In 2009, CNN Money published an article, Surprising 6-Figure Jobs. All of us assume that CEOs, doctors, lawyers, and Type-A salespeople earn 6-figure salaries. Most do, but these aren’t the only professions with incredible earning potential.

Surprising 6-Figure Jobs: Court Reporters

Full time or freelance, court reporters are the keepers of historical record, and their skills are critical to the legal process. Working as a court reporter is rewarding enough, but many will tell you the stenographer salary income from selling transcripts is what sometimes boosts an already good paycheck.

While the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) lists transcript fees and membership organizations by state, New York is excluded, possibly because of the diversity of stenographer salary and locales in which court reporters can work. However, the Southern District of New York courts has a published rate for court reporters that includes Manhattan and White Plains. The chart includes the per-page rate, charges for additional pages, and fees for turnaround time from next-day up to 30 day-delivery.

Surprising 6-Figure Jobs: Broadcast Closed Captioners

Although it’s nothing new, closed captioning has become one of the rising stars of career choices. Broadcast captioning in the U.S. began in 1972 at a public television station in Boston and ABC News was quick to follow. Realtime captioning was introduced in 1982; it continues to be another option for court reporters who are trained to use stenograph machines and can be certified to type at up to 260 words per minute with 98% accuracy. Captioners for pre-recorded material can use a standard keyboard.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that job prospects for stenographic court reporters are very good, and court reporters with training and experience in CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) and realtime captioning will have the best job prospects.

Stenographer Salary: Work the Way You Want

Another salary factor for a stenographic court reporter or closed captioning professional is how often you want to work and where you want to work. Naturally, New York has some of the best choices! The demand for competent stenographers is increasing throughout the U.S., and New York is among the states with the greatest need. There are few professional careers that offer the flexibility and versatility of working as a court reporter and CART provider.

You can work full-time or part-time, depending on your lifestyle requirements. You can work freelance for law firms and other businesses or as a dedicated stenographic professional for one company. You can be a judicial court reporter or a real-time broadcast captioner, and you can travel or work from your home office.

The BLS indicates that the industries employing the most court reporters include:

  • Local government (excluding education and hospitals), 34%
  • State government (excluding education and hospitals), 32%
  • Business support services, 24%

Understanding medical terminology and physicians’ acronyms and abbreviations is a valuable skill! If you’re considering a career as a court reporter, make sure your school or university offers a medical terminology course, because many organizations employ stenographers as medical transcriptionists. Medical transcriptionists are sometimes referred to as “healthcare documentation professionals.” They listen to voice recordings and convert them to written reports and review or edit medical documents. The BLS says that medical transcriptionists’ salaries depend on the company. You may be paid according to the volume of work you produce, by the hour, or as a salaried employee. About one-fourth of U.S. medical transcriptionists work freelance.

Headline: Stenographer Salary Too High!

Depending on your sense of humor, you will find this 2009 article amusing: Luzerne County, Pennsylvania officials were enraged to discover that a court reporter had a base salary of $78,159 (a very high stenographer salary for 2009) and that the 14 county-employed court reporters earned in excess of $3,340 in addition to their base stenographer salary for per-page transcript fees. An investigation was launched. “They all make six figures,” Chief of Budget and Finance Tom Pribula grumbled.

That was Then, This is Now

Everyone – your friends, employers, career counselors, even people who don’t know you – want you to be a successful, prosperous court reporter earning top wages doing what you enjoy! The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is your most reliable source for a current stenographer salary. It’s no surprise that New York is one of the states with the highest per-person stenographer salary. Annual earnings can range from $61,950 to $88,420 or more.

Just think – in the very near future you could be very close to earning a stenographer salary and loving every minute of it! The challenges and excitement seldom ends for people who choose court reporting and closed captioning careers.

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