A court reporter is commonly known as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR).
Their role encompasses transcribing every spoken word during legal proceedings, such as trials, making them an integral part of the justice system.
For those aspiring to become court reporters in Illinois, a license is a prerequisite.
In this article, I will guide you through the essential pathway to obtaining licensure.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Fulfill Your Court Reporter Education in Illinois
- 2 Acquiring Your Court Reporter License in Illinois
- 3 Court Reporter Salaries in Illinois
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Fulfill Your Court Reporter Education in Illinois
Before attaining a license, completion of an accredited training course is imperative.
Furthermore, the program must receive approval from the Illinois Board of Court Reporting.
To be eligible for enrollment in such a program, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
Training programs are available in various areas, including:
- Judicial Reporting
- Professional Transcription
- Office Assistant
- Court and Realtime Reporting
Prospective students must ensure that the curriculum is sanctioned by the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).
This curriculum should encompass subjects like:
- Applied Writing I
- Medical Terminology
- Legal Terminology
- Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
- Realtime Reporting I
- Realtime Reporting II
These training programs are typically at the postsecondary non-degree level, offering options such as certificates, diplomas, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees.
Consider the following institutions for your training
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
This university has a comprehensive online course covering court reporting, closed captioning, and CART.
No specific prerequisites are necessary for enrollment.
The course aims to develop writing skills up to 225 words per minute.
The program fee is $6,104, and an additional fee of $7,899 applies to those requiring a steno machine.
Students will have access to the CAT program during enrollment, but purchasing it for their future careers is recommended.
Lake Land College
This college has an Associate in Applied Science degree in Court Reporting Technology for individuals aspiring to become court reporters.
Enrollment is limited to the fall semester, and graduation prerequisites include achieving at least “C” grades in all Court Reporting courses and any other courses mandated by NCRA’s Council.
A minimum accuracy of 96% is required in tests involving varying speeds and styles.
An internship of 50 hours is compulsory, with at least 40 hours dedicated to writing.
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||601 E John St, Champaign, IL 61820|
|Lake Land College||5001 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon, IL 61938|
Acquiring Your Court Reporter License in Illinois
Following the completion of your education, passing an exam is a crucial step to earning your license.
You have a year and a half from the conclusion of your training to fulfill this requirement.
During this period, obtaining a temporary license is possible, although this option cannot be renewed.
You can get one of the following nationally recognized certifications:
- NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
- NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)
To obtain your official Illinois court reporter license, you must successfully pass a skills exam, administered by organizations such as NCRA, NVRA, or ACRA.
For that, you have to:
- Pay the fees: $200 for the license and $50 for the application
- Providing evidence of graduation from the training program
- Completing the designated application form
The ACRA test closely mirrors both the NCRA and NVRA exams.
While the NCRA skills test can be taken online, the other two exams necessitate in-person attendance.
To become a registered professional reporter, the fee structure is as follows:
- $120 for non-members
- $95 for members
- $77 for student members
The NVRA exam fee is $125.
Becoming a certified verbatim reporter entails a $50 transfer fee if you are already a registered professional reporter.
The Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam carries a $75 fee.
The exam comprises three separate sections, each lasting five minutes, focusing on literary, jury charge, and testimony/Q&A segments.
Candidates have 75 minutes to transcribe their notes, and a minimum passing score of 95% accuracy is required in Illinois.
Additionally, a written knowledge exam for the registered professional reporter consists of 120 questions covering technology, professional practices, ethics, and reporting practices.
The minimum passing score is 70, with fee structures as follows:
- $220 for non-members
- $195 for members
- $160 for student members
The NVRA exam costs $125.
Renewing Your Court Reporter License in Illinois
Similar to most licenses, periodic renewal is mandatory for court reporters in Illinois.
Renewal fees are as follows:
- $200 for on-time renewals
- $240 for renewals until September 31st
- $280 for renewals by November 30th
Continuing education is a vital component of license renewal, necessitating the completion of five hours annually.
Any excess hours can be carried over to the following year.
These education hours must be fulfilled through accredited organizations like NCRA, NVRA, and ACRA, with personal development classes generally not accepted.
Court Reporter Salaries in Illinois
If you’ve followed along this far, your interest likely lies in court reporter salaries.
In Illinois, court reporters can anticipate a median annual salary of about $63,521.
For insight into cities with the highest median salaries for court reporters, consult the table below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can i find work as a Court Reporter in Illinois?
Below you can see a brief list of the most notable employers of court reporters in this state:
- Bridges Court Reporting
- Area Wide Reporting Service
- Thompson Court Reporters
- Lexitas Legal
What other requirements are there to become a court reporter in Illinois?
Candidates for licensure must ensure they:
- Are an American citizen
- Have a photo not older than 6 months
What skills do I need to become a court reporter in Illinois?
Here are some of the primary skills and abilities of a court reporter, regardless of state:
- Good hearing
- Able to sit for long periods
- Word knowledge
- English and grammar skills
- Good use of both hands
- Able to handle stress
- Good organizational skills