The Job Description of a Closed Microphone Reporter

Enunciation skills are vital for closed microphone reporters.
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Enunciation skills are vital for closed microphone reporters.

Meticulous, detail-oriented people are usually ideal for a position as a closed microphone reporter. The U.S. military employs closed microphone reporters, often to work in courtroom investigations and similar matters.

Position Objective

Closed microphone reporters record every word exchanged at military conferences, meetings, grievance hearings, investigations and the like. They carefully listen and repeat all the words into closed microphones -- at the same pace as the original speakers. Closed microphone reporters also make detailed transcripts of these events. The voice recordings are necessary for purposes of accurately making the transcriptions. The transcriptions, in turn, are essential for matters such as providing legal proof, maintaining documentation and correspondence. Closed microphone reporters generally receive pay increases with seniority. Work as a closed microphone reporter also gives individuals the experience to help them pursue similar positions both in and out of the military -- think court reporter jobs.

Appropriate Background

Candidates often must have work experience -- frequently for a minimum of 1 year -- in similar positions, such as hearing reporters and stenographers. If you have this kind of experience, you're on the right track to beginning a closed microphone career. Aspiring closed microphone reporters must be savvy in technical terms commonly used in fields such as health care and the legal profession. A strong grasp of standard military lingo is also imperative. Strength in dictation skills is crucial, and some employers test candidates on their abilities in this department. Bachelor's degrees are typically essential for closed microphone reporters. Some employers look for individuals with graduate degrees.

Essential Qualities

Not only is it important for closed microphone reporters to fulfill the right background requirements, they also must display the right personal qualities. Closed microphone reporters need to be extremely precise. They also need to maintain focus, often for long time periods. Effective written communication skills are imperative, too. Geographic flexibility is often a must for aspiring closed microphone reporters. Since closed microphone reporters work for the military, individuals must be willing to travel to specified military installations throughout the nation, for example.

Other Common Tasks

Outside of recording and transcribing, closed microphone reporters also frequently handle clerical responsibilities. They have to file their transcripts in safe, secure spots that are easy to access. Research is also a typical element of the job. While it's important for closed microphone reporters to begin with a strong grasp of relevant terminology, they always have to stay up to date with new keywords and phrases.

2016 Salary Information for Court Reporters

Court reporters earned a median annual salary of $51,320 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, court reporters earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,870, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $72,400, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 19,600 people were employed in the U.S. as court reporters.

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