How to Become a Court Reporter in New Mexico

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How to Become a Court Reporter in New Mexico

A court reporter, also referred to as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR), plays a crucial role in recording every spoken word during legal proceedings like trials and other legal procedures.

This pivotal function positions court reporters as integral components of the justice system.

Individuals with an interest in pursuing a career as a court reporter need to obtain a license.

Check out how you can become a court reporter in New Mexico!

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Completing Your Education as a Court Reporter in New Mexico

Before becoming licensed, it is imperative to complete a comprehensive training program.

Additionally, the program must gain approval from the New Mexico Board of Court Reporting.

To enroll in such a program, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • Being over the age of 18
  • High school graduation or possession of a GED

Training courses are offered in various specialized areas, including:

  • CART/Captioning
  • Judicial Reporting
  • Scoping/Proofreading
  • Professional Transcription
  • Office Assistant
  • Court and Realtime Reporting

Prospective students must ensure that the curriculum has received approval from CASE (Council on Approved Student Education).

The curriculum should encompass subjects such as:

  • Applied Writing I
  • Medical Terminology
  • Legal Terminology
  • Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
  • Realtime Reporting I
  • Realtime Reporting II

Typically, these programs are offered at the postsecondary non-degree level.

A range of educational options is available, including certificate and diploma programs, as well as associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Below are some of the educational institutions you may consider for your training:

University of New Mexico

This institution offers a comprehensive course covering court reporting, closed captioning, and CART.

The course is available online, providing flexibility for students to learn at their own pace.

No specific prerequisites are required for enrollment.

The primary objective of this course is to enable students to transcribe at a rate of up to 225 words per minute.

Program costs are $6,104 for those not requiring a steno machine, while students in need of the machine will incur a fee of $7,899.

Enrolled students will have access to the CAT program, although they will need to purchase it for their professional endeavors.

Central New Mexico Community College

This college offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Court Reporting Technology, catering to individuals aspiring to become court reporters.

Enrollment is exclusively available for the fall semester, and specific graduation requirements must be met.

The principal requirement is achieving a minimum grade of “C” in all Court Reporting courses and any other courses mandated by NCRA’s Council.

Additionally, students must achieve an accuracy level of at least 96% in four tests, each lasting five minutes.

These tests encompass:

  • 225 words per minute testimony (two-voice)
  • 200 wpm jury charge
  • 180 wpm literary

Furthermore, a mandatory 50-hour internship is required, with 40 hours dedicated to transcription.

School Name Address
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131
Central New Mexico Community College 900 University Blvd. SE Albuquerque, NM 87106
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Attaining Licensure as a Court Reporter in New Mexico

Upon completing your education, you must successfully pass an examination to earn your license.

This exam must be completed within 18 months of concluding your training.

During this period, the option to obtain a temporary license is available, although it is important to note that this temporary license cannot be renewed.

You have the opportunity to earn one of the following certifications:

  • NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
  • NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)

Both of these certifications hold national recognition.

To obtain the official New Mexico license, you are required to pass a skills examination.

This examination can be administered by any of the following organizations:

  • NCRA
  • NVRA
  • ACRA

The process entails:

  • Payment of the applicable fees, which are $200 for the license and $50 for the application
  • Providing proof of graduation from the training program
  • Completing the application form

The ACRA test closely mirrors the NCRA and NVRA exams.

While the NCRA skills test is available for online completion, the other two tests necessitate in-person attendance.

For those aspiring to achieve the status of a registered professional reporter, the following fee structure applies:

  • $120 for non-members
  • $95 for members
  • $77 for student members

The fee for the NVRA exam is set at $125.

If you intend to become a certified verbatim reporter, a transfer fee of $50 can be paid if you are already a registered professional reporter.

The Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam carries a fee of $75.

This examination comprises three separate sections, each lasting five minutes.

To pass, specific word count requirements must be met in these three 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 accuracy score in New Mexico is set at 95%.

Furthermore, a written knowledge exam is required for the registered professional reporter certification.

It encompasses 120 questions that cover topics such as technology, professional practices, ethics, and reporting practices.

The minimum passing score is 70, and the fees are as follows:

  • 220 for non-members
  • $195 for members
  • $160 for student members

The NVRA exam carries a fee of $125.

Renewing Your Court Reporter License in New Mexico

Similar to numerous licenses, the court reporter license necessitates periodic renewal.

In New Mexico, you need to renew your license every year.

For that, you also need to take 10 hours of extra education.

Court Reporter Salary in New Mexico

If you have followed this information closely, it indicates your keen interest in the court reporter profession and the potential earnings associated with it.

In the state of New Mexico, a court reporter can expect a median annual salary of $57,024.

In the table below, you can find details of the cities within the state that offer the highest median salaries for this occupation.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Santa Fe $58,421
Albuquerque $58,127
Corrales $58,065
White Rock $58,050
Espanola $57,741
Bernalillo $57,694
Villanueva $57,494
Abiquiu $57,494
Socorro $57,199
Alamogordo $55,144

Frequently Asked Questions

Which courts hire court reporters in New Mexico?

All of the state’s courts hire court reporters, but not only.

Here are some examples:

  • Appellate Courts
  • Superior Court
  • District Courts
  • Administrative and support services
  • Federal government
  • Local government
  • Self-employed
  • State government

What other requirements are there to become a court reporter in New Mexico?

Candidates for licensure must ensure they:

  • Are an American citizen
  • Have a photo not older than 6 months
  • One year of reporting experience in a legal setting
  • Willing to work overtime and be exposed to outdoor weather, hostile or violent situations, upsetting exhibits and contagious health situations
  • Knowledge of machine shorthand/state-of-the-art stenographic hardware and software

What skills do I need to become a court reporter in New Mexico?

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

USA Court Reporter by State

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