How to Become a Court Reporter in North Carolina

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How to Become a Court Reporter in North Carolina

A court reporter is the same thing as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR).

This professional plays a crucial role in recording every spoken word during legal proceedings such as trials and other legal processes.

This responsibility underscores the court reporter’s significant contribution to the justice system.

Individuals aspiring to enter the field of court reporting in North Carolina must secure a license.

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In the following sections, I will outline the necessary steps to achieve licensure, so please continue reading for a comprehensive guide.

Complete Your Education as a Court Reporter in North Carolina

To obtain licensure, the first step is completing a comprehensive training program.

Additionally, the program’s endorsement by the North Carolina Board of Court Reporting is essential.

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

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Possess of a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED)

Training programs cover various specialized areas, including:

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

Prospective students need to ensure that the curriculum is approved by CASE (Council on Approved Student Education).

This curriculum should encompass subjects like:

  • 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 variety of educational options are available, including certificate and diploma programs, as well as associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Here are some educational institutions you might consider for your training:

University of North Carolina

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

The program can be completed online at your own pace, without any specific enrollment requirements.

The main objective of the program is to prepare students to transcribe at a speed of up to 225 words per minute.

The program costs $6,104 for individuals not requiring a stenotype machine.

However, students needing the machine will need to pay $7,899.

Enrolled students will have access to the CAT program, though they must purchase it for their professional pursuits.

Wake Technical Community College

This college offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Court Reporting Technology, designed for individuals aiming to become court reporters.

Enrollment is limited to the autumn semester, and specific graduation prerequisites must be met.

The primary requirement is achieving at least a “C” grade in all Court Reporting courses and any other courses mandated by NCRA’s Council. A

Additionally, students must attain a minimum accuracy level of 96% in four tests, each lasting five minutes.

These tests include:

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

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

School Name Address
University of North Carolina 134 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC
Wake Technical Community College 6600 Louisburg Rd, Raleigh, NC 27616
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Obtaining Licensure as a Court Reporter in North Carolina

Upon successful completion of your education, you’ll need to pass an examination to secure your license.

This examination must be completed within 18 months of finishing your training.

During this period, you have the option to acquire a temporary license; however, please note that this temporary license cannot be renewed.

You can achieve one of the following certifications:

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

Both these certifications hold national recognition.

To obtain the official North Carolina license, you’ll need to pass a skills examination.

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

  • NCRA
  • NVRA
  • ACRA

The process involves:

  • Payment of the appropriate fees, which amount to $200 for the license and $50 for the application
  • Providing evidence of graduation from the training program
  • Completing the application form

The ACRA test closely resembles the NCRA and NVRA exams.

While the NCRA skills test can be taken online, the other two exams require in-person participation.

For individuals aiming to achieve the registered professional reporter status, 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 exam comprises three separate sections, each lasting five minutes.

To pass, you must meet specific word count requirements 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 North Carolina is set at 95%.

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

This exam consists of 120 questions covering 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 North Carolina

In North Carolina, the license renewal is mandated annually.

As expected, a renewal fee is associated with the process, structured as follows:

  • $200 for renewals completed on time
  • $240 for renewals completed by September 31st
  • $280 for renewals completed by November 30th

To complete the license renewal process, individuals must complete 5 hours of continuing education each year.

Court Reporter Salary in North Carolina

If you’ve reached this point, your interest in this profession and potential earnings are apparent.

In the state of North Carolina, a court reporter can anticipate a median salary of $59,348 per year.

In the table below, you can find information regarding cities within the state offering the highest median salaries for this occupation.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Alexis $60,640
Cherryville $60,496
Waco $60,467
Charlotte $60,392
Wake Forest $60,113
Zebulon $60,026
Bellarthur $59,824
Whitakers $59,824
Walstonburg $59,824
Winston Salem $59,286

Regional Salary in North Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC40$50,480$24.27$76,610$32,520
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners, OCC Code 27-3092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which courts hire court reporters in North Carolina?

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 North Carolina?

Candidates for licensure must ensure they:

  • Are an American citizen
  • Have a photo not older than 6 months
  • Successful completion of a thorough background check
  • Willing to work overtime and be exposed to outdoor weather, hostile or violent situations, upsetting exhibits and contagious health situations

What skills do I need to become a court reporter in North Carolina?

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

  1. Avatar for Mollie Parr Mollie Parr

    To pursue this, individuals can enroll in court reporting programs like the one listed in this post but you have to do your research first too.

  2. Avatar for Jonathan Cohen Jonathan Cohen

    One of the benefits of being a court reporter in North Carolina is the potential for job stability, as there is a consistent demand for skilled court reporters in the area.

  3. Avatar for Hannah Freedman Hannah Freedman

    It’s important to note that court reporting requires a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and continuous learning to keep up with legal terminology and technological advancement in the field.

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