A court reporter is also called a court stenographer, a real-time writer, or a certified shorthand reporter (CSR).
They write every word said during a trial or other legal procedures.
This makes a court reporter a significant part of the justice system.
Those interested in becoming a court reporter need a license and here, I will present the necessary route for licensure, so read on!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Complete Your Education as a Court Reporter in Alabama
- 2 Become Licensed as a Court Reporter in Alabama
- 3 Court Reporter License Renewal in Alabama
- 4 Court Reporter Salary in Alabama
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Complete Your Education as a Court Reporter in Alabama
You can’t become licensed without first completing a training course.
What’s more, the program must be approved by the Alabama Board of Court Reporting.
However, to enroll in such a program, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have graduated from high school or have a GED
The training courses can be in one of the following areas:
- Judicial Reporting
- Professional Transcription
- Office Assistant
- Court and Realtime Reporting
Future students must ensure the curriculum was approved by CASE (Council on Approved Student Education).
It should include subjects such as:
- Applied Writing I
- Medical Terminology
- Legal Terminology
- Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
- Realtime Reporting I
- Realtime Reporting II
The program is usually at the postsecondary but non-degree level.
Certificate, and diploma programs, and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, are all available and accepted.
Here are some of the schools you can consider for training.
The course offered here is for court reporting, closed captioning, and CART.
You can attend the class online at your own pace.
There are no requirements to enroll in this course.
The objective of the class is to have you write up to 225 words per minute.
If you don’t need a steno machine, the program costs $6,104 while students needing the machine will have to pay $7,899.
Students will have access to the CAT program while enrolled, but they’ll need to purchase it for their careers.
Gadsden State Community College
This college provides an Associate in Applied Science degree in Court Reporting Technology, for those who want to become court reporters.
Enrollment takes place only for the fall semester, and there are a few requirements to graduate.
The main one is scoring at least a “C” for the following:
- All Court Reporting courses
- Any other course required by NCRA’s Council
They also need to score at least 96% accuracy in 4 tests of 5 minutes each, consisting of:
- 225 words per minute testimony (two-voice)
- 200 wpm jury charge
- 180 wpm literary
Furthermore, an internship of 50 hours is also mandatory, but 40 hours must be spent writing.
|Auburn University||301 O.D. Smith Hall Auburn University, AL 36849|
|Gadsden State Community College||1001 George Wallace Drive Gadsden, AL 35903|
Become Licensed as a Court Reporter in Alabama
Once your education is completed, you must pass an exam to earn your license.
You have 18 months to do so since your training is completed.
During this period, you can obtain a temporary license.
The temporary license can be skipped and it can’t be renewed.
You can earn one of these certifications:
- NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
- NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)
These 2 certifications are nationally recognized.
For the actual license in Alabama, you’ll have to pass a skills exam too, and it can be from either one of these organizations:
- Paying the appropriate fees
- $200 for the license
- $50 for the application
- Showing proof of graduating from the training program
- Filling out the application form
The ACRA test is very similar to both the NCRA and the NVRA exams.
The NCRA skills test can be taken online, whereas the other 2 tests can only be taken in person.
If you want to become a registered professional reporter, you’ll have to pay:
- $120 if you’re not a member
- $95 if you are a member
- $77 if you’re a student member
The fee for the NVRA exam is $125.
If you want to become a certified verbatim reporter, you can pay just $50 as a transfer fee if you are a registered professional reporter.
The Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam costs $75.
The test has 3 separate sections, with a duration of 5 minutes each.
To pass, you must meet the wordcount in these 3 areas:
- Literary at 180 wpm
- Jury charge at 200 wpm
- Testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm
Candidates have 75 minutes to transcribe their notes and the minimum passing score in Alabama is 95% accuracy.
There’s also a knowledge written exam for the registered professional reporter that has 120 questions that cover technology, professional practices, ethics, and reporting practices.
The minimum passing score is 70, and the fees are as follows:
- $220 if you’re not a member
- $195 if you are a member
- $160 if you’re a student member
The NVRA exam costs $125.
Court Reporter License Renewal in Alabama
Most licenses require periodical renewal and the one for a court reporter is no different.
In Alabama, the Board mandates the license renewal every year on September 30th.
You should receive an email around August 1st with a reminder.
There’s a grace period until the end of November 30th, after which unrenewed licenses expire.
As expected, there’s a renewal fee associated with the process, as follows:
- $200 for renewals done on time
- $240 for renewals done until September 31st
- $280 for renewals done by November 30th
Individuals must complete 5 hours of continuing education every year for the license renewal procedure.
The extra hours can roll over for the next year.
These hours must be completed through NCRA, NVRA, and ACRA, whereas personal development classes are not usually accepted.
Court Reporter Salary in Alabama
If you made it this far, it means you’re interested in this occupation and how much you’ll be earning.
In this state, the median annual salary a court reporter can expect is around $56,676.
In the table below, you can see the cities with the highest median salaries for this occupation.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can i find work as a Court Reporter in Alabama?
A court reporter will usually work for:
- Supreme Court of Alabama
- Court of Civil Appeals
- Court of Criminal Appeals
- Administrative Offices of the Courts
If you consider yourself a real-time writer, you can work as a freelancer in many different settings.
What skills do I need to become a court reporter in Alabama?
Here are some of the main skills and abilities of a court reporter, regardless of state:
- Good hearing
- Able to sit for long periods
- Word knowledge
- English / grammar skills
- Good use of both hands
- Able to handle stress
- Good organizational skills
What other requirements are there to become a court reporter in Alabama?
Candidates for licensure must ensure they:
- Are an American citizen
- Have a photo not older than 6 months