Chaffey Joint Union High School District Launches Career Pathway For Court Reporters
Chaffey Joint Union High School District launches career pathway to fill the growing demand for court reporters
ONTARIO, CA – Tapping into a high-demand, well-paying but often overlooked career field, the Chaffey Joint Union High School District has launched a pathway program for students and adults interested in becoming court reporters.
A shortage of trained and certified court reporters has raised the median annual salary to $51,320, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In regions with the heaviest demand – California, for instance – it is not unusual for newly certified court reporters to make $80,000 a year or more.
“There’s a critical need for skilled workers able to transcribe legal proceedings for courts and law offices, but you would be surprised at how many other businesses are looking for the same skillset,” said Chaffey District Superintendent Dr. Mathew Holton. “Getting the right kind of training can be expensive and difficult to come by. We’re very pleased to be able to offer this to our students and our community, and to expose them to vibrant career opportunities they might not have considered before.”
Approximately 30 participants have begun taking court reporting classes at the Chaffey Adult School, 1802 E. Seventh St. in Ontario. Sessions are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30-7 p.m., and are led by Carrie Ravenscroft, who has taught court reporting at Cypress College and elsewhere through the years. Stenography machines were donated by U.S. Legal Support, which provides litigation support services nationally.
The program is free for Chaffey District students, and $500 per semester for adults.
According to the Ducker Institute, there is an anticipated shortage of 5,500 court reporters over the next five years, with nearly half of those (2,320) occurring in California. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that three times as many court reporters are retiring from the profession than entering it.
“With fewer colleges, too, offering court reporting training, the pipeline of qualified job candidates has dried up,” Dr. Virginia Kelsen, the Chaffey District’s Executive Director of Career Readiness. “We see a real opportunity to fill that gap, in keeping with our commitment as a District to preparing our students for college and careers.”
Among the requirements in California for full court reporting certification is an ability to type 200 words per minute on a stenotype machine. Although the average time needed to become a fully certified court reporter is 3.5 years, students have the opportunity to earn certifications in related skills, such as proofing and scoping, in two years or less.
In addition to filling the growing need within the legal profession, trained court reporters are in demand by corporations and government agencies needing written transcripts or captioning for the hearing impaired.
For information on the Chaffey District court reporting program, please contact Dr. Kelsen at Virginia.Kelsen@cjuhsd.net.