Statistically, single moms usually end up bearing most or all of the financial burden of supporting their families. On top of that pressure, you’re also in charge of all of the details and logistics of child-rearing. When time and money are short, you need flexibility in your schedule to help you maximize both.
Fortunately, jobs that allow you to work remotely and build your own schedule are becoming more common and more attainable for single mothers. Being able to work from home means you’re able to pick and choose the times that work for you – working early morning, evenings, or clearing your schedule for school breaks.
Court reporting allows you to work remotely as a contractor and set your own hours without having to sacrifice a lucrative paycheck. With a small investment of time and money in training, you could be working as a voice writing court reporter in as little as four months to one year.
Why Court Reporting?
It sounds easy enough to say, “Start working remotely!” But many of the jobs that allow you to work remotely are either specialized—requiring special degrees, certifications, or job experience—or they’re relatively low paying–call centers, bill collectors, customer service, freelancing. As a single mother, and likely the main breadwinner, you need a good job in a stable industry that pays well and allows you to make your own hours.
In a time when going back to college means taking on nearly insurmountable debt and the job market is flatlining in the face of the global pandemic, court reporting is one career choice that is both affordable and still in high demand.
A precise and methodical record of legal proceedings is a key component of our justice system. There will always be a need for court reporters to ensure these records exist, which ensures your job security and stability.
What Does a Court Reporter Do?
Court reporters are responsible for creating verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings using a variety of assistive technology from steno mask machines to stenotype machines. Stenotype machines are used to type information in a special kind of shorthand while stenomasks, or speech silencers, use highly sensitive microphones to pick up the voice reporter’s dictation of the proceedings. The goal is to create a word-for-word record of the court proceedings for the use of judges, lawyers, and other legal personnel.
Voice Writers Versus Stenographers
When you think of a traditional “court reporter,” you likely envision someone typing on what looks like a tiny typewriter. That’s a stenotype machine, and it was considered the height of court reporting technology for decades. However, as voice recognition technology advanced, voice writing court reporters have begun to dominate the field, and for good reason.
Instead of using their hands, voice writers repeat verbatim everything that is said in the courtroom into a speech silencer. They use a voice writing theory that involves speaking rapidly into the speech silencer using a shorthand language that is recognized and translated into realtime text by speech-to-text software.
Professional voice writers use the Dragon speech recognition engine with a CAT system. This combination produces a realtime speech-to-text transcript. While stenographers and voice writers can both achieve the exact same results, voice writers can train for the career in a fraction of the time of a stenography program. Voice writers have regularly competed and won in international speed contests. The best voice writers can take down more than 300 words per minute.
Voice Writing Method and Communication Access Realtime Translation Training
In order to become a court reporter, you will have to undergo special training. But where stenographers must usually complete three to four years of training, voice writers can complete their courses in one year or less.
To become a voice writing court reporter, you must learn about the voice writing methodology. This involves learning how to use the speech silencer, how to speak in voice writing shorthand using a voice theory, and how to build speed. Our students are typically able to master this program and graduate with a speed of 225 WPM (words per minute) with 96% accuracy. And 100% of our graduates go on to achieve national and/or state certification.
Making this investment in your career work for your schedule as a single mother is beneficial. With our online courses for court reporting, you can take the classes on your schedule and at your own pace. Our digital, on-demand learning platform will teach you everything you need to know about court reporting and voice writing—on your schedule.
And if you decide that court reporting is not for you, your skills are portable. Voice writers are in high demand across multiple industries. You can choose from a variety of other career paths, including live captioning for television and working as CART providers.
CART stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation. CART services involve a certified CART provider listening to speech and instantaneously translating to text that can be seen on a screen—computers, mobile devices, projection screens, or monitors. These services are used for many reasons, but one of the most common is to make presentations such as college classes accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing.
Voice Writing Court Reporting Salary
While your exact salary will depend on where you live and the company and industry that you work for, the average earning potential for a verbatim court reporter right out of school is approximately $40,000 a year. With job experience, that can increase exponentially. With an investment in your continued education and advanced certifications, you have the potential to earn a six-figure salary as a voice writing court reporter.
If you’re interested in court reporting or other voice writing careers that allow you to work remotely, call the IR Court Reporting Institute at (501) 823-9179, send a text message to (501)-772-0521, or contact us online. You could graduate in as little as four months and be on your way to giving you and your children a better life.