Iowa has a court reporter shortage

This article was originally published by The Gazette on The Gazette on June, 2023.

Iowa courts are facing a serious shortage. The Gazette’s courts reporter Trish Mehaffey talks with Becky Lutgen Gardner on the opportunities available to Iowa job seekers.

A crisis in Iowa Courts

Iowa is facing a ‘beyond crisis’ level shortage of court reporters, with 33 job openings in the state and a nationwide high demand.

  • Court reporting offers an annual starting salary of nearly $56,000 and involves transcribing court proceedings using specialized stenography skills.
  • There’s only one school in Iowa offering a two-year real time/court reporting degree, contributing to the shortage. The program recently went virtual and saw its highest enrollment in years.
  • Despite the strenuous certification process, court reporters enjoy the varied nature of the job and the learning opportunities it provides.
  • The shortage is affecting court proceedings, with court reporters having to juggle between different judges and hearings, causing delays and increased stress.
  • Temporary solutions include hiring retired court reporters and conducting remote hearings, but a long-term solution is still needed.

Additional resources

Learn more about the DMACC Realtime Court Reporter Program

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