A court reporter is alternatively known as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR)
This professional is responsible for transcribing every spoken word during legal proceedings, such as trials.
This role plays a crucial part in the justice system.
Those aspiring to become court reporters in Virginia need to obtain a license, and I’ll outline the necessary steps for licensure below.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Completing Your Court Reporter Education in Virginia
- 2 Obtaining Your Court Reporter License in Virginia
- 3 Court Reporter Salary in Virginia
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Completing Your Court Reporter Education in Virginia
To qualify for licensure, you must first complete an approved training program.
Here are the requirements to enroll in such a program:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
These training programs can specialize in various areas, such as:
- Judicial Reporting,
- Professional Transcription,
- Office Assistant,
- Court and Realtime Reporting
The curriculum of your chosen program must be approved by CASE (Council on Approved Student Education).
It should cover subjects like Applied Writing I, Medical Terminology, Legal Terminology, Civil and Criminal Law Terminology, Realtime Reporting I, and Realtime Reporting II.
These programs are typically offered at the postsecondary but non-degree level, meaning you can choose between certificate, diploma, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree programs.
Some of the institutions you can consider for your training in Virginia include.
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
The SUNY College of Technology at Alfred provides two distinct degree programs in the field of court reporting.
They offer a two-year undergraduate certificate program in Court Reporting and Captioning, consisting of 40 credit hours.
Additionally, there is a two-year Associate of Applied Science program in Court and Realtime Reporting, requiring 64 credit hours for completion.
This institution is characterized as a medium-sized public university, welcoming over 3,700 undergraduate students annually.
It is supported by an approximate faculty and staff team of 400 members dedicated to the success of more than 80 diverse academic programs offered at the university.
Downey Adult School
Downey Adult School, situated in California, is a publicly funded institution that provides a court-reporting certification program.
This certificate program typically spans a duration of 2 to 4 years.
To successfully graduate from this program, students are mandated to complete 1,110 hours of coursework and training annually.
Upon completion of this certification, graduates are eligible to pursue careers as Certified Shorthand Court Reporters.
Notably, Downey Adult School holds accreditations from both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council on Occupational Education.
|SUNY College of Technology at Alfred||online|
|Downey Adult School||online|
Obtaining Your Court Reporter License in Virginia
Once you’ve completed your education, you must pass an examination to obtain your license.
You have 18 months from the completion of your training to do so.
During this period, you can obtain a temporary license, although it cannot be renewed.
You can earn either of the following nationally recognized certifications:
- NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification
- NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)
For the actual Virginia license, you’ll also need to pass a skills exam, which can be administered by one of these organizations:
This involves paying the appropriate fees, which include $200 for the license, $50 for the application, and providing proof of graduation from the training program, along with filling out the application form.
The ACRA test is similar to both the NCRA and NVRA exams.
Candidates can take the NCRA skills test online, but they must be present in person for the other two.
If you wish to become a Registered Professional Reporter, you’ll need to pay fees ranging from $120 to $220, depending on your membership status.
The NVRA exam fee is $125.
For the Certified Verbatim Reporter, a $50 transfer fee applies if you are already a Registered Professional Reporter.
The Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam costs $75 and consists of three separate sections, each lasting 5 minutes.
To pass, you must meet the wordcount requirements in these areas:
- 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 transcribe their notes, and the minimum passing score in Virginia is 95% accuracy.
Additionally, there’s a knowledge written exam for the Registered Professional Reporter, consisting of 120 questions covering:
- Professional practices,
- Reporting practices.
The minimum passing score is 70, and the fees range from $160 to $220 depending on your membership status.
Renewing Your Court Reporter License in Virginia
Like most licenses, court reporter licenses require periodic renewal in Virginia.
To ensure your certification remains valid with the National Court Reporters Association, it’s crucial to meet their continuing education requirements.
This association mandates an average of one continuing education (CE) credit per year or three credits every three years.
Similarly, for those holding certification with the National Verbatim Reporters Association, fulfilling their CE credit requirement is essential.
This organization necessitates the completion of 30 credits over three years to maintain certification.
Court Reporter Salary in Virginia
In Virginia, court reporters can expect a median annual salary of approximately $61,450.
The table below displays the cities with the highest median salaries for this profession.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
What skills do I need to become a court reporter in Virginia?
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 Virginia?
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
Which courts hire court reporters in Virginia?
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
- State government