Stenocaptioner or stenographer is a person who is skilled in producing captions and transcripts by using shorthand techniques and equipment. With the help of stenotype machine, stenocaptioners create captions and type shorthand commands. Stenographers mostly work in courts and their experience is required during legal proceedings.
There are also opportunities for stenocaptioners to work in other fields as well, like live television broadcasting, forums for deaf and hard of hearing people, and in private and government settings where transcripts are required. The minimum time it takes to learn stenography is six months but if a person is opting for a diploma in stenography, then it takes from one to two years.

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Should I Become a Stenocaptioner?

Court reporters record everything that takes place in a trial, from spoken words to even gestures. If you think you can do this job, then continue reading.

Educational RequirementsPost-secondary education or an Associate’s degree
Experience/TrainingCertification and License
Key SkillsOrganizational Skills, Good Communication, Command over Vocabulary, Grammar & Punctuation, Typing Speed, Good Listening Skills, Punctual, General Knowledge
Annual Mean Salary – US (2021)$ 65,240 (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)
Job Outlook – US (2021-2031)1%

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

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for court reporters and simultaneous captioners is forecasted to grow by 1% from 2021 to 2031. Despite the advancements in technology, stenography remains a widely used form of recording data and there is a demand for the skill in courtrooms. 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 Stenocaptioner

You have to complete the following steps to become a court reporter in the US.

Get Postsecondary Education

There are different paths you can take to become a court reporter in the US. You can either opt for a specific certificate program, which might take close to 6 months to complete, or you can go for an Associate’s degree that will take 2 years to complete. You will also be taught to type at a speed of 225 words per minute as part of the degree or a certificate since this is a requirement for all court reporters.

Get the License

Some states might make it mandatory for court reporters to be licensed. To get the license, you might have to become a Certified Court Reporter or notary public. You will also have to clear a state-administered exam along with some other requirements. Please check your state-specific requirements if you want to become a Court Stenocaptioner.

Get Certification

You might get better job opportunities if you get certain professional certifications. These certifications are offered by bodies like the National Court Reporters Association and the National Verbatim Reporters Association. Clearing these tests can even get you a license in quite a lot of states.

Apply for a Job

Once you have met the above-mentioned requirements, start applying for a job.

Complete Continuing Education Requirements

You will have to complete the continuing education requirements to maintain your state board or the certification organization’s license/certification. The continuing education requirements might differ from state to state.

Duration to Become a Stenocaptioner

It can take you 2 to 4 years to become a court reporter or a Stenocaptioner in the US. The time will vary according to the certifications you complete and the education you get.

Requirements to Become a Stenocaptioner

  • Meet educational requirements.
  • Get a license.
  • Obtain certification.
  • Look for a job.
  • Meet continuing education requirements.

How Much Will I Earn as a Stenocaptioner in the US

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners employed in the US in 2021 made $ 65,240 as mean annual income. 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 Stenocaptioner Need

Stenocaptioners fall under the broad term of Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners. They all share the same set of characteristics and skills. Stenographers must have both acquired and technical skills to succ in their job.eed


Stenographer Acquired Skills



Stenographer Technical Skills

Attention to DetailStenography Machine
DisciplinedTyping & Dictation in Shorthand
Effective Communication & ListeningMinimum Shorthand Speed 80 WPM & Minimum Typing Speed 40 WPM
Curiosity to Learn New ThingsCourtroom Proceedings
Writing SkillsLegal/Medical Terminologies
Organizational SkillsWriting & Transcribing Documents
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How To Get Job as a Stenocaptioner

If you are looking to start working as a stenocaptioner, then it is important to acquire certain skills.

  • To start working as a stenocaptioner, the first step is to learn shorthand typing and acquire training by enrolling in a certificate or diploma program.
  • Highlight your skills and experience by creating a portfolio.
  • Gain experience by taking up freelance projects or working at entry-level positions.
  • Set your career goals and the best way forward is to advance your skills by obtaining advance certification through NCRA.
  • There are many ways to find a job as a stenocaptioner which includes expanding your social circle and making contacts with people from the similar field. Also join different court reporting and stenography forums or associations and search for vacancies on job portals.

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