Court reporters in short supply

Jun-Sik Kim

Court reporters earn salaries that range from $30,000 to $100,000 per year; there are diverse job opportunities in the field, a growing demand for them, yet not enough people are going into the field.

“The reason is partially because the job has changed. Now it’s computerized,” said Vykki Morgan, court reporting instructor. “It takes a little more time and investment to learn, but the benefits are outstanding.”

Court reporting is highly computerized realtime technology digitizing the spoken word.

Court reporter’s skills are not only used in legal field recording, court proceedings and depositions, but it also applies to new careers such as closed-captioning, steno-interpreting, medical transcription, police-text entry, and more.

In today’s day and age of computers and new technology replacing human beings, court reporters are guarding and even expanding their lots by taking advantage of them.

“2 B oar nawght tow bee. To be or not to be.” Morgan gives an example and says, “I don’t think people need to worry about that. They’ve been saying that for years, but no problem…. so I would encourage people to try it.”

Cerritos College, the only public college in L.A. county that offers a court reporting program, provides all the up-date tools to learn to be a court reporter and offers a complete and comprehensive court reporting program that has been in existence for 25 years.

Classes are offered during the day or in the evening, and certificates or an AA degree can be earned.

“It’s just about putting time into it. The more you practice, the better you get,” court reporting student, Lizbeth Munoz said.

Morgan says you can start to make money at the lower end jobs after about one year, and it takes an average of three to six years to finish. However, it’s very individual.

There are 18 reporter training programs in California, and some private and adult schools provide it as well.

There are currently 100 to 150 students taking court reporting classes at Cerritos, and for support, students can join the Cerritos College Court Reporting Club.

In encouraging students who are looking for jobs, Munoz says, “I think court reporting will be good because it has good benefits and it’s challenging. I’d recommend it to anybody,”

For students interested in court reporting, the department offers BUSC 139: Career Opportunities, where you can get more information about it.

For more details visit the office located in AC 73 or check out the website www.cerritos.edu/busc.