Online Court Reporter Training Programs

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Online Court Reporter Training Programs

Court reporters are an essential part of the legal system, even though they are often overlooked.

Their role is to document every word spoken during a legal proceeding.

This requires focus and a calm demeanor.

If you find the legal system interesting and want to be a part of it, you should consider being a court reporter.

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You can begin with an online court reporting program.

Benefits of Online Court Reporter Training Programs

Online court reporter training programs provide lots of benefits.

You can learn from anywhere at any time.

Reasons to consider this type of training program include:

  • Flexibility
  • More schools to choose from
  • Less stress
  • Save time and money
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Lucrative job opportunities


One of the reasons this type of program is so popular is the flexibility it offers.

If you have a job or a family, this can be particularly important.

Online classes allow you to study on your schedule, which allows you to handle your responsibilities outside of school.

More Schools to Choose From

Your choice of in-person schools will be limited unless you are willing to move.

Online schools, on the other hand, can be attended from anywhere.

This means that schools outside of your local area are an option, so you can choose the school or program that is best for you, without worrying about the location of the school.

Less Stress

College is stressful regardless.

However, attending in-person classes adds to the stress.

You’ll need to get to classes on time.

You may worry about missing a class or meeting your deadlines.

Even traveling to and from your school can be unnerving.

Online programs eliminate this stress.

Rather than coping with stress, you can focus on studying.

Save Time and Money

Online court reporter programs are usually less expensive than in-person programs.

You’ll also save money on transportation because you aren’t traveling to school regularly.

It can also save you time.

First, you won’t be spending time traveling to and from your classes.

You can also spend more time studying, which can allow you to complete the program faster than you would in person.

Learn at Your Own Pace

Online programs typically allow you to work at your own pace.

This gives you more flexibility and reduces your stress.

You can work as quickly or as slowly as you need to, which may also give you a better understanding of the material.

You can’t fall behind, which means you won’t need to move on from a concept until you have a good grasp of it.

Lucrative Job Opportunities

Completing an online court reporter program will provide you with important job opportunities.

Court reporters are typically paid well for their work.

The field is also expected to grow in the next decade, which means you will have job security.

Drawbacks of Online Court Reporter Training Programs

Of course, there are some downsides to online court reporter training programs as well.

These drawbacks can include:

  • Lack of social interaction
  • Few opportunities to improve social skills
  • Difficulty staying motivated
  • Less stress and distraction

Lack of Social Interaction

It seems like a plus for many students.

You won’t have to deal with annoying classmates or stern professors.

However, the lack of social interaction can make you feel isolated.

Interacting with others is a part of the traditional college experience, and you’ll miss this with an online court reporter program.

Some schools allow you to interact with other students online, but this can’t replace face-to-face interaction.

Few Opportunities to Improve Social Skills

At first glance, being a court reporter doesn’t require strong social skills.

Look again, and you’ll see that you must be able to interact with many people, including judges and attorneys.

You’ll need to be polite yet assertive to be a good court reporter.

If you have little social interaction, you may find that your social skills need work when you begin your career.

Difficulty Staying Motivated

If you aren’t a natural self-motivator, you may find completing your work in an online court reporter program is difficult.

Without regular deadlines, it’s easy to procrastinate and avoid doing your assignments.

Less Stress and Distraction

Less stress and distraction is a good thing, right?

Usually, yes.

However, it may not prepare you for your career.

Working as a court reporter is stressful.

If you miss a word or phrase, it can affect a case.

You’ll also need to cope with distractions.

Something as simple as a cough can cause you to miss a few words or mistype.

In-person classes help prepare you for these issues, while online classes do not.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Court Reporter Training Programs – Summary Table

Benefits of Online Court Reporter Training ProgramsDrawbacks of Online Court Reporter Training Programs
FlexibilityLack of Social Interaction
More Schools to Choose FromFew Opportunities to Improve Social Skills
Less StressDifficulty Staying Motivated
Save Time and MoneyLess Stress and Distraction
Learn at Your Own Pace
Lucrative Job Opportunities

What Courses Are in an Online Court Reporter Program?

While online court reporter programs can vary greatly, most include the same basic courses.

These courses will prepare you to take a certification exam after you complete the program.

Court Reporter or Stenography Theory

This is usually the first course you will have.

A Court Reporting or Stenography Theory course will teach you how to use a stenography machine.

You’ll learn where the keys are, which keys represent letters or syllables, and how to use multiple keys at once.

Listening Skills

As a court reporter, you’ll need to be able to listen while typing.

This requires practice and attention to detail.

English Language

English language courses focus on mechanics, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

In addition to being accurate, it’s important for court reporters to have impeccable grammar and spelling.

Speed and Accuracy

You’ll spend several classes learning stenography speed and accuracy since this is the main skill that’s required of court reporters.

It takes a lot of practice to become good at stenography, which is another reason for this focus.

Court Reporting Technologies

You’ll also learn how to use technologies needed for court reporting.

This may include creating and sending transcriptions, using transcription software, and the use of speakers and headphones.

Industry Specific Terminology

You’ll need to learn legal and medical terminology.

Some programs combine these courses, while others have them separately.

These courses will allow you to get familiar with the terminology you will hear in the courtroom.


Lastly, you’ll learn the ethics of being a court reporter.

Accuracy is extremely important because it can affect the outcome of a case.

