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Court Reporting Schools and Career Information

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Court Reporters

A court reporter, sometimes referred to as a stenographer or stenotype reporter, is an individual whose job it is to accurately and completely transcribe verbatim, and as a legal record, spoken or recorded speeches, court hearings, sworn proceedings, depositions, conversations, meetings, and other events into written form. Their function plays a critical role in judicial proceedings and meetings where spoken words must be saved in the form of a written transcript. It is common for many Reporters to also provide assistance to judges and trial attorneys in different ways.

Court Reporters picture    Court Reporters image

Court Reporter Schools

Required training for a Court Reporter depends on the type of reporting an individual chooses to practice. Training can vary from less than one year for voice writing, plus a minimum of two years to become completely proficient in real-time voice writing, and to up to three years for real-time stenotyping. Students can obtain training from approximately 160 post secondary vocational and technical schools and colleges within the United States. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) mandates that students record at least 225 words/minute (also required by the Federal Government). The NCRA has approved approximately 82 training programs.

Electronic Reporters generally hone their skills on-the-job through the use of audio-capture technology. Court Electronic Transcribers typically receive their initial technical training from the service installation vendor, and then further their skills and experience through on-the-job training. In private organizations, the individual receives training from a seasoned practitioner or established firm.

Through progressive experience and continuing education, a Reporter will have many opportunities before them, such as moving into a management, administrative, or consulting position, or becoming a teacher in their field.

Court Reporter Licensing

Licensing requirements vary from state-to-state. For example, some require Reporters to become notary publics, while others require an individual to achieve designation as a Certified Court Reporter (CCR) where they must pass a state test administered by the board of examiners.

For Voice Writers, the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) offers three national certifications as a substitute for state licensing:

  • Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) - Candidates must pass written tests in: vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and legal and medical terminology, as well as three five-minute dictation and transcription exams, each of which test for accuracy, speed, and silence.
  • Certificate of Merit (CM) - This certification requires and tests for greater levels of speed, accuracy, and knowledge.
  • Real-Time Verbatim Reporter (RVR) - Candidates for this certification are tested and measured on their skill level in: judicial reporting, real-time transcription, and CART provision and captioning (including webcasting).

In order to maintain any of these certifications, a Voice Writer is required to obtain continuing education credits through legal and Voice Writer education and college courses. Achieving these certifications provides licensing in states where court reporting via the voice method is used.

Court Reporter Certifications

While not a requirement, achieving certification designation gives Court Reporters an edge when seeking employment over those without certification and also aids in career advancement.

The NCRA bestows the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), an entry-level designation, upon individuals who pass a four-part exam and complete required continuing education programs. This designation, while voluntary, is recognized in its industry as a mark of distinction. Court Reporters may achieve other certifications that endorse and distinguish their high level of experience and expertise:

  • Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR)
  • Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
  • Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
  • Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC)
  • Certified CART Provider (CCP); obtained by Reporters who caption media programming or provide services to the hearing impaired.

Another voluntary certification offered by the United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) is the Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR). This certification is geared toward Federal Court Reporters (i.e., those who work in Federal courtrooms). The required exam tests the fundamental real-time skills of the Reporter and is recognized by the Administrative Office for the United States District Courts (for the purpose of real-time certification).

The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) offers voluntary certification for Electronic Court Reporters through written and practical exams. Eligibility for the exams requires candidates to possess a minimum of two years' of transcribing or court reporting experience, eligibility for notary public commissions in their state(s), and completion of a high school education. There are three certifications offered by the AAERT:

  • Certified Electronic Court Reporter (CER)
  • Certified Electronic Court Transcriber (CET)
  • Certified Electronic Court Reporter and Transcriber (CERT)

Once eligible, an employer may require an Electronic Court Reporter or Transcriber to obtain certification.

Sources:

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Court Reporters by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Court Reporters, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Court Reporters

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Court Reporters relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary
(2013)
Relative
Popularity

Alabama

     
Birmingham 80 $29070 1.3
Hoover 80 $29070 1.3
Mobile 40 $47860 1.79
Montgomery 40 $26840 1.96

Arizona

     
Phoenix 120 $63640 0.48
Mesa 120 $63640 0.48
Scottsdale 120 $63640 0.48
Tucson 50 $62590 1.17

Arkansas

     
Little Rock 70 $34600 1.52
North Little Rock 70 $34600 1.52
Conway 70 $34600 1.52

