Shortage of these courtrooms workers - despite a $100K paycheck
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Would you believe there is a shortage of workers for a job that could earn you as much as $100,000 each year?
With the proper training and dedication, you could be hired.
Court reporters are in just about every courtroom, listening to every word and recording it word for word.
It is a vital role that is rarely heard from.
"Our role in the courtroom is to make a verbatim record of what's being said and who said it and we drop that with machine shorthand," said Meredith Bonn, an official court reporter in Monroe County. "So we're writing down what's being said, who said it and the punctuation."
All of the work is done on a steno machine.
"We are using a system where we're using brief forms in phonetics and when we hit our keys we could be hitting a word, part of a word or several words all in one stroke," Bonn said.
Bonn said court reporting has survived for decades, but the profession is now in crisis.
"There is a study that says that there are 5,500 job shortages nationwide," Bonn said. "Not enough people have come out of our schools to fill all the jobs."
"Many court reporters make six-figure salaries plus the money they earn from transcribing," she added.
Bonn said court reporting simply doesn't get enough attention. Technologies such as Siri have produced the myth that the profession is becoming extinct.
"Everyone has heard and thought, 'It's a myth that tape recorders and voice recorders would replace us,'" Bonn said. "There's no print button on a video machine that's not coming anytime soon. You need a court reporter."
The Court Reporters Association plans to work with local schools in hopes of introducing this field to more students. They hope to gear up more interest.
It takes most people two years to earn a degree in court reporting.