Professional court reporting has recently started to become a more sought-after profession. In some regions, like California for example, graduates wishing to become a court reporter are being offered amazing employment packages due to a shortage of court reporters. If you’ve ever wanted to become a court reporter, now is definitely the time to get certified!
In the United States, there are three different national court reporting associations: The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), and the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT). Generally, a court reporter is certified and a part of one of these organizations.
The first step, as with most jobs, is schooling. Though it will likely differ depending on what program you choose, most certifications require an applicant to be able to transcribe 225 testimony words each minute, 180 literary words per minute, and 200 jury charge words each minute. For example, an applicant must hit 225 words per minute to be certified by the NCRA. Schooling for court reporters generally takes less than two years, and can be completed much faster depending on time put in.
Once you have gone to school and are certified, the next step to become a court reporter is, of course, landing a job. The most important part of the job hunt is realizing that court reporting services vary, and that many of those employed in the field actually work outside of the court. Other services may include attending other events that need to be transcribed, preparing transcripts for the public or private record, and editing transcripts. Widening your search to include other firms can significantly increase your chances in landing a great job.
Have you ever thought of becoming of becoming a court reporter? Do you think you could keep up with the requirements of professional court reporting? Let us know your thoughts and comments!