A court reporter, alternatively known as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR), plays a crucial role in legal proceedings by transcribing every spoken word during trials or other legal processes.
This pivotal function positions court reporters as significant contributors within the justice system.
Individuals aspiring to become court reporters in Maine must follow a prescribed licensure path.
This guide outlines the essential steps for obtaining licensure, so continue reading for a comprehensive overview.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Complete Your Education as a Court Reporter in Maine
- 2 Become Licensed as a Court Reporter in Maine
- 3 Court Reporter Salary in Maine
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Complete Your Education as a Court Reporter in Maine
Before pursuing licensure, aspiring court reporters must complete a comprehensive training program.
It is imperative that the chosen program has received approval from the Maine Board of Court Reporting.
To enroll in such a program, candidates must meet the following prerequisites:
- Attain a minimum age of 18 years
- Hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent
These accredited training programs cover a range of specialized areas, including:
- Judicial Reporting
- Professional Transcription
- Office Assistant
- Court and Realtime Reporting
Prospective students must ensure that the curriculum aligns with the guidelines established by the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).
Key subjects covered by these programs include:
- Applied Writing I
- Medical Terminology
- Legal Terminology
- Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
- Realtime Reporting I
- Realtime Reporting II
Training programs typically operate at the postsecondary level without awarding degrees.
Candidates can pursue certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees based on their preferences and aspirations.
Below are notable institutions in Maine offering court reporting training.
University of Maine
This institution provides a comprehensive course in court reporting, closed captioning, and CART services.
The online course allows students to progress at their own pace.
Admission requirements for this course are flexible.
The course aims to equip students with the ability to write at speeds of up to 225 words per minute.
The cost of the program is $6,104 for those not requiring a steno machine and $7,899 for students needing the machine.
While enrolled, students gain access to the CAT program, which they can also purchase for their future careers.
Portland Community College
Offering an Associate in Applied Science degree in Court Reporting Technology, this college caters to individuals aspiring to become court reporters.
Enrollment is limited to the fall semester, and successful completion of the program necessitates at least a “C” grade in all Court Reporting courses.
This grade must be maintained in other courses mandated by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Council as well.
Additionally, candidates must achieve at least 96% accuracy in four 5-minute tests, including:
- Two-voice testimony at 225 words per minute
- Jury charge at 200 words per minute
- Literary passage at 180 words per minute
A mandatory 50-hour internship, with 40 hours dedicated to writing, enhances practical skills.
|Portland Community College||onine|
|University of Maine||168 College Ave, Orono, ME 04469|
Become Licensed as a Court Reporter in Maine
Upon successful education completion, candidates must pass an examination to secure their court reporting license.
This exam must be completed within 18 months of finishing the training program.
During this period, candidates can acquire a temporary license, which cannot be renewed.
Aspiring court reporters can pursue either of the following nationally recognized certifications:
- National Court Reporters Association’s (NCRA) Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
- National Verbatim Reporters Association’s (NVRA) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) certification
Additionally, candidates must pass a skills exam for Maine-specific licensure through one of the following organizations: NCRA, NVRA, or ACRA.
This process involves:
- Payment of appropriate fees: $200 for the license and $50 for the application
- Providing proof of completion of the training program
- Submission of the application form
The ACRA test closely mirrors the NCRA and NVRA exams.
While the NCRA skills test is available online, the other two exams require in-person participation.
For those pursuing the Registered Professional Reporter certification, the associated fees are as follows:
- Non-member: $120
- Member: $95
- Student member: $77
The NVRA exam fee is $125. As for the Certified Verbatim Reporter certification, registered professional reporters can transfer for a fee of $50.
The Certified Court Reporter skills exam costs $75 and comprises three 5-minute sections, each requiring the transcription of notes to meet specific word counts:
- Literary at 180 words per minute
- Jury charge at 200 words per minute
- Testimony/Q&A at 225 words per minute
Candidates have 75 minutes to complete the transcription and a minimum passing score of 95% accuracy is required in Maine.
A knowledge-based written exam for the Registered Professional Reporter includes 120 questions covering technology, professional practices, ethics, and reporting practices.
The passing score is 70, and the fees vary:
- Non-member: $220
- Member: $195
- Student member: $160
The NVRA exam costs $125.
Court Reporter License Renewal in Maine
Similar to other professional licenses, court reporters must renew their licensure periodically.
In Maine, the Board mandates annual license renewal.
The renewal process entails specific fees:
- On-time renewal: $200
- Renewal until September 31st: $240
- Renewal by November 30th: $280
To complete the license renewal procedure, individuals must partake in 5 hours of continuing education annually.
Continuing education credits must be earned through approved organizations like NCRA, NVRA, and ACRA.
Court Reporter Salary in Maine
For those interested in the court reporter profession and its earnings potential, the median annual salary for court reporters in Maine hovers around $59,596.
The following table outlines cities within the state with the highest median salaries in this occupation.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Which courts hire court reporters in Maine?
All of the state’s courts hire court reporters.
Here are some examples:
- Appellate Courts
- Superior Court
- District Courts
What other requirements are there to become a court reporter in Maine?
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 Maine?
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