A court reporter also referred to as a court stenographer, real-time writer, or certified shorthand reporter (CSR), holds the vital responsibility of transcribing every spoken word during legal proceedings, including trials.
This role contributes significantly to the functioning of the justice system.
For individuals aspiring to pursue a career as a court reporter in West Virginia, obtaining a license is a crucial step.
Here, I will guide you through the essential pathway to licensure, so keep reading.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Completing Your Court Reporter Education in West Virginia
- 2 Obtain Your Court Reporter License in West Virginia
- 3 Court Reporter Salary in West Virginia
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Completing Your Court Reporter Education in West Virginia
To embark on the journey toward becoming a licensed court reporter, the first requirement is completing a comprehensive training program.
It’s important to note that the training program you choose must be approved by the West Virginia Board of Court Reporting.
For enrollment in such a program, you must meet these prerequisites:
- Attain a minimum age of 18 years
- Hold a high school diploma or a GED equivalent
Training programs in West Virginia encompass various areas of focus, including:
- Professional Transcription
- Judicial Reporting
- Office Assistant,
- Court and Realtime Reporting.
Prospective students should ensure that their selected program’s curriculum bears the endorsement of the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).
The curriculum typically includes subjects such as:
- Applied Writing I,
- Medical Terminology
- Realtime Reporting I
- Legal Terminology
- Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
- Realtime Reporting II
These programs are generally offered at the postsecondary level, although they may not necessarily lead to a degree.
West Virginia accepts a variety of educational options, ranging from certificate and diploma programs to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Below are some educational institutions that offer court reporting programs.
Green River College
Green River College is a public educational institution that provides prospective court reporters with two distinct degree programs.
These programs cater to diverse educational goals and durations:
- A two-year Associate’s degree in Realtime Transcription, requiring the completion of 149 credit hours.
- A four-year Bachelor’s degree in Realtime Reporting:
- Court Reporting & Captioning, necessitating the completion of 180 credit hours.
It’s important to note that all court reporting degree programs offered at Green River College hold accreditation from the National Court Reporters Association.
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Obtain Your Court Reporter License in West Virginia
Upon successful completion of your court reporter education in West Virginia, you must pass an examination to acquire your license.
You have 1.5 years from the completion of your training to achieve this milestone.
During this period, you have the option to obtain a temporary license.
However, it’s important to note that temporary licenses cannot be renewed.
In West Virginia, you can earn 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 secure an official court reporter license in West Virginia, you must also pass a skills examination.
This test can be taken through one of these organizations:
This process includes submitting the required fees, consisting of a $200 license fee, a $50 application fee, and providing evidence of your graduation from the training program.
Completing the application form is also a mandatory step.
While the ACRA test closely mirrors the NCRA and NVRA exams, it’s important to note that the NCRA skills test can be taken online, whereas the other two exams must be completed in person.
Here are the fees individuals aspiring to become registered professional reporters have to pay:
- $120 (non-member)
- $95 (member)
- $77 (student member)
There’s a fee for the NVRA exam as well, which is $125.
Those aiming to become certified verbatim reporters can pay a transfer fee of $50.
This fee is valid if they are already registered professional reporters.
For the Certified Court Reporter (CCR) skills exam the fee is $75.
The CCR skills exam comprises three distinct sections, each lasting five minutes.
To pass, candidates must meet the specified word count 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 a 75-minute window to transcribe their notes, and the minimum passing score in West Virginia is 95% accuracy.
Furthermore, a knowledge written exam for registered professional reporters consists of 120 questions, covering topics like:
- Professional practices,
- Reporting practices.
The minimum passing score is 70, and the corresponding fees range from $160 to $220 based on your membership status.
Renew Your Court Reporter License in West Virginia
As with most professional licenses, court reporter licenses in West Virginia require periodic renewal.
You need to renew your license every 3 years, and you also need to complete 5 hours of extra education.
Court Reporter Salary in West Virginia
If you’ve followed this guide with interest, you may be curious about the potential earnings in this profession.
In West Virginia, the median annual salary for court reporters typically falls around $55,669.
To explore specific cities with the highest median salaries for this occupation, please refer to the salary table below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which courts hire court reporters in West 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
What skills do I need to become a court reporter in West 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 West 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