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How to Become A Court Reporter

Aspiring candidates can undertake postsecondary certificate programs in court reporting. Many community colleges and technical institutes offer these programs. The duration of the program often depends upon the transcription method involved. Some only take a few months to complete, while others may last for 2 to 4 years. Often an associate’s degree is achieved in programs lasting for longer durations.  Furthermore, the skills-based nature of these programs enables students to complete the graduation requirements.





Court Reporter Training

Court reporter training takes place in classrooms and labs. Development of listening and concentration skills is stressed upon. Speed-building involving dictation in literary, jury charge and legal opinion, medical, and court reporting testimony classes is another important component of these programs. These professionals must be able to type at a speed of 225 words per minute while maintaining accuracy in vocabulary and punctuation. Students are given the opportunity to attend civil, criminal and other court proceedings. They will understand the differing requirements in reporting trials, statements, hearings and depositions. In addition to these skills, students are familiarized with the latest technological advances in this field.

Following are some of the frequently taught courses in these programs:-

  • Computerized Machine Shorthand Theory
  • Computerized Machine Shorthand Practice
  • Court Reporting Procedures
  • Foundations of Language and Writing
  • Technology
  • Courtroom Practicum
  • Foundations of Law

Licensure and Certification

Court reporters working in legal settings are required to be licensed in most states. Certification for court reporters is offered by the National Court Reporters Association. Candidates are required to pass a written and skills test in order to become certified as a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). This certification is acceptable in 22 states. Continuing education and online training is necessary to maintain certification with the NCRA.

Job Responsibilities

Most positions offer related on-the-job experience. These professionals are responsible for carrying out the following activities in courts and legislatures:-

  • Attending events that require written transcripts
  • Recording and reporting dialogues and gestures
  • Using reference material and reporting on interpreted proceedings
  • Making use of digital recording, steno masks, and steno type machines
  • Interrupting speakers to make clarification of inaudible statements
  • Filing and storing shorthand notes of court sessions
  • Recording depositions and other proceedings for the lawyers, judges and the public, and providing these transcripts upon request
  • Correcting for typographical errors by editing transcripts
  • Transcribing speech to writing simultaneously

Court Reporter Salary and Employment Outlook

The median annual wage of court reporters is $48,160 as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their employment is predicted to grow by 14% from 2010 to 2020. This rate is almost as fast as the average of all occupations. The use of digital audio recording technology (DART) is often viewed as a deterrent to growth in this profession. However, court reporters will continue to be in demand because the installation and maintenance of recorders is costly. Factors such as extraneous noises, equipment malfunction, multiple speakers, inaudible or fast speech and heavy accents make the accuracy and reliability of this technology questionable.

 

Questions / Answers

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Q:How long is the training to become a court reporter?

A:The time it will take to become a court reporter will depend upon which kind of training program you choose to purse. Some certifications may take 6 months to complete, while others may take longer. It also depends upon the institute you enroll in. It is best that you search online to find out what current programs are available. Information is also available on our page.

Q:What are the requirements to be a court reporter?

A:To be a court reporter, you must have a certification in this field, along with training. Court reporters are basically professionals who attend legal proceedings and create word for word transcriptions. Many states require court reporters to have a license as well. You can go through our page to learn more.

Q:What education is needed to become a court reporter?

A:The educational route to become a court reporter can be more than one. There are a number of institutes that offer court reporting certifications and training programs. It is also important that you find out what are the court reporting training requirements in your state. You can opt for certificate program and apply for a license in your state.

Q:What is required to become a court reporter in the United States?

A:The requirements for becoming a court reporter in the United States will vary from state to state. You must get in touch with the main legal board to find out what these requirements are. In most cases, having a certification or a diploma is necessary. This will reflect your skill and knowledge of the field. You may also have to get a professional license to become a court reporter.

Q:What degree do you need to be a court reporter?

A:To qualify for the job of a court reporter, you must have the right college education and skills. There are a number of colleges offering certification programs in court reporting. These programs will equip you with career oriented skills and knowledge. If you want to know more about court reporting programs, take a look at our page.

Q:How do you become a court reporter in a short span of time?

A:If you are looking for a fast track option to become a court reporter, you can opt for a certificate program in the field. These can be classified as short courses and have a duration that may be anywhere from 6 to 8 months. The duration may vary from institute to institute, so it is best that go through our page to see what current programs are available, and what their duration is.

Q:How to get court reporter job?

A:With a certification in court reporting, you can seek a job as a court reporter. However, you must make sure you have completed all the basic requirements that may include getting a license. Court reporters can be found working in all kinds of legal settings such as courtrooms. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median income of court reporters is $47,700.

Q:How much does a court reporter make?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of court reporters has been estimated to be $47,700. This level of income will however vary slightly, depend upon a number of factors such as qualifications, state, license, and work experience. To find out more, feel free to go through our page.

Q:How does a court reporter machine work?

A:Court reporter machines are also known as stenotypes or shorthand machines. The machine uses a phonetic code that is generated every time a key is pressed. By combining keystrokes, court reporters can record conversations fast, without having to worry about falling behind a conversation. A lot of training and practice is required to use court reporter machines.

Q:As I was reading about how to become a court reporter for social security salary, I came across the median income of court reporters. Can you tell me exactly what that is?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporter made a median income of $48,160 per year in 2012. The growth rate for this occupation is above average as these professionals are in high demand nowadays. Court reporters can be found working in all kinds of government courts, legislatures, and even in broadcasting agencies.

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