Becoming A Court Reporter

Becoming A Court Reporter

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Becoming A Court Reporter

What is a Court Reporter?
A Court Reporter, also known as a ‘Stenographer’, is a licensed and certified professional responsible for the transcription of speech into text taking place within a court hearing or trial. Court reporter positions are classified as legal occupations requiring specific certifications from accredited institutions. The median court reporter salary is currently listed as $49,710.
How Do I Become a Court Reporter?
Court Reporter positions vary in their respective educational requirements, certification, and training mandatory to obtain them. In certain cases, an individual may obtain an entry-level legal job that requires a minimal amount of secondary education and training. Yet, in other cases Court Reporter positions exist in which a vast amount of training is required.
Court Reporter positions are offered in a multitude of professional settings, which include a varying degree of courts and legal venues, including municipal courts, city courts, state courts, district courts, circuit courts, superior courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. The field specialties required within the varying degrees of Court Reporter positions are vast, ranging in salary, legal setting, and equipment used.
Court Reporter Certification
The title of Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) must be granted by an educational institution accredited by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Court reporting requires the accurate and expedited transcription of speech through the mastery of shorthand, stenography, and typing skills.
A Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) is considered to be a certification granted to individuals interested in becoming Court Reporters. In order to advance through the field of Court Reporting, this Court Reporter certification must be attained through the receipt of a certification illustrating that the individual is able to render literary transcription at a rate of 180 words per minute, Jury transcription at a rate of 200 words per minute, and testimony transcription at a rate of 225 words per minute.


Court Reporter Equipment


The following equipment is most commonly utilized by a Court Reporter:


Stenograph Machine
A Stenograph machine, also called a Stenotype machine, is a machine resembling a typewriter that is used by a Court Reporter for the purpose of transcription. Unlike a traditional typewriter, a stenograph machine contains only 25 keys and does not operate on a traditional keyboard format such as ‘QWERTY’. In lieu of a traditional keyboard, stenotypes allow a court reporter to transcribe common phrases and articles rather than individual letters and characters.
Due to the fact that typical transcription can involve events that range from 100 to 300 words recited per minute, a Court Reporter must maintain the ability to accurately transcribe the speech of an event in real time.
The stenograph machine was patented in 1879 and currently varies in sale price. These prices range from $500 to $7,000 USD.
Voice Recognition Technology (VRT)
Voice Recognition Technology may be employed within certain legal settings. In contrast to a stenograph, the utilization of voice recognition technology relies on the digital processing of the distinctive and specific nuances latent within the human speaking voice. 
Court Reporters utilizing voice recognition technology will typically undergo the review and oversight of the transcripts rendered both through a voracious editing process, as well as the required maintenance of the software in order to ensure accuracy.

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