How to become a Machine Shorthand Reporter

Machine shorthand reporters produce word-for-word transcripts of the spoken word in both live and recorded form for parliament, courts of law, medical purposes, television programmes, business conferences and lectures. Sound recording involves three stages: first, monitors record the proceedings using a digital audio recording system; then machine shorthand reporters transcribe the digital audio file onto a computer; and finally transcript checkers edit the hard copy of the transcript for accuracy against the audio.

Personal requirements of a Machine Shorthand Reporter

  • good hearing and concentration
  • fast and accurate machine-writing skills
  • able to work under pressure
  • wide vocabulary and sound knowledge of spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • broad general knowledge, particularly in current affairs and politics
  • interested in parliament and courts and their procedures
  • comfortable with new technology.
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Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.8%

NSW 31%

NT 1.3%

QLD 23.8%

SA 8.2%

TAS 1.8%

VIC 20.9%

WA 11.2%

Hours worked:




Gender split:

Male 18%

Female 81.9%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 2.8%

Not completed Year 12: 17.8%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 23.6%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 21.5%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 17.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 10.6%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 6.5%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 31.9%

Above 35 years: 63.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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