Also referred to as certified shorthand reporters, real-time writers, or stenographers, court reporters are responsible for transcribing all spoken words during trials and legal proceedings.
Therefore, this position plays a crucial role in the justice system.
For those looking to become a court reporter in Georgia, earning a license is required for employment.
With Atlanta being the largest city in the State and court reporters in high demand, plenty of employment opportunities are available.
If you’re considering becoming a court reporter in Georgia, keep reading to learn more about the process, schools, salary, and common questions!
How to Become a Court Reporter
Complete an Educational Program
Before becoming licensed, the Georgia Government requires completion of a state-accredited court reporter training program.
The program covers the following topics:
- Judicial reporting
- Office Assistant
- Professional transcription
- Realtime reporting and court
Other topics in the curriculum include applied writing, criminal and civil law terminology, legal terminology, and medical terminology.
These programs typically fall under post-secondary non-degree to earn a diploma or a certificate.
For those seeking an associate degree in court reporting or a related topic, this is an actual degree with more core classes.
Only online schools are available for Georgia residents who will receive a steno machine and software access used by the courts.
Become a Licensed Court Reporter
Once the educational program is complete, the next step is licensure by passing an exam.
Graduates have an 18-month timeframe to complete this step and can acquire a temporary license that cannot be renewed.
Prospective court reporters can earn the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter certification offered by the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association or the CVR (Certified Verbatim Reporter) designation provided by the NVRA (National Verbatim Reporters Association).
Both certifications are nationally recognized and acceptable for employment.
Graduates are required to pass the skills and written examinations administered by the State.
Exam locations and dates are found on the Georgia court reporters’ website, which is also a valuable resource for job opportunities, networking, and other educational options.
The written test comprises the following topics:
- Court reporting procedures
- Court reporting transcription preparation
- Law foundations
- Medical terminology
- Vocabulary and usage
- Word processing
Find a Job
After licensure is complete, the next step is to find a job.
Georgia has countless opportunities available due to a high demand for court reporting due to a growing number of cases.
Prospective court reporters can work at the district, county, or State supreme courts.
Other opportunities include freelancing and working for private organizations at corporations, law firms, court reporting companies, or any organization requiring transcription services.
Like all other states, Georgia requires court reporter license renewal every three years, due by April 1st of each year.
The renewal process can be completed in the following steps:
- Complete 10 hours of continuing education credits. These can be fulfilled via classes or court reporter-related seminars periodically held throughout the State.
- Submit a renewal form to the State.
- Pay the $125 renewal fee.
Court Reporter Schools in Georgia
Georgia Southern University
The digital court reporter program offered by Georgia Southern University provides participants with broad training covering legal proceedings and a thorough understanding of how to be successful as a digital court reporter, including using the proper software and equipment.
Students will learn about the legal procedure, professionalism, ethics, laws, the court system, and how to accurately increase their typing words per minute (WPM) to meet state and federal requirements.
The program also prepares students for the certification examination.
The digital court reporter program costs $895 and takes approximately six months.
Jeff Justice Seminars for Court Reporters
This self-paced, entirely online program allows students to be employed and have the flexibility to spend with friends and family while attending classes.
Jeff Justice is State and federally-accredited so it prepares learners for the certification after graduation.
The school is in Atlanta for inquiries, but their online system is the best contact method.
University of North Georgia
The online digital court reporter program offered by the University of North Georgia requires a time commitment of around six months and costs $999.
Enrolled students will be prepared to pass the certification exam and work directly in the state court system or as freelancers with a private company.
Students can expect to improve their WPM while learning how to use a steno machine and take lectures about the legal system, terminology, applied writing, the English language, and different transcription topics.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to be accepted in a Georgia court reporting program?
Prospective students must be at least 18 and hold a high school diploma.
How long does each of the educational paths take?
A certificate program takes up to one year and is the minimum education required by the State.
A diploma program requires around a one-year commitment.
An associated degree can be completed in two years, providing the most comprehensive information.
This degree also includes core classes to ensure students are more well-rounded when graduating.
What are the requirements to obtain the Georgia court reporter license once the examinations are passed?
Steps for taking these exams include the following:
- $50 for the application
- $200 for licensure once the tests are passed
- Proof of graduation from a training program
- Complete application
It’s important to note that graduation confirmation from an accredited court-reporting school is a requirement for licensure.
What skills are required to become a Georgia court reporter?
The most successful court reporters boast the following skills:
- Can sit for long periods
- Excellent hearing
- Fantastic organizational skills
- Manage stress well
- Stellar English and grammar skills
- Strong multitasking abilities
Court Reporter Salary Information
The average United States court report annual salary is slightly above $62,000, with pay ranging from just under $31,000 to $99,000.
Georgia court reporters have a similar average wage of slightly above $61,000, with pay ranging from around $30,000 to around $97,000 annually.
Average Salary in Georgia
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
* 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