How to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

New Jersey Seal

New Jersey court reporters are regulated and licensed by the State Board of Court Reporting, a New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs department.

Alongside these governing bodies is the CCRA-NJ (Certified Court Reporters Association of New Jersey), which offers networking, delivers educational opportunities, dispenses essential information, and endorses standards of excellence.

New Jersey’s position between two major cities makes it an excellent location to become a court reporter in or out of state.

If you want to become a court reporter in New Jersey, keep reading to learn more!

How to Become a Court Reporter

Graduate from a Court Reporter Program

The first of five steps is to find and graduate from a court reporter program.

New Jersey has two formats for prospective students: traditional on-campus and online.

Budding court reporters should expect a time commitment of two years to complete an associate degree program and potentially longer to reach the required speed minimum of 225 words per minute (wpm).

Students can focus on the standard stenotype reporting or specialize in Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) or broadcast captioning.

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Pay the Examination Fee and Complete the Board Application

Application forms can be requested from the following address or are available for completion online.

The application fee is $150 and requires a passport-style photo.

  • New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Board of Court Reporting
  • 124 Halsey Street (6th Floor)
  • P.O. Box 45019
  • Newark, NJ 07101
  • 973-504-6490

Pass the Court Reporter Certification Exam

The Board of Court Reporting mandated on May 1st, 2006, that the NCRA (National Court Reporter Association) RPR (Registered Professional Reporter exam is qualified for a New Jersey court reporter license.

The RPR certification examination comprises two parts: skills and written tests.

The skills tests encompass three areas of varying material, each requiring different wpm, including the following:

  • Question and Answer Testimony – 225 wpm
  • Jury Charges – 200 wpm
  • Literary Material – 180 wpm

The total time for the skills test is 75 minutes to transcribe each, and testers must pass with 95 percent accuracy.

The written portion of the test covers three sections:

  • Professional Practices – 16 percent
  • Technology – 22 percent
  • Reporting Practices – 62 percent

New Jersey exam dates and locations are posted online by the Board of Court Reporting or can be contacted at 973-504-6490.

Find a Job

New Jersey court reporters can work as official court reporters or be freelancers.

The Judiciary System covers Superior Courts or Trial Courts and a Supreme Court.

Each of the twenty-one counties has a Superior Court, including municipal, tax, and appellate courts totaling 360 trial judges that oversee six of the seven million state court cases yearly.

Municipal courts are in boroughs, townships, and cities and include cases like hunting, fishing, and boating violations, simple assault, shoplifting, and motor vehicle violations.

The system maintains a base of court reporters in each county courthouse.

Most freelance court reporters find employment with private court reporting agencies.

New Jersey boasts over eighty such agencies, with seven in Newark.

Contact each agency directly or search job boards and websites to inquire about job opportunities.

Court reporters can also work for law firms that need transcription services for depositions, board meetings, and statements.

Corporations, non-government agencies, trade unions, medical centers, and educational institutions also require these services, so the number of positions available with this education is plentiful.

Participate in Continuing Education

Continuing education is a crucial part of maintaining court reporter certification.

New Jersey-based court reporters must complete fourteen continuing education credits every two years, ten of which are on court reporting topics.

The CRRA-NJ sponsors annual meetings and educational seminars, which can be used as continuing education credits.

Court Reporter Schools in New Jersey

Bloomfield CollegeBloomfield College

Bloomfield College is the only New Jersey institution offering an on-site court reporting program.

Beginning in January 2020, the school offered two certificate programs preparing students for careers in judicial court reporting/captioning or scoping.

Each certificate takes approximately one year to complete, and students can access the latest steno equipment and related software.

The court reporting program prepares students for the required certification exam through lectures and improving WPM typing.

Rutgers UniversityRutgers University

Rutgers University boasts a self-paced online program in CART, closed captioning, and court reporting.

No prerequisites are required for enrollment, and the program’s goal is to reach 225 wpm, which fulfills part of the certification requirement.

Students can expect to pay around $7,900 for the entire program, including a stenotype machine.

Also, those enrolled can access the CAT program, which will be needed for a future career in court reporting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for becoming a certified court reporter in New Jersey?

New court reporters must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Complete the board-approved certification exam.
  • Have a New Jersey location for business transactions if freelancing.
  • Hold a high school diploma.
  • Pass a criminal background search.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Apply three weeks before the examination date.

Is the RPR certification reciprocal with other states?

Unfortunately, no reciprocal agreement exists with other states, so licensed court reporters from other locations outside of New Jersey must re-take the exam, regardless of experience level, education, and existing certifications.

Which cities pay the highest?

Unsurprisingly, the cities closest to New York pay the highest, with Jersey City leading the group and Newark, Paterson, and Elizabeth not far behind.

Trenton is the third highest-paid city for court reporters, and Atlantic City is the lowest.

Court Reporter Salary Information

The average U.S. court reporter’s salary is $62,459, but the pay range falls between $30,904 and $99,313.

Given New Jersey’s location between Philadelphia and New York City, the cost of living is much higher than in other states.

New Jersey court reporters can expect an average of $73,389, with pay ranging from $36,312 to $116,693.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in New Jersey

City Name Salary
Newark $70,831
Jersey City $73,522
Paterson $72,145
Elizabeth $70,831
Edison $70,206
West Orange $70,831
Irvington $70,831
Hoboken $73,522
Trenton $68,248
Camden $66,401

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.

3 Responses to How to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

  1. Avatar
    Nancy Gomez #

    This guide has inspired me to explore court reporting as a potential career path. It’s refreshing to learn about alternative legal professions beyond the typical lawyer or paralegal roles.

  2. Avatar
    Mike Lopez #

    I found the section on job prospects for court reporters in New Jersey particularly helpful.

  3. Avatar
    Josh Edwards #

    The salary information provided here is eye-opening. It’s encouraging to see that court reporting can offer competitive pay, especially for those looking for stable career options in the legal field.

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