Remember your demographics too. I think CSRNation extends far, far past its original California roots, and reporters from all over the country have participated in this poll. I did, so we know the results include from East Coast to West Coast.
To me, without a doubt, income potential is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest consideration when choosing a career path. After I'd been reporting a while, I visited the school there in Richmond, Va., where I lived and worked for 20+ years, and I remember a gal from the class who was a paralegal by day, CR student at night, said, "Come on, Mary Ann. Tell us about the money. Give us something to live for! Get us through the day!" Must have worked, at least for her, because she did graduate and entered the profession eventually.
To step up your game, as was suggested in Breck's blog post, you aim for greatness, not mediocrity. Realtime is near and dear to me, as you all know very well, and I believe those reporters who set their sights on realtime aren't doing it just because they love words. They could become a librarian, a scopist or proofreader, copy editor ... or just do the Jumble every morning if they loved words so much, and go on to a regular job.
Reporters will have jobs and many, many opportunities to use their skills in the years to come ... but as any marketing professional will tell you, to rise above your competition, you must offer something that others cannot. Reporters can stand in a long line of regular reporters hoping to cover regular assignments ... or hone their speciaty and move out of the long line and into a short line of experts. Every reporter reading these words has the equipment and software required to provide realtime, but a small percentage will be good enough to be able to sell screen time to someone. (Maybe that's YOU!) So since this is a thread about money, let me repeat my belief that Realtime is a Specialty, and court reporters who can provide excellent, readable realtime should be compensated very well for those unique skills. You should respect yourself and the hard work and tremendous effort it takes to become a member of the realtime elite!
For what? Part-time three days a week and not after 3:00 p.m.? Full-time with vacations? Full-time without any vacations? Staff reporter with a big 1(800) firm? IC with a lot of smaller firms? Real-time reporters only need apply? Anybody who thinks can write 200 wpm is okay? Lots of different variables. Maybe you can elaborate in what gets you $100,000/year in NY.
On average, how much do you earn per year as a court reporter? (don't worry, it's anonymous)
$200,000 and above 9%
This is nice to have. 30% make over $100,000; 22% make over $80,000. So half the reporters are making over $80,000 a year - although costs and location are not indicated.
I'll be happy to make $50,000. This Stenoram II is okay for rebuilding speed and getting on computer - but I really don't see us going on depo dates together.
Ugh, no wonder a SoCal attorney I had a couple of weeks ago looked as if it were a completely foreign concept to him when he asked for a rough, and I said to him that there is an extra fee for it. He was shocked, shocked, that it was NOT FREE. I told him, "NOTHING is for free up here," as it should be.
He then had the nerve to ask me to just e-mail to him behind my firm's back! I ... don't ... think ... so! Grrrrr!