What is a Court Reporter?
Court reporters are key members of judicial teams who are tasked with reporting real-time happenings in courtrooms, depositions, and corporations as verbatim records for later use.
Today’s court reporters use a variety of stenography tools to capture legal events as they happen and to provide transcripts of these events which become legally binding records.
Our guide provides a step-by-step overview of what it takes for aspiring Alabama court reporters to complete their education and earn national certification.
If you have ever imagined yourself working behind the scenes of America’s judicial system and offering real-time support for judges, lawyers, paralegals, and other legal professionals – becoming a certified court reporter could be the right career for you!
How to Become A Court Reporter in Alabama – Step by Step
Each US state has its own unique set of requirements for licensing and certifying new and active court reporters.
Alabama’s residents interested in becoming an integral part of Alabama’s criminal justice system by providing verbal and written transcription services as licensed and certified court reporters must complete a series of steps to earn and maintain their credentials.
Finish High School or Complete an Equivalent
The first step to becoming a certified court reporter in Alabama is to finish high school or to complete an equivalent.
Most approved court reporter programs will require proof of completion of your high school diploma or proof of equivalent education before admission.
Complete an NCRA- Approved Court Reporter Training Program
Once you’ve completed your high school education, the next step is to find and enroll in an NCRA-approved program and complete your training.
The National Court Reporters Association is the accrediting body that administers court reporter skills testing required by most employers.
Their agency keeps a list of actively approved programs that follow their recommended education and training requirements online.
Gain Hands-on Experience
Prospective stenographers must meet the industry standards for all reporters by demonstrating speed and accuracy in real-time transcription, voice transcription, and all other areas.
Most court reporter training programs will offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on practice through a network of partnerships with local entities like governments, schools, and courts.
Reporters must demonstrate error-free speed and accuracy in typing between 175-225 words per minute.
Pass the NCRA Exam
The National Court Reporters Association is the certification body that sets the national standard for new and practicing court reporters in the US.
Students who have completed NCRA-approved training will be required to demonstrate their competency and skills by taking one of the NCRA exams to become certified reporters.
The NCRA offers a variety of court reporting credentials for all skill levels including basic, intermediate, and advanced certifications.
Apply for Licensing with The Alabama Board of Court Reporting
The Alabama Board of Court Reporting accepts applications and issues occupational licenses to new and existing court reporters who have demonstrated competency by completing the education, testing, and hands-on practice requirements.
Visit the ABCR website to learn more about licensing requirements, fees, and requirements needed to renew your occupational license.
Get Continuing Education to Maintain Your Credential
Active reporters must take the required number of continuing education credits and pay renewal fees to maintain their credentials.
At this time, there is only one NCRA-approved court reporter training program operating in the state of Alabama offering basic and continuing education credits for new and working court reporters within the state.
Court Reporter Schools in Alabama
Alabama’s students seeking a variety of options for gaining court reporter education will find that they have limited NCRA-approved options within the state.
There is currently only one NCRA-sanctioned program operating.
Students seeking other alternatives can consider taking approved coursework online.
About the School
Students seeking an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Court Reporting Technology take classes at Gadsen State Community College.
This NCRA-approved court reporter training program teaches students general education skills and the fundamental and practical skills needed to sit for required national exams and become licensed court reporters working in Alabama.
- Civil and Criminal Law Terminology
- Judicial Procedures
- Moot Court Practicum
- Realtime Application
- Realtime Reporting Lab
- Realtime Reporting Technology
Address: 1001 George Wallace Drive – Gadsden, Alabama – 35902
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most sought-after court reporter credential in Alabama?
The most sought-after court reporter credential for aspiring Alabama court reporters is the Registered Professional Reporter certification.
This certification is nationally recognized and proves competency and skills to colleagues, educators, and potential employers.
Alabama reporters must complete state and national training and practice requirements to become eligible to sit for the RPR certification exam.
What agency administers court reporter certification exams?
The National Court Reporters Association is the agency that administers certification exams and testing needed to earn a court reporter credential or license in the US.
They issue the most sought-after court reporter credentials including the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), and the highly coveted Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) certifications.
How long will it take me to complete my court reporter training in Alabama?
Most court reporter training programs will take full-time students between two and three years to complete.
Students will need to complete general education requirements, fundamental skills, and immersive hands-on practice to earn state and national certification.
Court Reporter Salary Information
Online earnings reports from reputable sources like Salary.com show that Alabama’s court reporters make comfortable salaries.
The average salary for US court reporters is $62,459.00.
Stenographers and court reporters working in Alabama bring home an average salary of $58,948.00 which is in line with the national average.
These numbers represent an average that can be lower or higher based on years of experience in the field, licenses, certifications, and work locations.
Average Salary in Alabama
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|Top 10% Annual Salary
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* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Court Reporter Programs by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia