If you’re interested in starting a career as a court reporter in Connecticut but are unsure where to start, keep reading!
We have created this step-by-step list to help you and others like you better understand what it takes to become a state reporter.
Afterward, we’ll look at some of the schools and programs in this state, the average salary of a professional in this field, followed by some frequently asked questions.
On that note, let’s jump right in!
How to Become a Court Reporter in CT: A Step-by-Step Guide
Complete a Court Reporter Program
Before enrolling in a program, you must first graduate high school or pass the GED exam.
Then, your next step is finding the right program that best suits your educational and financial needs, and you have a few options.
You can take the traditional route of pursuing an Associate degree at a community college, for example, or complete a court reporter course or program that may be shorter and more affordable.
Generally speaking, an associate’s degree may offer a more well-rounded education and may put you on a clearer path to starting your career.
However, a shorter course may still offer you the same opportunities, especially if paired with additional certifications.
If you choose the latter option, you can expect to take courses in and learn about topics like legal terminology, medical terminology, judicial reporting, and proofreading.
Acquire your License
Once you have finalized a court reporter program, your goal will be to take the national examination and obtain your court reporter license.
There are two main steps to this process.
Firstly, you will have to decide between one of the following certifications:
- NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter certification (RPR)
- Electronic reporter and electronic transcriber certification for digital audio and video recording certification
- NVRA’s (National Verbatim Reporters Association) Certified Verbatim Reporter certification (CVR).
- CART captioning certification
- Traditional stenographic court reporter certification
Secondly, once you have decided on a route, you will be required to pass a skills exam.
The costs for this are as follows: the application fee costs $50, and the licensing fee costs $200.
Start Working in the Field
Once you have finalized your education and passed all the necessary examinations, you are officially ready to start working as a court reporter.
In the state of Connecticut, completing the necessary steps that we mentioned above will place you on the path to professing in the state’s Supreme Court, Appellate Court, Probate Court, or Superior Court.
Court Reporter Schools in Connecticut
Fox Valley Technical College
This school offers an online Digital Court Reporter program that focuses on the ins and outs of what it means to profess in the field of court reporting.
As a student, you should expect to learn about topics like using and troubleshooting recording software, proofreading transcripts, and annotating proceedings.
Upon graduating from this program, you will be familiar with the legal jargon and terminology involved in court proceedings, the technological side of court proceedings, and the less-known aspects of court reporting.
Additionally, you may also be eligible to transfer your credits to a four-year institution if you decide to take your education even a step further.
The estimated costs of attending this program are divided as such:
- Tuition and fees: $4,197.10
- Materials and supplies: $206
- Textbooks: $636.90
The program is offered in the spring, the summer, and the fall.
Tunxis Community College
The digital reporter course that TCC offers prepares students to take the AAERT Certified Electronic Reporters Exam.
The requirements for enrolling in this program are: acquiring your high school diploma and having basic computer skills.
The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of digital reporting and tackles topics like legal terminology, the software and hardware of digital reporting, and the procedures for the various types of proceedings.
The course is divided into eight sections:
- The Legal System
- Your Software and Annotations
- On the Job and On the Record
- Court Work and Large Proceedings
- Professionalism in the Legal System
- Course Wrap Up
Upon graduating from the program, you will be eligible to take the AAERT Exam, which costs $275.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast should I be able to type to become a court reporter?
If you’re considering a career in this field, it’s safe to say you are already familiar with the concept of a steno-machine.
To become certified in this field, you must type 200 words per minute at a 97.5% accuracy rate.
What skills do I need to become a court reporter?
A successful professional in this field displays two main skills: a keen attention to detail and the ability to focus on a task for prolonged periods of time.
Additionally – and this should go without saying – you must be able to type accurately and fast.
What are some examples of a court reporter's duties?
Working in this field, your main duties will be to take part in court proceedings and create word-for-word transcripts.
However, the job of a court reporter goes beyond recording the words being spoken.
Your goal is to also record the gestures, body language, and actions of the people involved in the proceedings.
As a court reporter, it will also be your duty to review your own notes and pass copies of the transcripts to all the parties involved.
Court Reporter Salary Information
The median annual salary of a court reporter in the United States is $63,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On the lower end of the spectrum, the average salary of a court reporter is $33,000 or less, whereas on the higher end, one may expect to earn an annual salary of $116,000 or higher.
In comparison to the national average, the median annual salary of a court reporter in Connecticut is $67,318.
However, it’s worth mentioning that these numbers can vary based on a wide variety of factors, such as:
- Level of education
- Years of experience in the field
- Skill level
- Additional certifications
Average Salary in Connecticut
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