintain proper structuring of questions and provide written record of witness testimony. It is the job of a deposition reporter to use different strategies, technologies, and skills to record a deposition. Considered an unbiased third party, these reporters are responsible for providing reliable and equitable record of the judicial process.

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Should I Become a Deposition Reporter in the US?

If you are fascinated by court proceedings and want to see how they take place, then a career as a court or a deposition reporter can be an option for you.

Educational RequirementsPost-secondary education or an Associate’s degree
Experience/TrainingCertification and License
Key SkillsBroad knowledge of grammar, punctuation & proofreading, understanding of terminologies, technical knowledge, impartial, good listening skills, communication, dependability, confidentiality
Annual Mean Salary – US (2021)$ 65,240 (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)
Job Outlook – US (2021-2031)1% (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

Deposition court reporters are an integral part of courtroom settings and some even work as legislatures. A flexible career, deposition court reporters have the option to do freelance work, while those who prefer to be a part of a company, can join law firms or organizations for pretrial depositions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 1% employment growth is projected between 2021-2031 for Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners in the US. Below are the states with the highest employment level in court reporters and simultaneous captioners:

New York1,250

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

Steps to Become a Deposition Reporter in the US

If you are interested in becoming a deposition reporter, then you need to complete certain steps, which are:

Get a Postsecondary Nondegree Award

To start your career as a deposition reporter, you will have to get a postsecondary nondegree award as the minimum education requirement. Better education will increase your chances of getting a job.

Select the Field

You will have to select the field of court reporting/deposition reporting you would want to join. This is a very important step because this will tell you what you need to do in order to work professionally.

Prepare for the Program

To become a court reporter in the US, you will have to graduate from a recognized court reporting program. The education offered by different institutions will vary. You can get a certificate or an Associate’s Degree, depending on the educational institution you pick.

Meet State Requirements

Some US states make it mandatory for court reporters to get a state-issued license. You will have to clear a written exam and a skill-based test to pass. Few states also deem the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) designation administered by the National Court Reporters Association or the Certified Verbatim Reporter’s (CVR) by the National Verbatim Reporters Association as acceptable.

Duration to Become a Deposition Reporter in the US

The time it takes you to become a deposition reporter in the US will depend on different factors. The education you get, the time you take to pass the exam, and the state requirements will determine how much time it will take you to become a deposition reporter. Generally, the duration falls from 2 to 4 years.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Deposition Reporter in the US?

  • Get a postsecondary nondegree award.
  • Pick your career path.
  • Get ready for the exam.
  • Pass the state licensing requirements, if needed.

How Much Will I Earn as a Deposition Reporter in the US?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, the annual mean wage of court reporters in the US is $ 65,240. Salary range also varies from state to state, and also depends on the qualification and experience of a reporter. Below are the top paying states for court reporters and simultaneous captioners:

StateAnnual Mean Wage 
New York$ 100,270
California$ 83,720
Texas$ 81,460
Iowa$ 77,090
Colorado$ 76,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

What Skills Does a Deposition Reporter Need

A deposition reporter is a skilled professional as the job requires speed and accuracy to be able to capture a verbatim record. During training, individuals are prepared to work under tight deadlines and in pressure situations. Some of the standard skills and qualifications of deposition reporters are:

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  • Building strong client relationship through integrity and honesty.
  • Maintaining confidentiality and remain impartial.
  • Understanding of legal and medical terminologies.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Editing and proofreading.
  • Good research skills, listening, and presentation style.
  • Ability to work independently and generate timely turnaround on transcripts.
  • Proficient in using steno machine, related software, and keyboarding.
  • Preparing error free transcripts and documenting them.
  • Knowledge of traditional shorthand techniques.
  • Fast typing and maintaining 300 WPM speed.

How To Get Job as a Deposition Reporter

Deposition reporters are very important to legal proceedings and to start working as one, a lot of training is required. These reporters complete specialized training program to be able to create transcripts in a quick and precise manner.

  • To start working as a deposition reporter, you first need to complete a specialized training program and obtain necessary certification.
  • The next step is to create a resume that gets you noticed by the hiring team. Provide appropriate information about your education, qualifications, and certifications.
  • List down your skills, highlighting those that are relevant to the position.
  • It is recommended to start at a junior level so that you gain on-the-job experience and are trained by seasoned professionals.
  • With enough experience you can easily apply for senior positions and join professional organizations.
  • Search for open deposition reporter positions through online job portals, shortlisting ones that are near your area.

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