Hi everyone,

I'm the co-founder of a two-person internet startup that is creating new software to help you, the people in the court reporting industry. We have not yet released it but based on interviews we've had with local court reporters and reading the discussions here on CSR Nation we are optimistic that people will be pleased with it. We are thrilled to serve an industry that is doing such important work and is known for its integrity.

I'm working on our business plan and a couple of questions have come up to which I can't find the answer. I thought I would put this out to you, the community, and see if any of you know:

  1. How many court reporting agencies are in the US?
  2. What is the average number of court reporters per court reporting agency, whether as freelancers or employees/owners? (This might help answer #1)

I've been doing research and my local business librarian has been helping me. The best information we have found so far is:

  • NCRA's stats page says there are 36,000 stenographic court reporters in the marketplace.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Court reporters held about 21,500 jobs in 2008 and a little more than half of those were for state federal government agencies. "Most of the remaining wage and salary workers were employed by court reporting agencies." Straight-line interpolation of their forecast implies there are 23,060 total in 2012.

If I assume most court reporting agencies are small (average of 3 reporters??), and assume that "a little more than half" as officials means 45% are freelancers working for agencies that leads to this conclusion:

(23,060 x 0.45)
--------------- = 3,459 court reporting agencies in the United States

This number is smaller than I would have expected. Do any of you know of other sources of information that I have missed?

Please be gentle in making corrections if I've got some facts or assumptions wrong. :-)

Thank you so much.

- Brian Morearty

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To compile the number of freelance agencies in the 2011 NCRA Source Book it required me only listing each freelance firm once even though the firm may have been listed over 20 times in various states.  Likewise, some firms had several city listings under their state's list of ads, but I only listed the firm once.


I did a further check of the statistics, and found there are 672 individual firms listed in the 2011 Source Book.


The list I compiled is 21 pages long. 


 If anyone wants the list of all the individual firms in the 2011 Source Book sent to them as an attachment, they can request it from me at williamparsons2@yahoo.com


The 21 page list is broken down separately by the 50 states and foreign countries.


Bill Parsons





I am with Peggy.  I have only been reporting for four years here in NY, and this year has been horrible.  Possibly 20 or 30 years ago this was a great field to be in, but I think it has changed for the worst.  The page rates here are actually going down.

I am finding that I have to contact out of state agencies now to find work.  I do believe that they are settling before they go to depos to save money.

Hopefully things will pick up soon.

I know this has nothing to do with how many agencies are out there.  The issue is how many good ones are out there.

Thanks for the input, Susan. How sad to hear several people saying it's no longer a good field to go into, and that the page rates are going down. How much have they gone down? Can you say?

Significantly.  I make around the same page rate I made 15 years ago, but have turned down jobs offering rates at a third less.  If I have to take a pay cut like that for this kind of work, I'll go back to waitressing.  A lot more fun and less stressful.

Thanks, Paul. I've already tried them. Unfortunately they don't know.



The American Institute of Business in Iowa is discontinuing their court reporting and captioning courses.   


AIB will finish out the course for the students presently enrolled.


Here's an excerpt of the remarks of AIB College of Business President Nancy Williams:

 “Almost half the U.S. schools that taught the programs (court reporting and closed captioning) have closed or phased them out since 1996,”


I did a little checking and found the following data:

1996 NCRA List of Approved Schools:  112

2011 NCRA List of Approved Schools:  55

2011 NCRA List of Participating Schools:  15

The 2012 NCRA website List of Approved Schools shows a loss of 8 additional approved schools which would lower the number of NCRA approved schools to 47.







Good to know, Bill. It seems most of the statistics show this is a shrinking industry, with only one exception: the BLS estimates on the number of court reporters shows them going up by 18% between 2008 and 2018. 

Hi Brian,


I checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, and the info I had was forecast from 2010 to 2020 which is two years more current than your cited statistics which were for 2008 through 2018.

 I found following website of Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The article at that website states the following:

"Employment of court reporters is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations.

"Those with experience and training in techniques for helping deaf and hard-of-hearing people, such as real-time captioning and Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), will have the best job prospects."

It seems they have lumped in real-time captioning and Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) with court reporting, but I believe most of those jobs would take place outside of the courtroom.

With the CART and closed captioning thrown into the mix, the above website states the following: 

Job Outlook, 2010-20 14% (About as fast as average)

Good luck in your project.

Best Regards, Bill



Hi, I'd like to thank Bill Parsons for his altruistic efforts for the reporting community.  Comprising the list took a very long time.  Your efforts are appreciated.  Best regards to all.


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