Is Stenography a Good Career Choice? Exploring Pros and Cons

Are you interested in finding the perfect career for yourself? Have you considered stenography as a viable option? If not, then you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity. The profession of stenography involves capturing and transcribing spoken words at a high accuracy level. It’s a fascinating and challenging field that requires specific skills, such as multitasking, a great memory, and excellent listening abilities. With the latest technology, stenography has become a more advanced and rewarding career than ever before.

Becoming a stenographer is an excellent way to achieve financial stability while experiencing a variety of exciting career opportunities. It’s a profession that can pave the way for a comfortable living while allowing individuals to pursue their passions and interests. The nature of the industry is changing rapidly, with a growing demand for skilled stenographers that can handle complex court cases, legal proceedings, government meetings, and more. It’s a challenging and constantly evolving industry that can offer numerous career prospects for those looking to take advantage of them.

If you’re considering stenography as a profession, then now is the perfect time to learn more about it. This rewarding career provides individuals with excellent salary and benefits packages, and it also enables them to work in various fields that suit their interests and passions. With the right skills and dedication, you can have an incredibly rewarding experience while working as a stenographer. So, why wait? Take a closer look at this fascinating career and start building the life that you want today!

Job Outlook for Stenographers

Stenography is a career that requires skilled training and attention to detail. The job market for stenographers is affected by various factors such as technological advancements, legal system trends, and industry growth. As a result, potential stenographers may want to consider the job outlook of this profession before embarking on a stenography career.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of court reporters and stenographers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for stenographers is primarily driven by the need for more real-time, captioning services for news programs, webcasts, and other events.
  • Stenography also plays a crucial role in the legal system. The BLS suggests that stenographers, who work in courts, will continue to be in demand to reliably record legal proceedings.
  • Furthermore, stenographers who specialize in providing real-time captioning services for people with hearing impairments or who are non-native English speakers will have more opportunities as the government and private sector invests in digital accessibility.

Table 1 shows the projected employment change, median annual wage, and typical entry-level education for stenographers and related professions in the United States as of May 2020.

Occupation Projected Employment Change 2019-2029 (percent) Median Annual Wage May 2020 Typical Entry-Level Education
Court Reporters 9% $62,330 Postsecondary Nondegree Award
Broadcast Captioners 8% $65,060 Associate’s degree
CART Providers 9% $62,330 Postsecondary Nondegree Award
Judicial Reporters 9% $62,330 Postsecondary Nondegree Award

Overall, the job outlook for stenographers is positive, with opportunities expected in both traditional and non-traditional settings. As digital accessibility and the need for real-time captioning services rise, the demand for stenographers with well-defined skills and mastery of their craft should continue to expand.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stenography

Stenography is becoming more popular as a career choice. People are attracted to this field for reasons like job security, convenience, and the ability to work from home. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of stenography.


  • Job Security: There are always services in need of stenographers since legal proceedings will continue to occur and require documentation.
  • Convenience: Stenographers can work anywhere as long as they have their equipment with them. They can even work from home.
  • Steady Income: Stenographers typically make an hourly wage and work a standard 40-hour workweek. They also have the option of picking up extra work on their own time.
  • Less Education Required: Most stenographers only need a post-secondary certification to begin working. They do not need a Bachelor’s degree like other careers.


While there are some great perks to working as a stenographer, there are also some disadvantages to consider. These potential drawbacks include:

  • Stressful Work: Stenographers have to concentrate the whole time during a legal proceeding without any breaks, which can be mentally exhausting.
  • High Accuracy Required: Stenographers must transcribe essays with a high degree of accuracy— 95% to be exact— so the final document can be used in court.
  • Difficult Work Environment: Since stenographers are often tasked with taking down everything that is said in a courtroom or meeting, they may find the job challenging. It can be difficult if there is background noise or people speaking over each other. This makes the position especially challenging for those suffering from hearing loss.


Ultimately, stenography can be an ideal career for someone with excellent listening and typing skills. There are many advantages to this field, including job security, a good salary, and the flexibility of working from home. However, the job can also be challenging, with a high degree of accuracy required and a stressful work environment. People who are considering stenography as a career should weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully to determine if it is the right choice for them.

Advantages Disadvantages
Job Security Stressful Work
Convenience High Accuracy Required
Steady Income Difficult Work Environment
Less Education Required

As with any profession, there are pros and cons of working as a stenographer. By understanding the possible advantages and disadvantages ahead of time, you can make an informed decision about pursuing a career in this field.

