Court reporters write down word-for-word transcriptions at administrative hearings, trials, depositions and other legal proceedings. These professionals provide real-time translation for hard-of-hearing people at various public events. They provide captioning for television as well.

Should I Become a Court Reporter in California?

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook(2018-2028)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-California
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Court Reporting or Stenography
  • On-the-job training is required
  • Required
  • Listening Skills, Detail-Oriented, Communication Skills, Writing and Typing Skills, Ability to use audio recording devices and stenotype machines
  • $64,990 (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)
  • 7%
  • $89,370(Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Court reporters are an essential part of the legal system. Most of the times it is necessary for a court reporter to be present during a legal proceeding. Some of these professionals prefer to work in a legal setting, while others choose a different path. There are various other sectors where court reporters can get employed.

Career Outlook

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for court reporters are projected to grow 7% from 2018-2028. They will be needed in multiple sectors for captioning purposes. These professionals will be expected to live up to the requirements of the federal regulations. Ageing population will also contribute to their demand as they will require court reporters to accompany them to various places for the purpose of real time translation.

Steps to Become a Court Reporter in California

Complete Necessary Education

Students who want to pursue their career as court reporters in California need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Once students complete their high-school diploma, they have to enroll in a state-approved court school. These programs are skill based which help students develop typing skills which is a requirement to clear the licensing exam.

Obtain Licensure

In California, aspiring court reporters are required to pass a 3-part licensing exam. It comprises of both written and performance sections. During the state test, applicants are required to write 200 words per minute with 97.5% accuracy.

Earn Certification

Candidates who live in California can get a certificate from the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). To earn the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification, applicants have to give a 3-part exam which examines their typing speed. This test qualifies reporters for licensure as well.

Find Employment

Court reporters can work in multiple fields such as, court reporting agencies, government courts. Some of them also work as freelancers.

Continuing Education

Professionals have to take continuing education courses to fulfill the requirements of certification organizations and state-boards.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Court Reporter in California?

After earning a high-school diploma, students have to enroll in a state-approved court reporting school if they do not have prior experience or the RPR certificate. Court reporting school requires an additional 18-24 months. Once students complete their education requirements, they can apply for licensure.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Court Reporter in California?

Following are the requirements to become a court reporter in California:

  • Be of at least 18 years
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Must not have committed any crime
  • Possess a license or RPR certificate

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Court Reporter in California?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporters and simultaneous cautioners’ working in California were earning an annual mean salary of $89,120 in 2020. California was also the second-highest paying US state for these professionals.