This means lives are literally in your hands when you are working as a court reporter. Proper ethics are essential.

Can You Earn a Court Reporter Certification Completely Online?

You can get a certificate or degree as a court reporter completely online, although some programs require you to complete an apprenticeship before graduating from the program.

When it comes to getting certified, this will vary based on the certification you choose.

Some certifications require you to take an in-person test, while others provide online testing.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Court Reporter Certification Online?

How long it takes to earn your online court reporter certification can vary greatly based on the program you choose.

The shortest programs can be completed in just a few weeks. Other programs can take up to 6 months.

You can also choose to get an associate degree as a court reporter, which takes about 2 years.

How Much Does an Online Court Reporter Certification Cost?

There are a few costs you’ll need to consider when becoming a certified court reporter.

You’ll need to pay for an online court reporter training program.

You’ll also need to pay the fees to become a certified court reporter.

Court Reporter Training Program Cost

Court reporter training programs usually cost between $2,000 to $6,000.

The University of Tennessee offers an online court reporting program for $1,995.

Court Reporting at Home charges $6,899 if you choose a program with a stenographer machine, and $5,899 for the program without a steno machine.

Generations College offers an associate’s degree in court reporting.

Total costs are approximately $24,000 without financial aid.

Certification Costs

Certification costs will vary based on the organization you choose.

To take the written test, the NCRA, or The Association of Court Reporters and Captioners, charges $185 for members, and $150 for student members.

Non-members will pay $210.

The skills test will cost $170 for members, $150 for student members, and $210 for non-members.

The charge for the NVRA, or  National Verbatim Reporters Association, certification is $125 to attend a test readiness session.

This is optional but is helpful when preparing to take the test.

There’s no charge for the test itself listed.

AAERT, or American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers charges $275 for their certifications.

Types of Court Reporter Certifications

Let’s take a closer look at the standard certifications.

Most states require you to be certified before you begin working as a court reporter.

Some states require a specific certification, while other states will accept any of the top 3 certifications.


The NCRA, or The Association of Court Reporters and Captioners, offers a Registered Professional Reporter, or RPR, certification.

Once you become certified, you’ll need to earn 3 continuing education credits each 3 years to stay current.


AAERT, or American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers offers several certifications.

The Certified Electronic Reporter certification requires a knowledge test.

The Certified Electronic Transcriber certification requires a knowledge test and a practical exam.

The Certified Deposition Reporter only requires a knowledge test.


NVRA, or the National Verbatim Reporters Association offers a CVR, or Certified Verbatim Reporter, certification.

You must complete a dictation test and a written knowledge test to get certified.

4 Self-Study Tips for Online Court Reporter Students

1. Spend Time Practicing

In addition to the time you spend studying, you’ll need to spend several hours each week practicing your stenography skills.

It’s recommended that you spend at least 18 hours each week practicing stenography.

2. Create a Workspace

Creating a workspace for studying will help minimize distractions.

When you sit in your area, you’ll know it’s time to focus on studying.

Your area should be comfortable, uncluttered, and free of distractions.

Be sure you have your steno machine and any other materials you need as well.

3. Set Goals

It’s important to set goals for yourself.

You won’t have regular deadlines for assignments, so you’ll need to rely on your own goals.

Accomplishing goals gives you a sense of accomplishment, which helps you to stay motivated.

4. Make a Study Schedule

Once you have your goals, you can create a study schedule that helps you meet them.

This will keep you on track, so you can complete the program in a reasonable time frame.

Schools Offering Online Court Reporter Training Programs

School Name Address
Generations College 29 East Madison St. 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60602
Alfred State College State University of New York 10 Upper College Drive Alfred, NY 14802
San Diego State University Global Campus 5250 Campanile Drive San Diego, CA 92182-1920 US
Queens College 65-30 Kissena Blvd Flushing NY 11367
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 311 East MLK Blvd
Black Hawk College 6600 34th Ave, Moline, IL 61265
College of Court Reporting 455 West Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN 46385
Lake Land College Illinois 5001 Lake Land Blvd. Mattoon, IL 61938
Magnum Steno 7810 Legend Cove Ct., Houston, TX 77095
Mark Kislingbury Academy Of Court Reporting 15840 Farm to Market Rd 529 #209 Houston, Texas 77095
PAF Training Pr
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Final Thoughts

Court reporters work on the front lines of our justice system.

It’s a great profession that allows you to provide a useful skill.

If you are interested in the court system, this is a great way to experience it while earning a living.

To be successful, you’ll need to be willing to practice your stenography skills.

You should have strong spelling, grammar, and listening skills if you are considering this as your career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills are needed to be a court reporter?

The most obvious skill a court reporter needs is typing or stenography skills.

You’ll need to have excellent accuracy as well as speed.

You’ll also need attention to detail and great listening skills.

What is stenography?

Stenography is also known as shorthand.

It allows you to type much faster than using a traditional keyboard by using different characters that represent syllables.

While the alphabet has 26 characters, and keyboards typically have 101 keys, stenography machines only have 22 keys.

Is certification required to be a court reporter?

Most states require you to be certified to be a court reporter.

However, you may find work as a transcriber or stenographer without a certification.

What does a court reporter do?

A court reporter creates a written account of the words spoken during legal proceedings.

This can include trials, depositions, and other proceedings.

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