California

     
Riverside 120 $83570 0.72
San Bernardino 120 $83570 0.72
Ontario 120 $83570 0.72
Sacramento 190 $75370 1.69
Roseville 190 $75370 1.69
Arden 190 $75370 1.69
Arcade 190 $75370 1.69
San Diego 0 $47760 0
Carlsbad 0 $47760 0
Los Angeles 0 $49070 0
Long Beach 0 $49070 0
Anaheim 0 $49070 0
San Francisco 90 $92210 0.33
Oakland 90 $92210 0.33
Hayward 90 $92210 0.33

Colorado

     
Denver 180 $83450 1
Aurora 180 $83450 1
Lakewood 180 $83450 1

Connecticut

     
Hartford 120 $46690 1.56
West Hartford 120 $46690 1.56
East Hartford 120 $46690 1.56
Bridgeport 70 $52340 1.28
Stamford 70 $52340 1.28
Norwalk 70 $52340 1.28

Florida

     
Jacksonville 0 $24240 0
Crestview 0 $36680 0
Fort Walton Beach 0 $36680 0
Destin 0 $36680 0
Orlando 90 $51820 0.6
Kissimmee 90 $51820 0.6
Sanford 90 $51820 0.6
Miami 520 $36980 1.66
Fort Lauderdale 520 $36980 1.66
West Palm Beach 520 $36980 1.66
Tampa 200 $33180 1.29
St. Petersburg 200 $33180 1.29
Clearwater 200 $33180 1.29

Georgia

     
Atlanta 340 $54600 1.06
Sandy Springs 340 $54600 1.06
Roswell 340 $54600 1.06

Hawaii

     
Urban Honolulu 70 $46780 1.29

Indiana

     
Fort Wayne 60 $37320 2.12
Indianapolis 210 $37810 1.62
Carmel 210 $37810 1.62
Anderson 210 $37810 1.62
Terre Haute 30 $36050 4.05

Louisiana

     
Baton Rouge 70 $47250 1.32
Lafayette 0 $36180 0
New Orleans 100 $46390 1.46
Metairie 100 $46390 1.46
Shreveport 70 $49830 3.12
Bossier City 70 $49830 3.12

Maryland

     
Baltimore 1410 $41050 8.37
Columbia 1410 $41050 8.37
Towson 1410 $41050 8.37

Michigan

     
Ann Arbor 0 $42310 0
Grand Rapids 40 $55410 0.62
Wyoming 40 $55410 0.62
Detroit 0 $45740 0
Warren 0 $45740 0
Dearborn 0 $45740 0
Lansing 40 $40330 1.42
East Lansing 40 $40330 1.42

Mississippi

     
Jackson 40 $39140 1.28

Nevada

     
Las Vegas 0 $56040 0
Henderson 0 $56040 0
Paradise 0 $56040 0

New York

     
Buffalo 50 $82720 0.65
Cheektowaga 50 $82720 0.65
Niagara Falls 50 $82720 0.65

Ohio

     
Akron 0 $44270 0
Cleveland 0 $56570 0
Elyria 0 $56570 0
Columbus 120 $47490 0.93
Dayton 60 $38310 1.23

Oklahoma

     
Oklahoma City 50 $0 0.65

Pennsylvania

     
Harrisburg 40 $62900 0.89
Carlisle 40 $62900 0.89
Pittsburgh 320 $30790 2.17
Scranton 40 $40900 1.21
Wilkes 40 $40900 1.21
Barre 40 $40900 1.21
Hazleton 40 $40900 1.21

Puerto Rico

     
San Juan 140 $27060 1.66
Carolina 140 $27060 1.66
Caguas 140 $27060 1.66

South Carolina

     
Charleston 0 $62940 0
North Charleston 0 $62940 0

Texas

     
Austin 60 $80910 0.52
Round Rock 60 $80910 0.52
Houston 560 $61980 1.48
The Woodlands 560 $61980 1.48
Sugar Land 560 $61980 1.48
Beaumont 40 $63890 1.94
Port Arthur 40 $63890 1.94
Dallas 270 $0 0.64
Fort Worth 270 $0 0.64
Arlington 270 $0 0.64
El Paso 70 $71200 1.96
San Antonio 160 $74550 1.31
New Braunfels 160 $74550 1.31

Washington

     
Seattle 170 $61620 0.72
Tacoma 170 $61620 0.72
Bellevue 170 $61620 0.72

West Virginia

     
Charleston 30 $54350 2.05

Wisconsin

     
Milwaukee 0 $59500 0
Waukesha 0 $59500 0
West Allis 0 $59500 0
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Court Reporters

To find out more about building a career as Court Reporters, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Court Reporters

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
(2008)
Government 11,030 62% $53,280
Office Services And Staffing 6,580 37% $44,770
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Court Reporting Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Court Reporters.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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