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.


Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Court Reporters

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Court Reporters jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 80 $23,480
Hoover 80 $23,480
Montgomery 40 $27,420
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 100 $67,620
Mesa 100 $67,620
Phoenix 100 $67,620
Tucson 50 $65,490
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 150 $46,840
North Little Rock 150 $46,840
Little Rock 150 $46,840
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
San Diego 200 $75,740
Carlsbad 200 $75,740
Roseville 180 $77,800
Arcade 180 $77,800
Sacramento 180 $77,800
Arden 180 $77,800
San Bernardino 110 $87,310
Ontario 110 $87,310
Riverside 110 $87,310
San Francisco 100 $108,700
Hayward 100 $108,700
Oakland 100 $108,700
Fresno 40 $90,560
Los Angeles -2222 $49,300
Long Beach -2222 $49,300
Anaheim -2222 $49,300
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 280 $87,580
Aurora 280 $87,580
Denver 280 $87,580
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Hartford 120 $-1,111
East Hartford 120 $-1,111
Hartford 120 $-1,111
Norwalk 60 $53,470
Stamford 60 $53,470
Bridgeport 60 $53,470
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 420 $-1,111
Miami 420 $-1,111
Fort Lauderdale 420 $-1,111
Clearwater 210 $34,170
St. Petersburg 210 $34,170
Tampa 210 $34,170
Jacksonville -2222 $28,300
Gainesville -2222 $36,980
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell -2222 $42,020
Sandy Springs -2222 $42,020
Atlanta -2222 $42,020
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 80 $47,280
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 200 $36,410
Anderson 200 $36,410
Carmel 200 $36,410
Fort Wayne 50 $41,500
Muncie 30 $33,810
Terre Haute 30 $36,890
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 60 $68,140
Des Moines 60 $68,140
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 140 $43,270
Metairie 140 $43,270
Bossier City 70 $35,280
Shreveport 70 $35,280
Baton Rouge 50 $48,530
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1390 $40,500
Columbia 1390 $40,500
Baltimore 1390 $40,500
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Lansing 40 $32,800
Lansing 40 $32,800
Wyoming -2222 $38,040
Grand Rapids -2222 $38,040
Ann Arbor -2222 $42,400
Dearborn -2222 $54,930
Detroit -2222 $54,930
Warren -2222 $54,930
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise -2222 $56,710
Henderson -2222 $56,710
Las Vegas -2222 $56,710
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 100 $62,040
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls -2222 $58,630
Cheektowaga -2222 $58,630
Buffalo -2222 $58,630
Rochester -2222 $80,530
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 110 $47,660
Elyria 40 $55,910
Cleveland 40 $55,910
Dayton -2222 $39,780
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City -2222 $55,680
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 250 $33,220
Harrisburg 30 $63,950
Carlisle 30 $63,950
Hazleton -2222 $31,390
Barre -2222 $31,390
Scranton -2222 $31,390
Wilkes -2222 $31,390
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 140 $26,970
Carolina 140 $26,970
San Juan 140 $26,970
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin -2222 $56,940
Murfreesboro -2222 $56,940
Davidson -2222 $56,940
Nashville -2222 $56,940
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 460 $70,530
Sugar Land 460 $70,530
Houston 460 $70,530
Arlington 300 $86,360
Fort Worth 300 $86,360
Dallas 300 $86,360
New Braunfels 160 $75,920
San Antonio 160 $75,920
Round Rock 60 $83,600
Austin 60 $83,600

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 for :
Court Reporters

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 11,030 62% $53,280
Office Services And Staffing 6,580 37% $44,770
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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