How to Become a Court Reporter in Illinois

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Becoming a court reporter might be your job if you’re interested in transcription and the law.

This job is extremely rewarding, as you’ll be a part of the court system, which helps with legal proceedings.

To get this job, you’ll need to have proper certification and training to work as a court reporter in Illinois.

Luckily, Illinois has plenty of places where you can get certified.

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry.

Below, we’ll explain the requirements to become a court reporter in Illinois and the schooling you’ll need.

How to Become a Court Reporter – Step-by-Step

When it comes to becoming a court reporter in Illinois, you’ll have to ensure that you get proper certification.

While there are a handful of places you can attend for training, they must be approved by the national board.

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Otherwise, your certificate will be worthless, and you won’t qualify for the position.

As stressful as this is, there are steps one can take to ensure that they meet the requirements for becoming a court reporter in Illinois.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can become a court reporter in Illinois.

Make Sure You Meet the Minimum Requirements

Like any other job, you must ensure you meet the minimum requirements.

This includes being over the age of 18 and having your high school diploma.

In addition, you must have certain skills that help you work the job.

This includes being reliable, a fast typer, and consistent.

Attend a Certificate Program From an Accredited Institution

The next step to becoming a court reporter is to gain certification from an accredited institution.

Any program must be approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), or it won’t count.

The certificate you’re looking for is a Certified Real-Time Reporter (CRR).

Besides the certification, you also must pass the exit exam and gain one year of experience.

This can be from any typing job, but the best is to intern with a court reporter.

Lastly, you must stay in good standing with the National Court Reporters Association.

Gain Certification

Certification generally takes six months and requires that you pass the exit exam while maintaining a good grade.

Once you complete the course, you must take a three-part licensing exam.

This is NOT the final exam for the course, but another exam to show your competencies to the board.

The licensing exam will include multiple elements, including a dictation and transcription, a state exam, and a written exam.

These tests are designed to ensure you are competent in typing.

It often includes listening to a recording and typing while answering questions about being a court reporter.

You must have at least 97.5% accuracy to work as a court reporter.

In the state of Illinois, this exam is offered in southern and northern areas in April, August, and December.

The Illinois Court Reporters Association manages the tests.

The minimum score is 75%, and you must have 95% accuracy when it comes to typing.

If you fail, you can retake the exam after studying for a few weeks.

Do an Internship or Get Training

After the licensing exam, you’ll need to gain some experience in the field.

This can be difficult because most job openings often require someone with prior experience.

Luckily, there are internships and paid training that you can do before you settle into a full-time job.

This is useful, as you can gain experience working on various cases and learn what it takes to complete a job successfully.

In addition, jobs that have similar requirements can also suffice as experience.

Start Networking

One of the best ways to land a court reporter job is to get to know the courts and their legal teams.

Networking allows you to keep in touch with those on the court, and if an opportunity comes for a court reporter opening, you want to be first in line.

Making friends with judges, staff, and legal teams can help get your foot in the door if you don’t have that much experience in the field.

Apply to Perspective Jobs

Once you’ve done all the other steps, you can apply for a court reporter job.

Make sure that your resume and cover letter are tailored for the job.

You want to highlight experiences that would make you look successful in your role as a court reporter.

For example, you want to showcase skills that include typing, accuracy, reliability, and more.

Court Reporter Schools in Illinois

Illinois has a handful of schools providing court reporter training and certification.

Some of these range from in-person to online schooling.

Below, we’ll summarize the most popular choices in Illinois.

Black Hawk College, Moline, IL – In-personBlack Hawk College, Moline, IL - In-person

Black Hawk College offers a court reporting course that is only provided at the Quad-Cities Campus.

It’s designed to prepare individuals for successful careers in the court.

Their students will receive real-time reporting training and techniques and learn the latest technology.

You must contact an advisor or faculty member for more information about the program.

Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting – In-person and OnlineMark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting - In-person and Online

Mark Kislingbury Academy is accepting students for the new year.

Mark Kislingbury, the head, set a Guinness World Record for the fastest court reporter with 360wpm and seven National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Speed Contests.

The institution focuses on teaching students how to be accurate and professional so that they can lead successful careers as court reporters.

Generations College – Online and In-personGenerations College - Online and In-person

The Generations College offers online and in-person classes in the Chicago area.

In fact, the Chicago court reporter program was the first in the United States.

Students who attend will gain an Associate of Applied Science in Court Reporting.

This is better than a certificate; you’ll gain more training and skills.

If you’d like to get more information, you can contact the college.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need state licensing to work as a court reporter in Illinois?

Many states don’t require state certification.

However, Illinois does require state licensing and passing a certification exam.

They don’t require you to have a degree, but at least have a certificate.

Is the job expectancy growing for court reporters in Illinois?

More than 75% of current court reporters will retire in the next 15 years.

An estimated 400 court reporter jobs are currently open, and more will be needed throughout the years.

So, it has a very promising outlook.

Is it hard to become a court reporter in Illinois?

While a court reporter job isn’t easy, we wouldn’t say it’s difficult to become one in Illinois.

The state has skilled teachers who can help you master your crafts regarding accuracy and typing.

In addition, there are more resources for court reporters in Illinois than there are in other states.

Court Reporter Salary Information

The average salary of court reporters in the United States is $62,459, which falls between $30,904 on the low end and $99,313 on the high end.

The low end of Illinois court reporters make $31,54, with a high of $102,044.

The salary rate depends on your company, how many hours you work, and the length of experience.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Illinois

City Name Salary
Chicago $66,007
Rockford $61,621
Aurora $65,449
Naperville $64,795
Peoria $60,438
Springfield $59,212
Joliet $64,332
Elgin $64,939
Waukegan $62,525
Cicero $66,007

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI490$74,470$35.8$111,470$44,860
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners, OCC Code 27-3092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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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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