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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:

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 $29,070
Hoover 80 $29,070
Montgomery 40 $26,840
Mobile 40 $47,860
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 120 $63,640
Mesa 120 $63,640
Phoenix 120 $63,640
Tucson 50 $62,590
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 70 $34,600
North Little Rock 70 $34,600
Little Rock 70 $34,600
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arden 190 $75,370
Arcade 190 $75,370
Sacramento 190 $75,370
Roseville 190 $75,370
Riverside 120 $83,570
San Bernardino 120 $83,570
Ontario 120 $83,570
Oakland 90 $92,210
Hayward 90 $92,210
San Francisco 90 $92,210
San Diego N/A $47,760
Carlsbad N/A $47,760
Los Angeles N/A $49,070
Long Beach N/A $49,070
Anaheim N/A $49,070
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 180 $83,450
Aurora 180 $83,450
Denver 180 $83,450
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 120 $46,690
East Hartford 120 $46,690
West Hartford 120 $46,690
Norwalk 70 $52,340
Bridgeport 70 $52,340
Stamford 70 $52,340
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 520 $36,980
Fort Lauderdale 520 $36,980
West Palm Beach 520 $36,980
St. Petersburg 200 $33,180
Clearwater 200 $33,180
Tampa 200 $33,180
Sanford 90 $51,820
Kissimmee 90 $51,820
Orlando 90 $51,820
Jacksonville N/A $24,240
Crestview N/A $36,680
Destin N/A $36,680
Fort Walton Beach N/A $36,680
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 340 $54,600
Sandy Springs 340 $54,600
Atlanta 340 $54,600
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 70 $46,780
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 210 $37,810
Carmel 210 $37,810
Indianapolis 210 $37,810
Fort Wayne 60 $37,320
Terre Haute 30 $36,050
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 100 $46,390
New Orleans 100 $46,390
Baton Rouge 70 $47,250
Shreveport 70 $49,830
Bossier City 70 $49,830
Lafayette N/A $36,180
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1410 $41,050
Columbia 1410 $41,050
Baltimore 1410 $41,050
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Lansing 40 $40,330
Lansing 40 $40,330
Wyoming 40 $55,410
Grand Rapids 40 $55,410
Ann Arbor N/A $42,310
Detroit N/A $45,740
Warren N/A $45,740
Dearborn N/A $45,740
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 40 $39,140
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $56,040
Henderson N/A $56,040
Las Vegas N/A $56,040
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 50 $82,720
Cheektowaga 50 $82,720
Buffalo 50 $82,720
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 120 $47,490
Dayton 60 $38,310
Akron N/A $44,270
Elyria N/A $56,570
Cleveland N/A $56,570
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 50 N/A
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 320 $30,790
Barre 40 $40,900
Hazleton 40 $40,900
Wilkes 40 $40,900
Scranton 40 $40,900
Carlisle 40 $62,900
Harrisburg 40 $62,900
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 140 $27,060
Carolina 140 $27,060
San Juan 140 $27,060
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston N/A $62,940
Charleston N/A $62,940
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 560 $61,980
The Woodlands 560 $61,980
Houston 560 $61,980
Fort Worth 270 N/A
Arlington 270 N/A
Dallas 270 N/A
New Braunfels 160 $74,550
San Antonio 160 $74,550
El Paso 70 $71,200
Round Rock 60 $80,910
Austin 60 $80,910
Port Arthur 40 $63,890
Beaumont 40 $63,890
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 170 $61,620
Tacoma 170 $61,620
Seattle 170 $61,620
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 30 $54,350
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis N/A $59,500
Waukesha N/A $59,500
Milwaukee N/A $59,500

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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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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