Some frequently asked questions


How long will it take to complete the course?

The answer to this is a bit like ‘How long is a piece of string?’.  Some people are able to whiz through the theory and speed building is more of a challenge for them, and vice versa.  Some people have a natural affinity for machine shorthand and pick up the concepts quickly and are able to build up their speed quickly.  Another factor to consider is how much time can you devote to doing the course.  If you are working full-time and only have evenings and weekends to work on your shorthand it is going to take longer.  However, as a general rule, if you allow one year to learn the theory and two years for speed building, taking your speed to 200 words a minute, this is a good guide.  If you are able to devote yourself full-time to machine shorthand study, it is possible that you will finish the course much faster.


What are the employment opportunities at the end of my training?

In Australia there are private companies and government departments who use steno-trained reporters for their court reporting, either doing transcription of digitally-recorded courts or realtime service in a court, or working online with a scopist in courts.  Also, if you are interesting in becoming a stenocaptioner for TV, there are companies that offer this type of employment.  Other opportunities are for doing speech-to-text work such as university lectures, conferences, church services.  Employment can be permanent or freelance.


Are there any additional expenses on top of the course fees?

Although The Steno School will hire out a manual machine for you to begin your studies, this is a tech-savvy profession and you will need to have your tools of trade.  Also, once you buy your equipment, you will be able to start applying to do transcription work, and although you won’t have a fast speed at first, it will be a great way to practice your skills as you learn.  We recommend that after about six months to a year of training you buy yourself a Wave shorthand machine from Stenograph which comes with a student version of CaseCATalyst free – normally $USD495 – which you will need to produce your transcripts and start building your dictionary.  The price of the machine will vary, but it will be around $USD1,595, or there is an option to pay for one by instalments.  At the end of your training you will need to purchase the CaseCATalyst full version but you will be given a credit of $USD495 towards the cost of this.

Wave Writer Student Brochure


Is there a payment scheme for the course?

Yes.  If you wish to pay for the course in two half yearly payments, the fees are $950 for the first 10 lessons and $950 for the next 10 lessons, or you can pay per five lessons for $500.  We also provide free, on completion of the theory lessons, bonus lessons on suffixes and prefixes and lessons to kick-start your speed building.


Where will I buy a stenotype machine from?

Stenograph have new machines for sale which vary in price from the Wave machine up to the latest Luminex machine.  Alternatively, second-hand machines are available for sale.  As long as you can connect to your computer, this is an excellent option.  We can help you with advice on which machines are suitable when you reach this point.