The biggest factor is your geographical location. Some pockets of the country have a severe reporter shortage and others are saturated. In several areas, officials are being removed and replaced with digital recording devices, to the disappointment of reporters living and previously reporting in those locations.
How much experience will I need before applying for an officialship? Should I begin as an independent freelancer or seek work from one firm or several firms? How important is it for me to be able to provide realtime? Excellent questions! One of our coaches for court reporters can advise you.
The first question to ask is if you would be an employee on salary with benefits and taxes withheld or an independent contractor. There are many other important questions that should be asked, and one of our coaches who mentors new court reporters will be happy to discuss all of the questions that you should get answered by the reporting firm on the front end.
Unless you are employed by a court system that claims ownership to the original audio, it is your personal property.
Almost every new steno reporter should scope their own work for the first year or so, building their personal dictionary better and better with each edited file. Doing so will help subsequent jobs translate much better.
Schedule your appointment and get YOUR questions answered! We know you probably have a long list, and that's okay!