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Occupational Profile

Captioner and Court Reporter

Captioners and court reporters write machine shorthand at a minimum speed of 225 words per minute to capture every word spoken in a variety of settings. Computer technology instantly translates shorthand notes into English text that can be displayed or printed.

  • Avg. Salary $48,426.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.48
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Broadcast Captioner, Captioner, CART Provider, Court Reporter, Legal Reporter, Realtime Reporter, Verbatim Shorthand Reporter

NOC & Interest Codes
The Captioner and Court Reporter is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Court Recorders
NOC code: 1244.1
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats; in responding to requests during court sessions to read back verbatim evidence, in responding to requests for transcripts ordered by judges, lawyers or the public, and in verifying accuracy of rulings by checking with judge

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating computerized recording equipment, electronic stenograph machines or stenomask

innovative

Interest to research and locate quotes to ensure accuracy

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Duties and specific tasks vary depending on the reporter's specialization.

Court (legal) reporters produce verbatim transcripts of Court of Queen's Bench proceedings (trials), quasi-judicial proceedings, boards of inquiry and public hearings. They may provide realtime reporting services on request.

Captioners provide instantaneous translation of shorthand notes into English text. They may subsequently prepare transcripts. Captioners usually work in live settings such as video or cyber conferences, government hearings or debates, live television broadcasts or post-secondary classrooms. There are two types of captioners:

  • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) providers primarily offer services in business and education settings for the deaf and hard of hearing persons. For example, they may provide an instant translation of a university lecture on a notebook computer screen and provide an electronic version at the end of class.
  • Broadcast captioners specialize in providing closed captioning for live television broadcasts.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most captioners and court reporters work in urban environments. They may work in boardrooms, conference rooms, courts, classrooms, business or community settings. Many have home offices.

Captioners and court reporters may be required to sit for two or three hours at a time and maintain their concentration throughout. Depending on the nature of the proceedings they report, they may be required to work in challenging circumstances.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Captioners and court reporters need the following characteristics:

  • excellent communication skills in English including an extensive vocabulary
  • a good knowledge of current events and the world around them
  • an interest in law
  • attention to detail
  • the ability to be discreet as they are privy to sensitive information
  • good interpersonal skills and a courteous, professional manner
  • the physical and mental stamina required to work long hours and maintain a high standard of work
  • strong powers of concentration 
  • the flexibility required to adapt to last minute changes
  • good time management skills
  • the ability to deal with stress
  • excellent hearing
  • an interest in learning about diverse topics and new technology
  • the ability to work independently.

They should enjoy:

  • working within clear rules and guidelines with minimal direction or supervision
  • working with technology
  • doing work that requires a high degree of accuracy within prescribed timelines.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

The Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association (ASRA) recommends that prospective captioners and court reporters take their training in a program approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), as some employers will only hire reporters who have completed this training. Students training to become reporters should study computer compatible machine shorthand theory. Legal, computing or related business experience is an asset.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Court or Shorthand Reporter

Court or shorthand reporters write machine shorthand at a minimum speed of 225 words per minute, capturing every word spoken in a variety of settings. Computer technology instantly translates shorthand notes into English text which can be displayed on computer monitors or large projector screens, or printed as a transcript.

Legislation

Certified Shorthand Reporter is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself a Certified Shorthand Reporter, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association (ASRA). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Shorthand Reporter.

Education

Registration requires: (1) successful completion of approved examinations, (2) registration as a participating member of ASRA for at least one year immediately prior to application, and (3) successful completion of an approved education program or at least five years of work experience as a court reporter. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ASRA website or contact ASRA.

Working in Alberta

Court or shorthand reporters who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered court or shorthand reporters in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association
#309, 17008 - 90 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5T 1L6
Phone number:780-951-6554
Website: www.asraonline.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most captioners and court reporters work for private reporting companies or are self-employed. Some are federal or provincial government employees.

Captioners and court reporters who are self-employed are required to supply their own equipment (for example, shorthand machine, laptop computer, industry-specific software, and digital recorder). These items could cost up to $10,000 to $15,000 and may require ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

There is a growing demand for CART reporters and broadcast captioners. Demand for broadcast captioners has been boosted by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission's 100% target for captioning local news and 90% target for all other programming.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Court reporters are paid an hourly rate plus transcription fees. The income from transcription fees are generally higher for live, full and expedited transcription services. Depending on the type and volume of work, court reporters can earn from $40,000 to over $100,000 a year.

Captioner and court reporters are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1251: Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations occupational group earned on average from $24.41 to $30.45 an hour. The overall average wage was $27.48 an hour. For more information, see the Other customer and information services representatives wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association (ASRA) website: www.asraonline.com

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) website: www.ncraonline.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Feb 29, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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