How to Become a Court Reporter in Pennsylvania

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So, you’ve decided you want to become a court reporter, and maybe you just aren’t sure where to start.

A career as a court reporter can be extremely rewarding.

Court reporters play a major role in legal proceedings, helping to transcript trials and depositions.

This guide will provide you with the step-by-step process that you must take to become certified as a court reporter in Pennsylvania.

You will also find useful information about schools in Pennsylvania that offer court reporting programs.

How to Become a Court Reporter in Pennsylvania (Step-by-Step)

Here is a list of steps that you must take to become a certified court reporter in Pennsylvania.

Complete a Court Reporter Program

The first step to becoming a court reporter is to complete an applicable court reporter program.

The program that you choose will vary depending on the area of court reporting you are leaning towards.

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For instance, if you’re looking to become a voice writer or provide voice dictation services, you can generally complete your program in as little as six months.

Stenography, on the other hand, requires an associate’s degree, which typically takes two years to complete.

Several degree programs that are offered in Pennsylvania for court reporting include:

  • Court Reporting Associate in Applied Science
  • Court Reporter’s Associate’s Degree
  • Associate’s in Specialized Business (Court Reporting)

Become Certified as a Court Reporter

Those pursuing a career as a court reporter in Pennsylvania can either become certified at the state or national level.

But you must complete one of the following before becoming certified at either level, such as:

  • Pass the Pennsylvania exam with a 95% score. This test includes the written knowledge test and the skills knowledge test. The SKT (skills knowledge test) consists of literary or jury charge, four-voice ordinary testimony, and two-voice medical testimony.
  • Obtain your RPR (Registered Professional Reporter Certification) and NCRA (National Court Reporter’s Association Certification).

You will then be eligible to look for work once you’ve received the necessary certificate or degree.

Look for Work as a Court Reporter in Pennsylvania

Upon your search as a court reporter in Pennsylvania, you’ll quickly find that there are more freelance opportunities available, including across the country.

Court officials and law firms often hire court reporters on a part-time or full-time basis.

Yet there are many private court reporting agencies and associations that hire court reporters to take on assignments.

You can check out the following agencies:

  • Bisnow and Joseph Court Reporters
  • The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association
  • Pennsylvania Courts

Apply to Become a Member of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association offers leadership and support to all types of court reporters in Pennsylvania.

The PCRA community is beneficial in that it provides a plethora of resources and guides new members.

Students currently enrolled in a court reporting program, veteran reporters, and new reporters can take advantage of this membership.

To become a member, you can visit the association’s website.

Depending on the type of membership level you are eligible to apply for, membership fees will vary.

Memberships must be renewed once a year and can be done online.

Continuing Education is Required

Continuing education is required in the state of Pennsylvania for all court reporters.

The goal of continuing education is to brush up on your skills as a court reporter.

You will be involved in ongoing training in punctuation and transcription.

You will also participate in workshops.

There are several organizations that offer continuing education in Pennsylvania, including:

  • U.S. Court Reporter’s Association
  • NCRA ( 3 hours of continuing education every three years)
  • The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association

Court Reporter Schools in Pennsylvania

Here is a list of schools that offer court reporting programs in Pennsylvania:

Lehigh Carbon Community CollegeLehigh Carbon Community College

4525 Education Park Drive l Schnecksville, PA 18078 l 610-799-1575

Leigh Carbon Community College offers a degree program in court reporting.

Students can enroll in the associate in applied science program, which takes two years to complete.

In this program, students will master the spoken word and keyboarding skills.

These skills will be taught using shorthand machines in addition to transcription.

Students will need a total of 71 credit hours.

Tuition fees will vary. Tuition for out-of-state students is $5,625.00 and $2,812.50 for residents of Schuylkill County.

Other PA residents must pay $3,750,00.

Community College of Allegheny CountyCommunity College of Allegheny County

808 Ridge Avenue l Pittsburgh, PA 15212 l 412-237-3383

CCAC offers students virtual courses for those interested in court reporting.

Students are required to earn 89 credits in order to graduate.

These credits are split into four semesters.

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate machine-shorthand competency.

They will also be able to apply all their knowledge in the field of court reporting.

The program takes two years to complete, and students will earn an associate degree.

Tuition for Allegheny County residents is $1,890.00.

Students who reside in other counties in Pennsylvania will be charged $3,780.00 and out-of-state students will be charged $5,670.00

Frequently Asked Questions

Do court reporters only work in courtroom settings?

Court reporters, specifically those working in Pennsylvania, do not exclusively work in courtroom settings.

30% Of the court reporters who work in Pennsylvania work in a courtroom.

The rest work for court officials, while others work on a freelance basis.

What is the job outlook for court reporters in Pennsylvania?

There’s a projected growth rate of 7% for court reporters in Pennsylvania between 2018 and 2028.

The expected number of court reporters by 2028 is expected to be 1,010.

What cities in Pennsylvania pay the highest salary for court reporter jobs?

There are three cities in Pennsylvania that rank above average for a typical court reporter’s salary.

These cities are Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.

Court Reporter Salary Information

The average salary for court reporters in Pennsylvania is $66,281.

However, this range can be anywhere from $47,823 to $86,753.

There are various factors that can impact your exact salary, including certification, additional skills, education, and the number of years spent in the industry.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in Pennsylvania

City Name Salary
Philadelphia $66,281
Pittsburgh $61,522
Allentown $62,946
Erie $57,693
Harrisburg $60,752
Reading $62,132
Scranton $57,976
Bethlehem $62,946
Lancaster $61,191
Easton $62,846

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ40$65,060$31.28$90,280$53,900
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA30$60,840$29.25$75,350$37,330
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD280$62,180$29.89$74,060$47,230
Pittsburgh, PA130$60,820$29.24$71,760$43,150
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA40$54,000$25.96$63,080$29,050
* 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.

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