Do you type really fast on your mobile or computer? Are you quick at using your hands and ears at the same time? Have you ever tried to follow and type while someone else is speaking pretending you are playing a game? Stenographers are quick listeners, rapid learners, and fast typers. You can also work for eminent politicians or celebrities if you are good. Explore if you think you are interested to find out what Stenographers do, how they do it, and how to become a Stenographer.
Stenographers operate computers, stenotype machines/steno writers or write in shorthand (an abbreviated language) to transcribe exact official, academic, medical, legal or corporate information. The transcription may be while the speaker speaks and you write/type simultaneously (live broadcast captioning) for e.g. in courtrooms, during company presentations or conferences, etc. They are quick in understanding and capturing the speaker’s words and typing with almost the same speed if it is a live transcription process. There is no room for error in the profession of a Stenographer. Most Stenographers learn to type at 225 words per minute for capturing entire conversations rapidly but precisely.
Why become a Stenographer?
As a Stenographer, you will be responsible for operating computers, stenotype machines/steno writers, and writing in shorthand (an abbreviated language) to transcribe exact official, academic, medical, legal, or corporate information. The transcription may be while the speaker speaks and you write/type simultaneously (live broadcast captioning) for e.g. in courtrooms, during company presentations or conferences, etc. You have to be quick in understanding and capturing the speaker’s words and typing with almost the same speed if it is a live transcription process. There is no room for error in the profession of a Stenographer. Most Stenographers learn to type at 225 words per minute for capturing entire conversations rapidly but precisely. You may be responsible for final press conference briefings.
You need to learn a type of shorthand to catch every word spoken and to take notes on a steno writer. After you feed the notes into the steno machine/computer, they are translated by computer software into English, Hindi or any other regional language. You will also have to check the rough transcript for errors before finalizing it. You need to have good knowledge of official, academic, medical, legal, or corporate terminologies. You have a high chance of being employed by courts and legal practitioners because lawyers and court officials require an exact transcript for use in courtroom trials.
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What does a Stenographer do?
As a Stenographer, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –
- Drafting business letters, typing reports, correspondence, text or written material from corrected copies, rough drafts, dictation, voice recordings or previous versions, using a computer, steno machine, word processor, typewriter, headsets, and transcribing machines.
- Gathering, registering, and arranging materials to be typed, following instructions.
- Reviewing and editing dictated material or transcribed reports for grammar, spelling, consistency, clarity, and proper official, academic, medical, legal, or corporate terminology.
- Electronically sorting and compiling text and numerical data, updating, retrieving, and merging documents as needed.
- Searching for specific sets of typed or stored characters for making changes, collating pages of reports and related documents prepared, and adjusting settings for page layout, format, line spacing, or other style requirements.
- Performing a variety of office and clerical tasks, such as completing insurance claims, handling outgoing and incoming emails, filing, typing, or operating office machines.
- Using data entry devices, like optical scanners, to feed data into computers for editing or revision.
- Working with technical material, planning, and typing statistical tables, preparing statistical reports, and rearranging or combining material from different sources.
How to become a Stenographer – Eligibility Criteria
After class 10, you can go for:
- NSQFTraining courses.
- CTS Training courses.
- NIOS Training courses.
- Diploma courses.
- Class 11-12.
After Class 11-12, you can go for:
- ITI Training courses.
- NSQF Training courses.
- National Apprenticeship Training
- Diploma courses.
- B. Voc (Bachelor or Vocation) or B.A. (VS) – Bachelor of Arts (Vocational Studies) courses.
Various private/public vocational training establishments across India offer related courses on:
- Stenographer (English)
- Stenographer Secretarial Assistant (English)
- Stenographer Secretarial Assistant (Hindi)
- Stenography (Hindi)
- Stenography (Urdu)
- Office Management
- Secretarial Practice
- Secretarial Assistant
- Secretarial Practice (English)
- Secretarial Practice (Vocational)
The cost of becoming a stenographer in India can vary depending on a number of factors such as the type of stenography course, the duration of the course, the institution offering the course, and the location.
