Applicants to a certificate program in court reporting must generally possess a high school diploma or GED. Standardized test scores are required by some schools. Graduates of court reporting certificate programs are prepared for immediate entry into the workforce. While court reporters can work as transcribers in many arenas, such as law firms, government agencies or broadcasting corporations, they typically work in courtrooms or legal offices documenting depositions and courtroom trials. Court reporters can earn certification through the National Court Reporters Association, as well as other similar organizations.
Court Reporter Certificate Program
At the certificate level, court reporting students participate in internship training. Classes aid students in the usage of stenotype machines, the shorthand writing method, and medical and legal vocabulary. They practice listening and recording information quickly and accurately. In order to successfully complete the program, they must typically have earned a 2.0 GPA and pass a shorthand typing test. Courses may include:
- Court reporting fundamentals
- Reporting technology
- Machine shorthand
- Legal and medical terminology
- Clinical reporting
- Techniques for real-time reporting
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, employment of court reporters was predicted to rise 2%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that court reporters earned an average of $54,720 annually, with the majority of court reporters working in Maryland, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information
Court reporters can earn voluntary certification through various organizations, such as the National Court Reporters Association (www.ncraonline.org), which confers the entry-level Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation following successful completion of an examination.
Many states with court reporting licensing requirements accept RPR certifications in place of regular licensing mandates. Other agencies that offer voluntary court reporting certifications include the United States Court Reporters Association, which certifies court reporters working in federal courts, and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, which certifies electronic court reporters. Continuing education credits are generally required to maintain court reporting certifications.
Students who earn a court reporting certificate learn the necessary skills and terminology through a combination of coursework and internships. From there, they can pursue work in various legal settings.