If you’ve ever envisioned yourself as the guardian of legal testimony, taking down verbatim testimonies in courtrooms, law offices, and administrative hearings – becoming a court reporter could be the right career for you!
Our guide provides a step-by-step overview of what it takes to become a court reporter in South Dakota.
How to Become a Court Reporter in South Dakota: Step-by-Step
Court reporters work in fast-paced legal, judicial, and corporate environments as guardians of the record who create historical legal documents.
Earn a High School Diploma
South Dakota court reporters seeking a competitive career edge will need to complete an associate degree-level training program on their pathway to national certification.
New program candidates will need to submit proof of earning their high school diploma (or an equivalent) to be accepted into a program.
Get Court Reporter Education
Although the state of South Dakota doesn’t officially require its court reporters to have an occupational license or certification, certified court reporters get preference in the local job market.
Select an NCRA or AAERT-approved court reporter training program to become more competitive as a court reporting employee or as a freelance court reporter in SD.
Complete Court Reporter Training
The best court reporter training programs offer flexible learning options, allowing students to complete comprehensive courtwork in person or online.
Candidates who successfully complete training become eligible to take the next step of applying for national certification.
Get National Certification
Once you’ve completed your court reporter training and hands-on practice, the next step is to apply for certification from the National Court Reporters Association or the American Association of Electronic Records Technicians.
Note that local employers may give preference to graduates holding NCRA certifications as Registered Skilled Reporters.
Become a Notary Public
South Dakota is one of the few states in the US that also requires its certified court reporters to register as notaries.
They require court reporters to become a notary public if they want to administer oaths within the state.
Click here to learn how to become a notary public in South Dakota!
Find a Court Reporter Job in South Dakota
After you’ve completed all the steps above you’re officially ready to work as a certified court reporter in South Dakota!
Find a court reporter job through a Google keyword search, checking with local, state, or federal authorities, and visiting the South Dakota Court Reporters Association job board.
Maintain Your Credentials
Certified court reporters in South Dakota are required to periodically renew their credentials.
Visit your certification authority website to learn more about continuing education credits and notary recertification.
Court Reporter Schools in South Dakota
Court reporter trainees taking classes in South Dakota will learn fundamental skills and best practices for using transcription tools and software.
They will also learn real-time translation, computer-aided transcription, federal rules of civil procedure, and how to interpret South Dakota Codified Laws as part of approved training programs.
Students who complete all program requirements become eligible to sit for national certification exams and to work as employees or as freelance court reporters.
There is currently only one NCRA-approved court reporter training program operating in South Dakota.
Local students can opt for in-person education in neighboring states or seek court reporter training from the NCRA-approved training program below.
The College of Court Reporting offers South Dakota students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Sciences degree or a certificate in voice writing or transcription online.
Their program is approved by the NCRA and teaches students the required skills to work as fast-paced real-time transcriptionists and guardians of legal records.
- Foundations of Law
- Introduction to Realtime Technology
- Medical Terminology
- NCRA-based Curriculum
- Vocabulary and Usage
Certification Track: NCRA – Registered Skilled Reporter (RSR), Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
- Address: 455 West Lincolnway, Valparaiso, Indiana – 46385
- Website: http://www.ccr.edu/
- Phone: 866-294-3974
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a License to Work as a Court Reporter in South Dakota?
You don’t need to have an occupational license to work as a court reporter in South Dakota.
However, aspiring reporters should note that the local judicial system and area employers will likely give preference to credentialed reporters who show proof of education and certification from a nationally accrediting body like the NCRA.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Court Reporter in South Dakota?
Full-time court reporter trainees typically complete their educational and on-the-job training requirements within two to three years of starting their programs.
Local area court reporters should be mindful of the additional time requirement to become a South Dakota notary which is required by the state to administer oaths.
Where Can I Find Court Reporter Jobs in South Dakota?
Certified court reporters in South Dakota can find jobs by visiting the South Dakota Court Reporters Association job board online.
There are also a variety of national listings for court reporters on the American Association of Electronics Records Technicians website, the National Court Reporters Websites, and on public job boards like Indeed.
Where Can I Find Official Requirements for South Dakota Court Reporters?
The South Dakota Court Reporters Association has a comprehensive court reporters manual on its website.
Their manual highlights the relevant skills and credentials needed to work as a court reporter and maintain relevant credentials within the state.
Court Reporter Salary Information
South Dakota’s court reporters make an average annual salary of around $55,038.00.
This salary is below the national average for US reporters.
Stenographers on the lower end of the salary scale make about $39,711.00 each year.
Seasoned reporters with more years of experience in the field and advanced credentials can earn as much as $72,038.00 a year – or more.
Average Salary in South Dakota
Court Reporter Programs by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia