How to Become a Court Reporter in Arkansas

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Have you decided you want to become a court reporter and are curious about the process of getting there?

Or maybe you’re just interested in learning more about what it means to be a professional in this field – what the job is like, the annual salary, and the requirements for becoming a court reporter in Arkansas.

Whether you’re serious about working in this field or you’re simply scouring the internet for information on this topic, this article is for you!

How to Become a Court Reporter in Arkansas – Step-by-step

Complete a program: First and foremost, before taking the first official step to become a court reporter, you must graduate from high school or complete your GED.

Then, you’ll be able to enroll in a court reporter program through an accredited institution.

In the state of Arkansas, an Associate degree or certificate is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a court reporter.

Regardless of the educational path you choose, you can expect to learn about topics such as legal and medical terminology, courtroom processes, and communication theory.

Go through the necessary training: Once you have graduated from a program, your next step is to obtain some practical training in your chosen field.

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Most court reporters focus on gaining hands-on experience shortly after graduation, so your focus should be finding an apprenticeship or internship and putting your skills and knowledge to use in the workforce.

Pass the Arkansas Certification Exam: The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification exam is offered by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and focuses on topics like:

  • Spelling, vocabulary, and grammar
  • General information
  • The rules for preparing transcripts

The overall examination costs are $75 for the application fee and $25 for completing the mandatory background check.

File for your license: After graduating from a program and passing all the necessary examinations, you are ready to start working! Except, there is one vital step left – applying to get your license.

To do this, you’ll have to go through the Arkansas Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners to provide the necessary documentation and pay the licensing fee.

Now let’s take a look at court reporter schools in this state!

Court Reporter Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas Court Reporter Academy

The school’s online program equips students with the knowledge and hands-on experience required for succeeding in the field.

On average, a student can finalize the program within 19 weeks.

However, because the classes are fully online, the program is self-paced, meaning that you can start and finish it on your own time.

In other words, if you generally have a busy life, you can rest assured that no one is rushing you to finish your degree!

Upon graduating from the program, you will have all the necessary tools for passing the national certification test and starting your new career as a court reporter.

Arkansas State UniversityArkansas State University

At ASU, you can pursue a digital reporter program designed to prepare you for the Certified Electronic Reporter exam (CER) and put you on the path to starting your new career.

The curriculum covers a wide variety of topics like digital court reporting procedures and legal and medical terminology, and is divided into eight sections:

  • The Legal System
  • Terminology
  • Hardware
  • Your Software and Annotations
  • On the Job and On the Record
  • Court Work and Large Proceedings
  • Professionalism in the Legal System
  • Wrap-up

The only prerequisites for this program are a high school diploma or GED and basic computer skills.

The program is 60 hours and costs $895.

University of Central ArkansasUniversity of Central Arkansas

Third on our list is the Digital Court Reporting with Legal Transcription program offered by the University of Central Arkansas.

This 120-hour course can be finalized in six months and tackles essential topics like:

  • Creating and formatting a transcript
  • Ethics and confidentiality in the workplace
  • Industry terminology

As a student, you will learn about the ins and outs of the court system, the legal and medical terminology you will encounter on the job, the technological aspects of the job, and the ethical aspects of working as a court reporter.

Your curriculum will be split into two sections, each further divided as follows:

Digital Court Reporter:

  • The legal system
  • Terminology
  • Hardware
  • Software and annotations
  • Professionalism and ethics

Legal Transcription:

  • Software setup
  • English
  • Terminology
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Building a transcript
  • Transcription Assignments
  • Course Wrap-up

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of transcription machinery do I need to know how to use?

You will need to learn to use a stenotype for traditional typing, or a stenomask machine for voice writing.

Arkansas allows court reporters to use a stenomask to perform voice writing, so the latter is also a viable option, especially since these programs can usually take significantly less time to complete.

Are other certifications useful? If so, which ones?

To become a court reporter in Arkansas, you must pass the RPR exam, which is offered through the National Court Reportels Association.

However, if you wish to continue with your education and pursue future certifications, the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) are viable options, and may even distinguish you from other job applicants in the future.

How viable of a career is court reporting?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, we can expect to see an estimated 3% overall growth in court reporter employment in the decade between 2022-2032.

Over this period, more than 2000 positions are estimated to open up each year due to professionals in this field retiring, relocating, or changing their field of work.

Court Reporter Salary Information

In 2022, the median annual salary for a court reporter in the U.S. was $63,560.

In Arkansas, the median annual salary is $57,022 per year, with the average falling between $41,142 and $74,634.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Arkansas

City Name Salary
Little Rock $57,780
Fort Smith $54,657
Bentonville $56,553
Fayetteville $57,004
Jonesboro $57,547
Pine Bluff $56,002
Springdale $57,004
Conway $57,217
Rogers $56,666
Texarkana $57,028

Court Reporter Programs by State

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

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