Potential Career Paths
Court Reporters write, on a steno machine, all spoken words in legal proceedings. Legal proceedings consist of hearings, trials, depositions, sworn statements, and arbitrations. Court Reporters transcribe their steno notes into English text using sophisticated steno-to-English translation and editing programs. Hardeman graduates know their software well, and they can produce transcripts efficiently.
There is a tremendous need for court reporters. See the NBC News report.
(Communication Access Realtime Translation)
A CART Captioner writes steno on a steno machine, cabled or wirelessly, connected to a laptop which has a special program that translates steno to English and displays the text in real time -- in all types of proceedings, from weddings to funerals, doctor visits to live theater and academic classes. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 mandates equal communication access, and CART Captioning is considered a covered auxiliary service under the ADA. Entities which receive federal funds are required to provide CART Captioning. See ADA.org.
The 21st Century Telecommunications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) of 2010 mandates captioning for newer forms of communication like the internet and online videos. CART Captioners write and send realtime text for Web-streamed events, classes, and meetings. CART Captioners also attend classes (either on-site or remotely) as an ADA accommodation and write all spoken words for students who need text.
A Broadcast Captioner listens to or views television news, sports, or programs and outputs translated realtime text to Line 21 of the video screen, which is reserved for closed captioning. A broadcast captioner is paid an hourly rate, with some types of captioning, like sports, paying a higher rate. Hours for broadcast captioning are concentrated in early mornings, mid-day, and evening hours, and a captioner's schedule will include weekend work. Many broadcast captioners also do either on-site or remote CART captioning work.
A transcriptionist may use a steno machine to take down recorded spoken words. With laws requiring equal communication access, and with speech recognition being still far from accurate, transcriptionists provided needed text for those who cannot hear audios or videos. They also transcribe court and deposition recordings, using foot pedal software for control of text playback speed. They are paid by the page produced, by the audio minute, or even by the word.
A scopist is the editor of a court reporter's first-pass transcript. The scopist works in a special steno-to-English translation software to correct errors in spelling, punctuation, or translation. They are paid per page of transcript produced. They often work on expedited transcripts. The scopist is paid per page, with a higher rate paid for
quick turn-around work. Most scopists work at home, but some court reporting offices employ scopists and proofreaders in the office for maximum efficiency. For larger trials demanding daily copy, a reporter may hire a team of scopists and proofreaders.
A proofreader reads the final draft of the court reporter's transcript by printing the draft and proofreading it carefully, correcting errors in spelling and punctuation, and researching authoritative sources to confirm spellings and punctuation.
The proofreader scans and emails to the court reporter a PDF of the pages to be corrected in the reporter's final transcript before the reporter signs the Certificate of Reporter. The proofreader is paid by the page, with added pay for expedited turn-around. Some court reporters edit their own work and use a proofreader. Some use a scopist and a proofreader. Some use a scopist and then proofread their own work. The proofreader works from home and/or in a court reporting office.