While technology in the courtroom is changing at a rather fast pace, it’s not without concerns about the upcoming court reporter shortage. This is one industry where we still have the human factor. It is estimated that the demand for court reporters will outpace the supply especially in the next five years as more than 5,000 court reporters retire. [Source]
The average age of court reporters is 51-53 years old, well above the national average of 41 years which means younger people are not considering court reporting as a career. This is causing a court reporter shortage that could impact courts and law firms in the near future.
How can you leverage the court reporter shortage to your advantage?
Just because there is an urgency for court reporters doesn’t mean there will be none available. Working together as an industry we can combat the shortage by creating value for those who choose court reporting as a career path.
Whether you’re an attorney, court reporter, or court reporting agency, it’s important to communicate so that demand for court reporters can be met with existing supply.
- Discuss career paths with existing court reporting students. They may not know the starting salary is nearly $50,000 per year or that their work stems well beyond the courtroom.
- Encourage schools to assist students and address their reasons for wanting to drop out. Consider becoming a mentor for the up-and-comers.
Most importantly, as court reporting agencies, we need to build relationships with lawyers and law firms to keep our court reporters engaged and working until the newest court reporters are ready to embark on their new career.
Court Reporter Rates
When there is scarcity in the marketplace, the price of goods and services increases. It’s a basic economic principal of supply and demand. As such, court reporters may start at $50,000 per year but with experience net six figures working on just a few cases per year.
Utilize the earning power to attract younger people to this career.
Let’s face it, court reporting isn’t a glamorous job. It takes a particular skill set and level of detail to be a sought after court reporter. In the fast paced digital age, potential court reporting students may not be aware of career opportunities and earning potential associated with court reporting.
As veterans, we know that being a court reporter isn’t just sitting in court listening to lawyers and witnesses. There are opportunities to work from home transcribing or travel to take depositions on a variety of cases. Court reporting is an exceptionally satisfying career for lifetime learners.
Oftentimes court reporters or those interested in becoming court reporters aren’t fully aware of the possibilities. Communicating and educating younger people on a career in court reporting creates interest that will meet the demand for court reporters that is coming soon.
Without court reporters, the court system faces challenges. Leverage the shortage to get ahead.