How to Become a Stenographer

If you’re interested in becoming a stenographer, there are several steps you can take to get started on your career path. Here are three key steps:

  • Earn a high school diploma or equivalent: The first step to becoming a stenographer is completing your high school education or obtaining a GED. Courses in English, math, and computer science can provide a foundation for your future studies in stenography.
  • Complete stenography training: Most stenographers receive training through community colleges, technical schools, or online programs. These programs typically take between six months to two years to complete and will teach you the necessary skills in shorthand writing, typing, and transcription.
  • Obtain certification: While not all states require certification, it can help you stand out in the job market and command higher wages. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) offers two types of certification, Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) and Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR).

Stenography Training Programs

There are several options for stenography training programs, including community colleges, technical schools, and online courses. When evaluating these options, it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • Cost: The price of stenography training programs can vary widely, so it’s important to find a program that fits your budget.
  • Accreditation: Accreditation can ensure that the program meets certain quality standards and may be required for certification.
  • Course offerings: Look for a program that offers courses in shorthand writing, typing, and transcription, as well as opportunities for real-world experience.
  • Flexibility: Online courses can provide flexibility in terms of when and where you complete your studies, but may require more self-discipline and motivation.

Certification Requirements

To become certified as a stenographer, you’ll typically need to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • Passing a written knowledge test and a skills test that includes stenographic notes, transcription, and realtime reporting.
  • Earning a certain number of continuing education credits over time to maintain your certification.

The NCRA offers two types of certification:

Certification Type Requirements
Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Passing a written knowledge test, a skills test in stenographic notes, transcriptions, and realtime reporting, and a test of English language skills; earning continuing education credits.
Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) Meeting the RPR requirements, as well as passing an additional skills test in realtime writing and captioning.

Becoming a certified stenographer can help you stand out in the job market and demonstrate your competency to potential employers. It requires time and effort to complete the necessary education and certification requirements, but can be a rewarding and lucrative career path for those with strong typing skills and an interest in language and law.

Salary and Earning Potential in Stenography

Stenography is a highly specialized field that requires extensive training and a unique set of skills. One of the most attractive aspects of this profession is that it offers a competitive salary and excellent earning potential for those who are willing to put in the effort to become proficient in this field.

  • Starting Salary: The starting salary of a stenographer can range from $35,000 to $50,000 per year, depending on the location, industry, and experience. Entry-level stenographers typically earn salaries on the lower end of this scale, but as they gain more experience and expertise, they can expect to see their earnings increase significantly.
  • Experience Matters: Experienced stenographers who have been working in the field for several years can earn up to $100,000 or more per year. The more experience and expertise a stenographer has, the more valuable they are to their clients or employer, and the more they can command in terms of salary and other compensation.
  • Specialization: Many stenographers specialize in specific industries or types of work, which can also affect their earning potential. For instance, a stenographer who specializes in providing deposition services to law firms can command a higher rate than someone who works primarily in the business or medical fields.

Overall, stenography is a relatively high-paying profession that offers excellent earning potential for those who are dedicated to honing their skills and building their expertise over time. While the starting salary may not be as high as some other professions, the upside potential is significant, and the work can be both intellectually challenging and rewarding.

Salary Range Experience Level Industry
$35,000 – $50,000 Entry-Level All Industries
$50,000 – $80,000 Mid-Level All Industries
$80,000 – $100,000+ Experienced Specialized Industries

As with any profession, the salary and earning potential in stenography can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including location, industry, experience, and more. However, for those who are dedicated to building their skills and expertise in this field, the rewards can be significant.

Job Satisfaction in Stenography

Job satisfaction is a crucial factor in any career, and stenography is no exception. Here are some reasons why stenography can be a satisfying career choice:

  • Fast-paced and challenging work: Stenography requires quick reflexes, sharp focus, and the ability to multitask effectively. For individuals who thrive in fast-paced and challenging work environments, stenography can be a very rewarding career.
  • Flexible work schedule: Many stenographers work as freelancers, which allows for greater flexibility in setting one’s work schedule. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have other responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly family members.
  • Opportunities for specialization: Stenographers can specialize in a particular field, such as law or medicine, which can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment in one’s work.

In addition to the above benefits, stenography can also provide a stable and lucrative career path. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for court reporters and stenographers was $60,130 in 2020.

