Record the spoken words in a courtroom.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$26,000 – $91,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Stenographers do?

Quick as lightning, the fingers of a Stenographer fly across a keyboard, catching even the fastest sentence uttered, or the lowest mumbled. With a good ear and an average typing rate of over 100 words per minute, a Stenographer turns the spoken word into a written record in the blink of an eye.

Every court scene on television features a record-keeper click-clacking at a keyboard as legal battles rage on, although they might be so quiet you never even notice them. If you’re a Stenographer, you sit in a corner, working diligently and recording the proceedings until someone asks for something to be repeated or “stricken from the record.” You may be paid to be an unassuming listener for hours on end, but at the end of a trial, you hold in your hands one of the most important pieces of the courtroom. The preservation of the law depends on your speed and accuracy with your trusty keyboard.

The machine that you type on doesn’t look like the keyboard you have at your computer, or even the one on your cell phone. It has long flat keys that represent phonetic sounds instead of individual letters, and you press several keys at once to type the word you hear. What you type is entered into a computer and ends up as a translated version of your transcript that anyone can read.

If the courtroom isn’t your ideal office, there are a lot of other workplaces that benefit from your talent. Television stations will have you render closed captions for live broadcasts, including the daily news. You can even translate for deaf students in class to provide them with the content of lectures the moment they’re being taught. Working with hearing-impaired people is one of the most rewarding aspects of service that you can always undertake as a professional skilled with a stenography machine.

Should I be a Stenographer?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Court Stenographer, Foreign-Language Stenographer, Freelance Court Stenographer, Police Stenographer See More

    How to become a Stenographer

    Most Stenographers have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:f9okaa&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%2852%25%29|associate%27s+%2834%25%29|bachelor%27s+%289%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,52
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