Court reporting training varies with the type of reporting being done, but typically students undergo a 12 to 33-month training program at a vocational school or college. Training programs can lead to a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree, and in some cases a bachelor’s degree for those who plan to go into management. (See our list of recommended programs.)
Some court reporting schools are geared specifically for court reporting, while others provide it among a host of other career training options. Further training is usually done on the job.
Court Reporter Course Content
Court reporting programs largely focus on training students to use specially designed stenography equipment intended to speed up their typing and transcribing abilities. In order to graduate, students usually need to be able to using their equipment to type at least 225 words per minute, the standard speed for most stenography employment. Some schools encourage students to push their speed even higher.
Most schools instruct students in one of the two main methods of transcribing: the stenotype machine or the electronic voice recorder (see: court reporter job description).
Common skills taught during training can include:
- English grammar
- Equipment use (depending on the method chosen)
- Business skills
Many schools also offer career placement services for their graduates, often including resume and cover letter development skills, as well as interview training. Since court reporting is a high-demand occupation, most graduates have little trouble finding employment. Visit the Court Reporter Career Center for more information on careers.
Court Reporter Certification
In addition to formal training, some states require court reporters to be licensed and certified. Some court reporters pursue voluntary certifications in order to be more employable. Certifications are administered by organizations such as the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT), among others. More on certification can be found on the court reporter certification page.
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