How To Become a Court Reporter In 2023? Easy Steps

How To Become a Court Reporter In 2023? Easy Steps

Are you interested in how to become a court reporter? Do you have a knack for taking precise notes and a thirst for knowledge? If so, have you considered becoming a court reporter in 2023? 

Court reporters play a crucial role in the legal system by transcribing proceedings in real-time as they happen. If you’re looking to pursue a career as a court reporter, this article is for you. Here, you’ll find tips on how to become a successful court reporter by 2023.

To become a court reporter in 2023, you typically need to complete a recognized court reporting program, obtain a state license if required, and gain experience in the field. Consider completing an internship and pursuing certification to increase your job prospects and earning potential.

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What Is a Court Reporter?

A skilled individual known as a court reporter is responsible for transcribing oral communication into written form within official legal settings like trials, depositions, hearings, and other similar events. 

Their foremost duty is to produce an accurate record of every spoken word articulated during the proceedings, without missing any details. The resulting documentation can be employed for legal analysis and review, and may also be relevant for future legal proceedings.

How To Become a Court Reporter: Easy Steps

Choosing a career as a court reporter can be an advantageous career move if you possess the necessary abilities and ambition. It is a challenging and fast-paced occupation that requires considerable expertise, and it provides an exceptional level of employment security. 

Here are some steps to become a court reporter:

Choose a Career Path

To become a court reporter, the requirements vary depending on the state where you intend to work. In some states, earning an associate degree or completing a certificate program may be necessary. 

When selecting a career path, it’s essential to determine which programs are suitable for your aspirations and objectives. Numerous programs categorize court reporting into various pathways, such as:

Judicial Reporting

The field of court reporting that entails creating written records of court proceedings, depositions, and administrative hearings through transcription is known as Judicial Reporting.

Closed Captioning

Specialized court reporters who offer closed captioning services provide real-time video feeds to broadcast networks.

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART)

This particular career track specializes in delivering captioning services to cater to individuals with hearing disabilities.

Prepare For The Court Reporter Program

Individuals enrolled in court reporting programs are required to procure their own manual stenotype machine, typically priced between $100 and $250. Schools generally discourage the use of paperless writers as it is crucial to acquire the skill of deciphering notes on paper.

Afterwards, students may need to acquire or rent a computerized writer model for Computer-Assisted Transcription (CAT) classes. 

New models can carry a hefty price tag, ranging from $2,000 and beyond, while pre-owned models can be acquired for as little as $400. Given the expensive cost of computerized writers, several students prefer to rent these models instead. 

Finish a Program In Court Reporting

The educational pathway for a court reporting profession is fairly uniform. In essence, individuals must finish an approved court reporting program. 

Nevertheless, the source of this education may vary, as court reporting programs are offered in various institutions, ranging from community colleges to exclusive court reporting schools. 

Consequently, completion of a court reporting program can lead to earning an associate’s degree, professional diploma, or certificate, depending on the institution’s guidelines.

Many court reporting programs are designed to be highly adaptable, with numerous institutions providing online classes and day/evening schedules to fit the demands of modern lifestyles. 

Certain programs, mainly those in specialized court reporter schools and technical institutes, may even feature blended court reporting programs, consisting of remote academic courses along with in-person speed classes for practical training.

Meet State Licensing Requirements

A state license may be mandatory for court reporters in certain states. These states usually conduct their own court reporting exams, comprising both a written test and a skill assessment. 

In many cases, states accept alternative exams, like the Certified Verbatim Reporter’s exam (CVR) offered by the National Verbatim Reporters Association or the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification granted by the National Court Reporters Association, instead of the state-administered tests.

Complete An Internship

An internship can be a valuable step towards applying the knowledge gained in school to a professional setting. Working alongside experienced court reporters can help you refine your skills and gain new insights about the field. 

Many court reporting programs provide internship opportunities, so speak to your academic advisor or faculty member to locate one that matches your interests. It is also essential to consider the location of your internship, as court reporters may work in different settings. 

If you aspire to provide reporting services for trials, consider applying for an internship at a courthouse.

Search For Jobs

After fulfilling the necessary requirements to work as a court reporter in your state, start searching for job opportunities. 

Utilize job search websites to find open positions or seek out potential opportunities through your professional connections, such as a former internship supervisor.

Salary And Job Outlook For Court Reporter

The mean annual salary for a court reporter is $56,965, but this can vary depending on factors such as education level, work experience, employer, and geographic location. 

Court reporters may increase their earning potential by gaining experience, obtaining a certification, or becoming licensed. 

How Long Does It Take To Become a Court Reporter?

The process of becoming a court reporter usually takes a few years, ranging from two to four years. This involves finishing a court reporting program, passing a certification exam, and acquiring practical experience in the industry. 

The duration of the process can vary depending on various factors, such as the kind of court reporting program you choose and the extent of your prior experience in the field.

What Does a Court Reporter Do?

A professional in the legal field, a court reporter is responsible for recording verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings, such as trials, depositions, and hearings. 

They utilize stenotype machines or voice-writing equipment to record proceedings, which they subsequently transcribe into official transcripts. Ensuring precise use of legal terminology and freedom from errors are additional tasks that court reporters undertake. 


Becoming a court reporter in 2023 requires dedication, knowledge, and skill. With the right resources and guidance, starting a career as a court reporter can be a rewarding and stable choice. 

To be successful, it is important to stay up to date on the latest technology, stay organized, and build a strong network of contacts. With the right focus and dedication, a career as a court reporter in 2023 can be a rewarding and successful path. Contact us for more content like this!

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become a Court Reporter

To become a court reporter in Texas, you must complete a state-approved court reporting program, pass a certification exam, and obtain a license from the Texas Supreme Court.

To become a court reporter in California, you must complete a court reporting program, pass a qualifying exam, and obtain a certification from the California Court Reporters Board.

To become a certified court reporter, you typically need to complete a court reporting program, pass a certification exam, and meet any additional requirements set by your state or professional organization

During this time, state government court reporters earned the highest salaries compared to those in local or federal government, with a difference of approximately $5,000 and nearly $12,000 respectively.

Mark Kislingbury is a highly accomplished court reporter, having won multiple National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Speed and Realtime Contests and setting the Guinness World Record for “fastest court reporter” at 360 wpm.

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Sara Blauvelt
By Sara Blauvelt

Hey everyone, I am Sarah, an experienced career writer with a talent for breaking down complex career concepts into easily digestible content that helps job seekers succeed. Skilled career communicator, known for producing high-quality, data-driven content that provides valuable insights and strategies for career success.