By David Brand
Fast fingers mean big bucks for court reporters in Queens. In fact, court reporters can earn well over $100,000 a year once they learn to write 225 words per minute.
Only a handful schools in the area train prospective court reporters, however. Their two-year associate’s degree programs enables people to earn an excellent salary without first paying for a four-year degree.
Long Island Business Institute Commack campus is one such location. The next semester begins on Oct. 25 and they are accepting application for the program until Oct. 4.
“Class sizes are 10-12 students which provides the perfect learning environment for the program,” said LIBI Director of Enrollment Terry Canavan. “Students that do well in the program have an interest in legal content and the English language, sharp memory, have a knack for texting and typing, strong grammar skills [and are] avid readers.”
Canavan said the school will host an open house in Commack on Sept. 13.
Plaza College in Forest Hills and the New York School of Court Reporting also offer court reporting programs.
More than 5,100 court reporters are expected to retire in the next five years, but only 1,500 people are expected to enter the field over the same time period, the NYSCR reports.
The median annual income for court reporters in New York State is $97,050 according to the State Department of Labor. The median wage for experienced reporters is more than $107,000.
Long Island Business Institute Assistant Campus Director Michelle Houston said graduates of the school’s court reporting program in Commack experience a near-100 percent employment rate.
“There are a lot of courts and a lot of court reporting agencies, but there are not enough people to fill them,” Houston said, adding that the school’s most recent salutatorian graduated on April 12 and began writing pretrial proceedings on April 20.