How to Become a Court Reporter in North Carolina

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The strong need for court reporters is one reason that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be about 2,100 new court reporter job openings every year.

New North Carolina court reporters can choose to work in a career field that is projected to grow through at least 2032.

The North Carolina Judicial Branch explains that an official North Carolina court reporter is a “certified professional who makes a word-for-word record” of a variety of court proceedings.

They also have a variety of other duties. North Carolina residents who want to become court reporters complete the requirements that are set by the state.

How to Become a Court Reporter in North Carolina

People who live in North Carolina and who want to work in a legal field that does not require extensive training may choose to become court reporters.

The North Carolina Court Reporters Association (NCRA) understands the importance of having qualified court reporters working in North Carolina.

They created a platform that promotes the career field of court reporting.

Submit an Application

The application for becoming a per diem court reporter in North Carolina is the same application that is used for North Carolina transcriptionist applicants.

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People who are interested in becoming court reporters complete the application and submit it online to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Court Reporting Manager’s Office.

They must also provide a criminal background check.

The state waits until there are enough applicants before scheduling a class.

Once there are enough applicants, the state notifies eligible court reporter applicants of the meeting times and location.

Complete Certification and Notary Requirements

Completing the requirements to become a court reporter in North Carolina likely takes less time than completing the requirements that are set by some other states.

One fact about becoming a freelance court reporter in North Carolina is that there is not currently a licensure board or a state certification board for freelance court reporters.

The state of North Carolina has additional requirements for residents who want to become an Official Superior Court Reporter.

They are required to obtain a notarial appointment from the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.

Applicants must have current certification as a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).

Registered Court Reporter is the primary certification given by the National Court Reporter’s Association (NCRA).

They must also complete the state’s requirements to maintain their certification.

Educational Requirements

North Carolina does not require freelance court reporters to earn specific certifications, except for the notary certification.

They must only comply with the requirements of the firms for which they perform court reporting services.

Different firms may require that their court reporters have a certain degree or that they complete a court reporter school or a court reporter program.

The training sessions are the path to becoming a court reporter in North Carolina, along with completing the annual continuing education units (CEUs).

Court Reporter Schools in North Carolina

Applicants who want to become a freelance court reporter or an Official Superior Court Reporter in North Carolina are likely to understand the importance of standing out among their peers when applying for work as a court reporter.

One way to stand out is to complete a court reporting education program.

North Carolina does not currently have any court reporting programs that are on the list of approved National Court Reporters Association programs.

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People who want to gain knowledge, learn new skills, or who want to improve their speed may want to complete an online education program.

One example is the National Court Reporters Association Discover Steno program.

The program lets learners discover if steno is the right career for them by taking a survey and watching videos.

They have access to free, hands-on training through the NCRA’s A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand course.

University of North Carolina Wilmington University of North Carolina Wilmington 

The University of North Carolina Wilmington Continuing & Professional Education Department offers a Digital Court Reporter course.

Students learn about court systems, legal procedures, digital reporting software, and ethics.

The program has open enrollment. It is a self-paced, 60-hour course that is delivered over six months.

Some of the courses include Life Cycle of a Case, Legal Terminology, Types of Court Proceedings, and Professionalism and Decorum.

Students prepare to sit for the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) Certified Electronic Reporter exam.

The tuition for the program is $795.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a court reporter and a transcriptionist in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Judicial Branch explains that transcriptionists usually do not attend court proceedings.

They listen to an audio recording of a court proceeding, and they then prepare a written transcript.

Court reporters attend court proceedings.

They use specialized equipment for which they have received training to use to make a word-for-word record of court proceedings.

What are the continuing education requirements for North Carolina court reporters?

Court reporters learn about the state requirements for continuing education at their initial training session.

A court reporter who fails to complete the annual continuing education credits will be removed from the state’s list of approved service providers.

They are also required to retest.

How do I learn about available court reporter positions in North Carolina?

Visit the Administrative Office of the Courts website to learn about available positions for court reporters in North Carolina.

Court Reporter Salary Information

The median salary for North Carolina court reporters is $59,960.

The actual salary that court reporters earn depends on factors such as their experience, their education, and the city where they work.

The average salary for court reporters in Ashville, NC is $57,414.

The average salary for court reporters who work in Charlotte is $61,014.

Court reporters who work in Lansing, NC earn an average annual salary of $54,127.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in North Carolina

City Name Salary
Charlotte $61,125
Raleigh $60,989
Greensboro $59,799
Durham $60,625
Winston-Salem $60,006
Fayetteville $57,416
Cary $60,989
High Point $60,157
Wilmington $57,635
Asheville $57,518

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC40$50,480$24.27$76,610$32,520
* 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.

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.

2 Responses to How to Become a Court Reporter in North Carolina

  1. Avatar
    Vicky Williams #

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been considering a career change and becoming a court reporter sounds fascinating.

  2. Avatar
    Kevin Wyatt #

    As someone interested in law and language, this guide is invaluable! It’s great to see a detailed breakdown of the steps to become a court reporter in North Carolina.

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