There are various institutions and universities in India that offer stenography courses ranging from diploma to degree courses. The cost of a diploma course can range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000, while the cost of a degree course can range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs.
In addition to the course fee, there may also be additional expenses such as the cost of study materials, a steno machine, and other supplies. It is important to note that these costs can vary based on the individual’s location and other factors.
Furthermore, to become a stenographer in India, one may need to clear certain competitive exams such as the SSC Stenographer Exam or the State-level Stenographer Exam, which may have their own associated fees.
Overall, the cost of becoming a stenographer in India can range from several thousand to lakhs of rupees, depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of course pursued.
You will get job opportunities like the following:
- Secretary / Back Office Support,
- Secretarial Assistant,
- Office Automation – Executive,
- DTP (Desk-Top Publishing) Operator,
- Private / Personal Secretary,
- Backend Process – Typist
Many types of organizations like these will need your skills:
- Offices of District Judges, Sessions Judges, or other courtrooms
- Offices of Ministers and Ministerial departments
- Law firms
Backend departments of various consultancies, private/public sector companies
- Legal Consulting companies
- Strategic Research companies
- Publishing sector companies
- Academic Institutions and Universities, libraries, etc.
- Companies dealing with medical correspondence
Salary of a Stenographer
Salaries vary according to job profiles and the kind of facilities you get to work at.
In entry-level jobs: You may get about Rs. 8,000 – Rs. 10,000 or more per month.
Salaries increase with your work experience and as you get promoted.
After having 1-6 years of experience, you may expect about Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 15, 000 per month or more.
After having 6-12 years of experience, you may get about Rs. 12,000 – Rs. 35,000 or more per month.
In senior-level jobs, with 12-20 years of work experience, you may expect to get about Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 40, 000 or more per month.
Under the 7th pay commission, Stenographers employed with the Central Government fall under Grade C or D. Grade C falls under pay band 1 and Grade D falls under pay band 2. The range of entry-level salaries for Grade C (PB 1) is Rs. 9300 – Rs. 34800 per month excluding allowances (grade pay of Rs. 4600). The range of entry-level salaries for Grade D (PB 2) is Rs. 5200 – Rs. 20200 per month excluding allowances (grade pay of Rs. 2400). Grade D is further divided into Grade X (posted in Delhi) and Grade Y (posted anywhere in India). However, salary may also differ according to your job profile or location. If you are not provided accommodation, you will be given House Rent Allowance (HRA) and Dearness Allowance (DA) is common for all employees.
Career Progression in Stenography Profession
From entry-level job positions as a Stenographer, Secretary / Back Office Support, Secretarial Assistant, Office Automation – Executive, Typist, DTP (Desk-Top Publishing) Operator, Private / Personal Secretary, or Backend Process – Typist, you may rise up to roles like Senior Stenographer, Senior Typist, Office Automation – Senior Executive, Chief Typist – Legal, etc.
What do industry trends say – Future Prospects
The future of this pathway looks bright. India is the biggest outsourcing destination for major IT companies throughout the world. Employment in this segment of the IT-ITeS sector is expected to grow 27 percent between 2014 and 2024, much more than the average for all other occupations. The IT and ITeS (Information Technology Enabled Services) Industry has contributed around 7.9% to the country’s GDP in 2018. It is expected to generate more than 100,000 jobs in 2019. Many startups are being born in India focusing on this sector. Today there are more than 5,200 startups. It is estimated that the size of this industry will increase to 350 billion US Dollars by 2025. The export revenue coming from this industry is predicted to grow by 7-9% CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) to touch the 135 billion US Dollars mark in 2019 itself. The IT-BPM (Business Process Management) Industry is expanding wildly to provide IT services across the globe in fields like health, telemedicine, clinical information systems, remote monitoring solutions, laboratory information systems, etc.
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