How to Become a Court Reporter in South Carolina

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Are you thinking about becoming a court reporter?

Do you have a passion for working in the legal system but want to remain in the background, so to speak?

A career as a court reporter may be a good choice.

Court reporting is an in-demand and lucrative profession.

If you reside in South Carolina, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to begin your career as a court reporter.

You’ll find detailed information about the education and licensing you need to get to where you want to be.

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

Undergo Education for Court Reporting

The first step that you must take in order to become a court reporter in South Carolina is to earn an associate’s degree or certificate in court reporting.

Formal training is required. Training can be acquired through a program that is approved by the state.

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You also have the option to earn a certificate from an agency that is nationally recognized.

These agencies could be the National Verbatim Reporters Association or the National Association of Court Reporters.

These exams will provide you with the same level of training you’d otherwise receive from an associate’s degree program.

If you prefer to earn an associate’s degree, you can apply to a community college, a court reporter training program, or a technical school.

These programs can help you earn one of the following:

  • Associate’s in Technical Stenography
  • Associate’s in Court Reporting
  • Associate’s in Technical Court Reporting
  • Certificate in Court Reporting Technology

These programs will cover the following courses:

  • Communications
  • Court Process & Procedures
  • General English & Grammar
  • Reporting Technology & Keyboarding

These programs typically take two years to complete.

Take the Certified Verbatim Reporter Exam, the Registered Professional Reporter Exam, or one via the Courts

If you have court reporting experience under your belt along with the right training, you should be able to secure a job as a court reporter.

However, it’s more common to take either one of the following exams to become appropriately certified:

  • The Certified Verbatim Reporter
  • The Registered Professional Reporter

Both exams cover multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of the profession.

You’ll be asked questions regarding industry practices, technology and innovation, professionalism, and ethics.

In addition, you’ll also need to take and pass typing and dictation skills tests.

These tests will consist of mock trial proceedings that have been pre-recorded.

You must show that you’re able to meet the minimum standards in jury charges, literary material, and question-and-answer testimony.

You must pass the test with at least a 95% score.

If you have yet to take either one of these exams, you may want to consider becoming a CER, otherwise known as a certified electronic reporter.

And although the state court system won’t accept this type of designation, it can still prepare you and help you become employed through private transcription firms.

Find Employment as a Court Reporter

Once you have received the necessary certification in South Carolina to work as a court reporter, you can now move on to finding employment.

The majority of court reporters in the state have either a CVR, RPR, or an associate’s degree prior to applying for court reporting positions.

In addition, you will be required to have some experience before you work for the court system in South Carolina.

This means you’ll more than likely begin your career working for a private agency.

You can gain initial experience working with a firm that has contracts with law firms and other establishments that are in need of legal transcription services.

Many reporters choose to remain outside the courtroom, whether it’s with an outside legal professional or through organizations such as Communication Access Realtime Translation.

Continuing Education is Required

Once you are gainfully employed as a court reporter, your education doesn’t end there.

You will still be required to maintain your court reporting certification through the NVRA or NCRA.

This ensures that your license remains active.

With the NCRA, you are required to earn three continuing education credits, or 30 credit hours, every three years.

If you choose to receive continuing education through the NVRA, you’ll be required to earn 20 credits every two years.

This ongoing continuing education ensures that you are able to stay afloat with changes and news relating to court reporting in South Carolina.

Court Reporter Schools in South Carolina

Here are some schools in South Carolina that offer court reporting programs:

University of South CarolinaUniversity of South Carolina

Columbia, SC 29208 l 803-777-0169

The University of South Carolina offers a program for those interested in court reporting.

The program covers CART services, court reporting, and closed captioning.

This program is also available online, so students can move at their own pace.

There are no prerequisites required to enroll.

The cost of this program is $6,104.

If students need a steno machine, the cost is $7,899.

Horry-Georgetown Technical CollegeHorry-Georgetown Technical College

2050 US-501 l Conway, SC 29526 k 843-347-3186

Horry-Georgetown Technical College also created a program for court reporters to meet the shortage of reporters across the state.

There are programs that students can take online for digital court reporting.

The digital court reporter program is 8 weeks long and costs $1,350.

The digital court reporter with legal transcription program is 24 weeks long and costs $3,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find work in South Carolina as a court reporter?

Court reporters in South Carolina generally work for the following:

  • South Carolina Supreme Court
  • Court of Civil Appeals
  • South Carolina Family Court
  • Administrative Offices of the Courts
  • Court of Criminal Appeals
  • South Carolina Court of Appeals
  • South Carolina School of Court Reporting
  • South Carolina Circuit Court

Are there any additional requirements needed to become a court reporter in South Carolina?

If you have already met the requirements to obtain a license for court reporting in South Carolina, you must also make sure that you are a U.S. citizen and have identification with a photo that is not older than 6 months.

What are some skills that employers look for in South Carolina to become a court reporter?

Some of the main skills of a court reporter are:

  • Ability to sit for long periods at a time
  • Good hearing
  • Able to work under stress
  • Excellent grammar and English skills
  • Word knowledge
  • Excellent organizational skills

Court Reporter Salary Information

The average salary for court reporters in South Carolina is $59,313.

However, the typical range is between $42,796 and $77,633.

There are important factors that determine your exact salary, including certifications, education, additional skills, and more.

Annual Salary Range:
Item Percent

Average Salary in South Carolina

City Name Salary
Columbia $57,877
Charleston $59,313
North Charleston $59,313
Greenville $59,017
Rock Hill $61,478
Mount Pleasant $59,313
Spartanburg $58,705
Sumter $55,850
Hilton Head Island $58,311
Florence $56,300

Regional Salary

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Columbia, SC60$53,040$25.5$66,650$45,470
* 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.

3 Responses to How to Become a Court Reporter in South Carolina

  1. Avatar
    Troy Banks #

    The inclusion of tips on networking and gaining practical experience in courtrooms adds depth to this post, providing aspiring court reporters with a roadmap to success.

  2. Avatar
    Brandon Davidson #

    This post not only educates but also inspires individuals interested in the legal field. It shows how court reporting is a vital part of the judicial process and offers a rewarding career path.

  3. Avatar
    Belle Jensen #

    As someone considering a career change, this post offers invaluable insights into what it takes to become a court reporter in South Carolina. The practical advice and resources provided are very helpful.

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