What are the Requirements to be a Court Reporter?




Becoming a court reporter has a number of advantages and professional benefits which can make it a very rewarding career. The requirements to getting a court reporting job include obtaining a certification that proves your ability to quickly and accurately transcribe dictated words into text. Once obtained, there are multiple positions available to one with stenography skills. Requirements also vary by state as well so it is important to learn more about the speciifc requirements in your area. To learn more about requirements in your state visit our state specific pages.


  The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) has some requirements that you must meet to become certified, one being the passing of a stenography speed test.  To obtain initial certification, you will be required to successfully demonstrate your ability to accurately capture 225 words per minute.  Most governmental organizations require this minimum standard, but don't let this large rate scare you...the stenography machine is designed for writing shorthand, so it is quite possible to achieve this goal with training and hard work.

In addition to stenography machine shorthand, there are other techniques for capturing the record, such as through voice reporting and digital reporting.  Stenography machine and voice court reporters, as well as broadcast closed-captioners, utilize specialized software which simplifies the editing process and helps with the translation of shorthand into readable text on the computer screen.  These types of reporters use cutting-edge technology to produce highly-accurate transcripts in their respective positions.

Many post-secondary schools, colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools offer stenography and transcription programs, but there is not an overabundance.  When determining which program is best for you, you should evaluate a school on many topics, such as tuition, whether it is approved by the NCRA, or if it has a placement program.  If the school offers tuition assistance through federal financial aid, this is usually an indicator as to the quality of the program.

When thinking about pursuing a career as a court reporter, you have several options in this great profession.  Whether you decide to be a broadcast closed-captioner, a stenographer, or a voice writer, there are many opportunities available.  A little research can help familiarize you with the various fields you can consider, and admissions advisors at your school of choice can help direct you to the path to start your career today.

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