Ditch Student Debt with a Career in Court Reporting
As high school graduation quickly approaches, many students are struggling to decide their next steps. A career in court reporting offers graduating seniors an attractive alternative to the traditional four-year college degree. Lower student loan debt, high demand for court reporters, starting salaries in the mid-$40,000s and many career paths to choose from make court reporting an excellent alternative to traditional college degrees.
With more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt nationally, Americans owe more for their post-secondary education than they do for their automobiles and credit cards. According to The Project on Student Debt, 59 percent of Texas college graduates leave school with more than $25,000 in debt. Court reporting schools typically offer two-year programs that cost, on average, the same as one year of community college. By comparison, this means a court reporting graduate will spend less than half the time in school and carry less than one-quarter of the debt of a student holding a bachelor’s degree.
An independent study
Ducker also reports that the average starting salary for a court reporter is $43,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for court reporting salaries is expected to increase by 14 percent through the year 2020. Compare that with an average starting salary of less than $40,000 for a bachelor’s degree, and a career in court reporting is even more attractive.
“Projected shortages in the stenographic court reporting profession come at a time when many graduates with traditional four-year degrees are struggling to find employment,” said Sarah E. Nageotte, CBC, CRR, RDR and President of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). “Court reporting is a career path with above-average job security and earning potential, as compared to its more traditional counterparts. With opportunities for court reporters on the rise, students who graduate will hold more than a piece of paper – they’ll hold a job.”
Despite the terminology, only 28 percent of stenographic court reporters actually work inside a courtroom day-to-day. Most operate in a freelance capacity for legal depositions or provide ADA-compliant captioning for medical transcriptions, educational settings and business meetings. This freelance status allows court reporters to set their own schedules, working wherever and whenever they choose.
For more information on the court reporting profession and schools in your area, visit crTakeNote.com.