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Do Court Reporters In The US Need Certification?

If you are looking for a career as a court reporter, you should know that this is a path that can be lucrative and rewarding, as this is a position that is paid very well. The court reporting career will require some very specific training, with some states requiring a license for court reporters to even practice in the court system. By federal law, certification is not required, but it will always be a good idea, as finding the position you want will be a lot easier if you have all of the necessary certification.

Education Requirement

The education that is needed to be a court reporter will vary depending on the specialization that the reporter pursues. The NCRA, or national court reporters association, has provided certification in several programs for court reporters all across the country. To graduate from one of the court reporter programs, the reporter must have the ability to capture a minimum of 225 words per minute. This happens to be the standard that is required by the federal government, which makes it the perfect mark to set for the certification.

Certifications That Are Available

Remember that certification is not going to be technically required to be a court reporter. However, it will be necessary if you want to get the best jobs that are available. Additionally, the ability to prove that you hold a certain level of certification will make it easier for you to get into some of the higher, better-paying positions.

Anyone who graduates from a certified school and goes through a four-part court reporting examination will be given the certification of RPR, registered professional reporter, through the NCRA. This is not an exam that is required to graduate, but there are many reporters that will decide to pursue it.

Court reporters that would like to show that they have more competency or experience than someone who is just getting their start in the field can go through further certification with the NCRA. Some of these may be the RMR, registered merit reporter, and the RDR registered diplomate reporter. These are both designed for court reporters. Anyone who would like to expand their job opportunities and expertise can look into further certifications that are made for anyone who wants to caption television or a variety of other media programs for people who are hard of hearing. These are certifications like the CBC, certified broadcast cautioner, the CRR, or certified realtime reporter, or the CCP, or certified CART provider.

The NCRA is not the only entity that offers court reporter certifications. The US Court Reporters Association also offers voluntary certification designation that is based on an examination testing the real-time skills of the reporters. This will qualify a reporter for the certification of FCRR or federal certified realtime reporter. This is only going to be available for reporters that are working in the federal court system.

The AAERT, or American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, is an organization offering certification for court reporters, as well. This is a two-part examination with a written and practical portion. Certification here is called CECR, or certified electronic court reporter, and it will require about two years of experience in court reporting for qualification.


In addition to certification, there are some who will go for a license in their state, if it is called for. The designation of a state licensed reporter is called a CCR, certified court reporter. Someone looking for a license that will be able to transfer easily from one state to another can go through the National Verbatim Reporters Association. These include CVR, certified verbatim reporter, RVR, real-time verbatim reporter, and the CM, certificate of merit. Each certification can be used in the place of a state license in any state where it is required, and the voice method is allowed for court reporting.