Court Reporting Schools: What Is Takes To Be a Court Reporter Or Stenographer

Court Reporting Schools…

Court reporters can either work for the court system or perform freelance work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for court reporters is expected to increase by 14% by the year 2020, with a large amount of growth due to captioning for the Internet.

The best court reporting schools use the latest technology available, and will also emphasize grammar and a knowledge of the legal system.

The average cost of court reporting schools can vary based upon whether an individual is seeking a career certificate or an associate degree. A career certificate can take as little as six months to earn, and can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

An associate degree can take between two and three years to earn, and could wind up costing as much as $28,000. These figures do not include the cost of books or stenographic equipment. Books can be between $200 and $400 per semester, while a stenography machine can cost between $600 and $1,500.


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The average salary for a court reporter was $47,710 in May 2010; the last date for which figures are available. Salary is largely based on experience and geographic area. As such, some court reporters could expect to make as much as $91,000 per year. Freelance court reporters tend to make more money, but also have additional expenses associated with their work, such as the cost of equipment and travel expenses.

Although not required, many court reporters elect to obtain certification from the National Court Reporter’s Association (NCRA). This organization certifies individuals as court reporters and broadcast captioners, as well as requires applicants to pass an exam in order to obtain their credentials. This test is known as the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) exam, and contains a series of written questions followed by a practical skills test evaluation.

Aside from having the right certification, court reporters normally demonstrate their competence by completing an on-the-job training program once they are hired. When applying for work as a government court reporter, candidates could be asked to transcribe a mock court trial in order to prove their skill sets.

Freelance court reporters typically rely on word-of-mouth testimonials from local attorneys, which means they must continuously provide high quality work in order to ensure they continue to be sought after.

Court reporters play a vital role in our justice system. These professionals begin their careers by attending one of the many reputable court reporting schools found across the country in order to fully prepare for the valuable work they will perform later on.

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