The voice writing method of court reporting was invented more than half a century ago and in recent years, we have seen more significant advancements in the field. This is primarily due to the continued development and improvement of voice recognition technology and computer processing speeds, which has allowed voice writers to achieve realtime translation.
While court reporting is lucrative, there is a major shortage of certified professionals in both courtrooms and freelance deposition markets across the country. Anyone interested in the legal field would be wise to pursue a career in voice writing court reporting—and it all starts with finding a tried and true voice writing court reporting school taught by qualified instructors.
When you complete your training with a proven voice writing school and complete your certification at either the state and/or national level with the National Verbatim Reporters Association, the national voice writing association, you will have many career options. Voice writers work as court reporters in the courtroom or as freelancers, reporting depositions and examinations under oath. Voice writers can even work remotely as broadcast captioners or CART providers for the Deaf and hard of hearing.
Voice Writing Court Reporting Explained
As a voice writing court reporter, you are required to take down everything that is said aloud in the courtroom or deposition setting. In the past, these jobs were performed by a stenographer typing on a steno machine. You’ve likely seen representations of this in older movies and TV shows—it’s the thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about a court reporter.
However, advancements in voice recognition technology have replaced the steno machine as a viable method of take-down and have led to a rise of voice writing court reporters. Instead of using their hands to take the record down, voice writers repeat verbatim everything that is said into a speech silencer with highly sensitive microphones using a voice writing theory. Stenographers and voice writers perform the exact same services and get paid exactly the same, but voice writers can train in one year or less, whereas stenography students take an average of 3-4 years to complete their training. Stenography schools also have a 92 percent dropout rate among their students.
Professional voice writers utilize the Dragon speech recognition engine with a CAT system to produce realtime speech to text. Voice writers have won international speed contests time after time, and the best can easily take down 300 words per minute or more!
Voice Writing Tools: The Speech Silencer
So they will not be heard in the courtroom or deposition setting, voice writers use a unique device called a speech silencer.
The speech silencer ensures that the voice writer can speak freely without being heard by others as well as eliminating any other speech or background noise picked up by the microphone. This leaves less room for mistakes in the translation.
Voice writers use the speech silencer to relay everything happening in the courtroom. The speech silencer is connected to a laptop computer with Dragon software and a CAT system so they can produce a realtime feed for themselves, judges, and attorneys. Broadcast captioners and CART providers can stream realtime text to television stations and their Deaf or hard of hearing consumers from their home using an open-mic headset.
Characteristics of a Successful Voice Writer
Students who wish to pursue a career in the field of court reporting should possess the following qualities and aspirations:
- A strong interest in the legal field
- Strong grammar and punctuation skills
- Above average proficiency with computers and the Windows operating system
- Ability to listen carefully and record proceedings accurately
- Ability to adhere to a strict code of ethics
- Good organizational and time management skills
- Flexible and adapt easily to new environments
- Thrive on learning new skills
- Can work independently
- Self-motivated and disciplined
How To Choose the Best Voice Court Reporting Online School
Here’s some questions that you should ask any potential voice writing school:
- What certifications in voice writing does your instructor have to be a qualified teacher?
- What is the dropout rate among students at the school?
- What percentage of students completing the program go on to achieve certification?
- Does your school teach a voice writing theory?
- Does your school teach the latest technology in court reporting?
At IR Court Reporting Institute, our instructors, Sarah Flynn, CCR, CVR-M, RVR, CLT, and Colette Wayda, CCR, have a combined total of over 50 years of experience in teaching successful voice writers. Our school has an extremely low dropout rate, and 100% of students who complete the program go on to achieve certification. We teach the voice writing theory of Bettye Keyes, CCR, CSR, CVR-M, RVR. We also teach the Eclipse Vox realtime CAT software so our students will be the most successful in the field.
Job Outlook and Voice Writer Salary
Although court reporting is a well-paid, highly sought-after position, there is currently a large shortage of trained professionals to perform these specialized jobs across the nation.
After completing IR’s online program and receiving your state and/or national certification, a lucrative job is practically guaranteed. All of our graduates are encouraged to receive national certification through the National Verbatim Reporters Association, www.nvra.org.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median income for court reporters was $60,130, and jobs are expected to grow 7%—much faster than the average job growth rate. Realtime court reporters can easily make into the six figures.
Become a Court Reporter
With voice writers in high demand, they can choose their career path at will—working as court reporters, CART providers, or broadcast captioners. With our affordable online school and short training duration, receiving your voice writing certification can be achieved in a short period of time. Classes are self-paced, and students can graduate anywhere between four and 12 months. With our training, you can achieve a high-paying, exciting job for less than one semester of a traditional college.
We’ll provide you with all the necessary information about courses, certifications, and more to get you started. Enroll in our proven program to learn from the only realtime certified instructor, Sarah Flynn, CCR, CVR-M, RVR, CLT.
So what are you waiting for? Train with IR, perfect your skills, and emerge as one of the top voice writers in the field in one year or less!