It’s worth noting, however, that like any career, stenography has its share of challenges. For example, the work can be repetitive and at times, the demands of the job can be high.

Pros: Cons:
Fast-paced and challenging work Repetitive work can be dull
Flexible work schedule High demands and long hours at times
Opportunities for specialization May require ongoing education and training

Overall, stenography can be a great career choice for individuals who are detail-oriented, able to work under pressure, and enjoy a fast-paced work environment. While it may not be for everyone, for those who find the work rewarding, stenography can provide a stable and satisfying career path.

Technology’s Impact on the Future of Stenography

Stenography has come a long way since its inception, and technology has played an integral role in shaping its future. Here are some of the ways technology has impacted stenography:

  • Machine Shorthand: Machine shorthand has been around for quite some time and has revolutionized the stenography industry. It is the fastest and most accurate way to transcribe speech into text.
  • Real-Time Reporting: Real-time reporting has been made possible through the use of technology. This means that the stenographer can transcribe what is being said as it is being said, allowing for faster and more accurate reporting.
  • Advancements in Equipment: Stenographers now have access to sophisticated equipment that makes their work easier, faster and more efficient. For example, the steno machine has evolved from the old-fashioned paper tape machine to the modern computerized machine.

Furthermore, technology has brought about changes in the stenography profession that have improved the quality of work being done.

Take a look at the table below for some of the ways technology has impacted stenography:

Technology Impact
Digital Audio Recording Allows for easier playback and can capture more than one speaker at a time.
CAT Software Allows for customization, easy editing and faster job delivery
Real-Time Translation Tools Allow stenographers to transcribe in multiple languages plus, improves accuracy.

Overall, technology has had a positive impact on the future of stenography. It has made the profession more efficient, accurate, and allowed for real-time reporting. Stenography continues to be a lucrative career option for people who are passionate about language and technology and are looking for a dynamic job with flexible working hours.

Comparison of Stenography with other Careers in the Legal Industry

Stenography is a unique career choice that offers various benefits that other careers in the legal industry may lack. Let’s take a look at how stenography compares to other legal careers.

  • Lawyer: While lawyers earn higher salaries, stenographers have a better work-life balance and often have more flexible schedules. Stenographers may also have more job stability as their services are always in demand, whereas lawyers may face layoffs during economic downturns.
  • Paralegal: Stenographers may earn higher salaries than paralegals, and their job duties often include more variety and independence. Additionally, stenographers may have a higher level of job security as they are not as easily replaced as paralegals.
  • Court Reporter: Stenography and court reporting are closely related, but stenographers often have more job flexibility and may work outside of a courtroom setting. Additionally, stenographers may have more opportunities for specialization and career advancement.

As you can see, stenography has several advantages when compared to other legal careers. Its unique skill set and the demand for its services make it a solid career choice for those interested in the legal industry.

FAQs: Is Stenography a Good Career?

1. What is stenography?

Stenography is the act of writing in shorthand, usually for the purpose of transcribing speech or other audio recordings.

2. Is stenography a good career?

Yes, stenography can be a very lucrative and rewarding career for those who are skilled and dedicated to their craft.

3. What skills do you need to become a stenographer?

To become a successful stenographer, you will need to have strong listening, typing, and transcription skills, as well as a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.

4. Do you need any special training or certification to become a stenographer?

Yes, most stenographers will need to complete a stenography training program, as well as pass a certification exam, in order to become licensed to practice.

5. What kind of job opportunities are available for stenographers?

Stenographers can pursue a wide range of career paths, from working in legal or medical offices to transcribing for media companies or even freelance work.

6. What is the earning potential for stenographers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for stenographers and court reporters is $60,130, with the top 10% earning more than $104,420 per year.

7. Is stenography a good career choice for someone who values job security?

Yes, there is currently a high demand for skilled stenographers in a variety of industries, so job security should not be a major concern for those who have trained and earned their certification in this field.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on the potential of stenography as a career choice. While it may not be as well-known as other professions, stenography offers plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the effort and develop the necessary skills. Whether you are interested in working in a specific industry or pursuing freelance work, the earning potential and job security of a career in stenography make it a worthy consideration for anyone looking for a new career path. Keep an open mind and remember to explore all of your options before making any final decisions, and be sure to come back to our site for more information on stenography and other exciting careers in the future.