A Few Tips on Becoming a Certified Court Reporter


Being a court reporter

Do you want to become a court reporter? If so, you may be interested to know some information about the field as well as basic requirements to qualify for these types of positions.

There are over 50,000 court reporters working in the United States. Most of this nationwide court reporting, or 70%, is conducted outside the courtroom, however.

Basic Requirements to Become a Stenographic Court Reporter

If you are interested in becoming a stenographic court reporter, then you will be using a stenotype machine. This machine records spoken-word shorthand up to 225 words per minute.

While each certification program may have additional requirements, they have some basic ones in common. On average, the time involved to become a certified reporter is approximately 33.3 months. This includes the actual court reporting education program as well as the certification process.

In order to complete your certification process, you will need to have the following skills and abilities:

    The ability to capture 225 testimony words per minute
    The ability to transcribe 200 jury charge words per minute
    The ability to transcribe 180 literary words per minute

It is also important to note that you will need to complete the above with 95% accuracy. In order to become certified by the NCRA, for example, the minimum speed required is 225 words per minute.

In order to develop the skills necessary to become a court reporter, it is recommended that students spend approximately 15 hours per week practicing transcription. It is possible that more or less time may be required to provide consistent results.

Once you complete your training, you will need to become certified in order to work with the courts or a court reporting service. There are three certifying associations:

    The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
    The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA)
    The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT)

The NCRA, for example, represents approximately 20,000 United States’ stenographers.

Employment Projections and Options

There were 21,200 court reporters employed in 2012, and the demand for additional nationwide court reporting services is expected to increase 10% by 2022.

In addition to learning more about becoming a court stenographer, you may also be interested in one or more of the following positions:

    Court videographer
    Deposition videographer
    Legal video production
    Legal video specialist

Once you explore you educational program options, you will be able to have a better understanding of the right program for you.

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