If you are serious about becoming a court reporter in the state of Missouri then you should know, first and foremost, that the competition for these jobs throughout the state is fierce, and for good reason.
Court reporters in Missouri earn very lucrative salaries, usually salaries that are well above the state average, and they enjoy excellent job security, something that is exceedingly hard to come by in this troubled economic climate.
Therefore, if you want one of these jobs, then you are going to have to be willing to work hard for it. More than that, though, you must possess certain skills and traits, some of which cannot be learned but must come naturally.
A good court reporter is someone who is, of course, willing to do what it takes to have the job of his or her dreams. You must be hardworking, diligent, and realistic about your goals and expectations.
A great way to determine if you really have what it takes to make it in this field is to research the job you are interested in and its educational and/or training and certification requirements. If, when confronted with these requirements, you do not balk, then you may just be suited to being a court reporter.
In addition to being willing to do what it takes to become a court reporter, you should also be incredibly observant and a good listener. Your hearing must be impeccable! Court reporters constantly have to be aware of what is going on around them in the court room and, more importantly, of every little thing that is said, no matter how quietly or how muffled it may be.
If you have a mind that wanders or lack attention to detail, then you are probably not well suited to being a court reporter.
Good court reporters are also not afraid to speak up in public. If, in the court room, you are unable to understand something that was said or that happened, you must be able to stand up and ask for it to be repeated. If you are too shy or timid to do this, then you will not make a very good court reporter.
Also, it is not uncommon for court reporters to be required to read back transcripts or parts of transcripts to an entire roomful of people, so shyness really is not an option.
Court reporters also have to be capable of working with technology. Which technology exactly that they will have to work with will depend upon their exact job and the type of court reporter that they are. A stenographic court reporter, for example, must be familiar with and able to work quickly and efficiently with a stenograph machine.
An electronic court reporter must be able to use audio recording equipment and a standard computer proficiently, and a voice court reporter should be able to use a voice silencer correctly and without problem or distraction to others in the court room.
Court reporters need to be patient as well. They often sit in long, boring, and dry court room sessions for extended periods without a break. They should be accustomed to working long hours and working alone, as well as in groups and with other legal professionals.
Having these qualities or, if you don’t have them, making an effort to develop and to hone them, is the only way to have success in this industry. Be realistic as you assess yourself to see where you need improvement, and don’t go down this career path if you do not feel you are up to the challenge.