Lawyers and judges are not the only important part of legal proceedings.
Be an integral part of the legal system by learning how to become a court reporter in Wisconsin.
Type and record everything said and done during courtroom trials or depositions, and then use the shorthand notes and audio recordings to create a legal record of everything said and done.
Following is the step-by-step process to starting your career in court reporting and a list of the best schools in Wisconsin to gain court reporter skills.
How to Become a Court Reporter in Wisconsin – Step by Step
To work as a court reporter in Wisconsin, you must gain a high school diploma or GED and attend college or other professional school to learn stenography and court reporting skills.
Some choose to obtain a certificate, which requires less time.
Others continue learning to get a four-year degree in a related field with an additional court reporting certificate or Associate degree in court reporting.
Any further education or skills learned will depend on what level of degree you want to achieve.
Most court reporters obtain an Associate degree in court reporting or a degree in a related field with a certificate in court reporting.
Others also obtain a degree in stenography or machine transcription.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to become a court reporter in Wisconsin:
Attend and Graduate from an Accredited School
The first step to working as a court reporter in Wisconsin is to enroll in and graduate from an accredited court reporting school in the state.
Take classes such as the following:
- Building typing and stenography speed
- Legal terminology
- Machine shorthand
- Courtroom Procedures
- Transcript Preparation
Choose a program accredited by the National Court Reporters Association or the National Verbatim Reporters Association.
Obtain Certification from NCRA or NVRA
To work as an employee of the Wisconsin court system, you must obtain specific certification.
Otherwise, freelance stenographers require no certification requirements.
Obtain certification from the National Court Reporters Association NCRA or National Verbatim Reporters Association NVRA.
Both offer various levels of certification.
Before obtaining work as a stenographic court reporter in the Wisconsin court system, candidates must meet the following professional standards:
- Graduate from a court reporting school approved by NCRA or NVRA
- Successfully pass the Registered Professional Reporter RPR examination administered by NCRA or the Certified Verbatim Reporter CVR exam administered by NVRA.
The RPR exam consists of 225 questions, including two voices, 200 jury charges, and 180 literary materials.
Each question takes about 5 minutes to complete.
The CVR exam has a few more questions, but completing it takes less time.
You do not need to join NCRA or NVRA to take the test.
However, when you pass the test, you can only use RPR or other credentials behind your name if you are a member.
In addition to the CVR certificate, NVRA offers additional certifications as follows:
- CVR-S Certified Verbatim Reporter
- Certificate of Merit – Stenotype CM-S
- Realtime Verbatim Reporter RVR and RVR with Stenotype RVR-S
- Realtime Verbatim Reporter – Master RVR-M
- Certified Legal Transcriptionist CLT
- Certified Legal Scopist CLS
Stay informed as to happenings in the field of court reporting by joining local and national associations and maintaining licensure.
Join the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association for a statewide connection that helps members find employment and continue their education.
Maintain licensure by completing required continuing education requirements.
Court Reporter Schools in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has two NCRA or NVRA-accredited court reporter schools where you can earn a two-year degree in the field.
The state also has universities that offer 4-year degrees in related areas of study to further your education.
Fox Valley Technical College
Obtain your digital court reporter education from this NCRA-accredited school located in Appleton with online classes.
The program requires completing 26 credits.
Expect to pay approximately $4,197.10 per year with additional costs for books, materials, and supplies.
Lakeshore Technical College
Earn your court reporting Associate degree at this NCRA/NVRA accredited school through online classes.
The Court Reporting degree takes about two years to complete as an Associate Degree.
The program offers a 100% job placement rate.
The degree requires completing five terms and 60 credits.
Expect to pay about $146.20 per credit for residents of Wisconsin and additional activity, book, and material fees.
Wisconsin Technical College
This college offers a great opportunity for those looking to work as a freelance stenographer or to learn the skills to complete the required testing to work in the Wisconsin court system.
Get your Associate degree in Court Reporting with this 2-year program near Waunakee.
Expect to pay approximately $4,386 each year.
Tuition costs do not include books or program fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Job Market for Court Reporters in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin court reporting job opportunities is expected to run higher than the national projected growth rate of 3%.
Expect a 10% increase in court reporter job opportunities in Wisconsin over the upcoming decade.
What Skills Do Court Reporters in Wisconsin Need?
In addition to stenography, typing, and translating skills, court reporting requires a few helpful skills.
Court reporters need to exhibit excellent listening skills and show attention to detail.
Physically, a court reporter needs to sit for extended stents of time and feel comfortable in a courtroom setting.
How Long Does it Take to Gain the Education to be a Court Reporter in Wisconsin?
Most court reporters spend up to two years in school before landing a job.
Some choose to earn their four-year degree in a related field with a court reporting or stenography certificate.
A high school diploma or GED, a college degree, or a professional certificate are required to work in Wisconsin courts.
Court Reporter Salary Information
Nationwide, court reporters make an average of $62,459, with a range falling between $45,065 and $81,749.
The average Court Reporter salary in Wisconsin falls slightly below the national average.
Wisconsin court reporters make an average of $61,522.
Court reporters with more experience or certification tend to make more.
Average Salary in Wisconsin
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