LOOKING TO BECOME A COURT REPORTER, CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH REAL-WORLD ADVICE?

Hi everyone,
I am interested in becoming a court reporter. I have no idea how to start, what to expect, pay scale (real world advice), job demand, what type of school to look for.

I currently live in Florida but after I am done studdying here plan on moving back to San Diego, California. Is this something I can train for here and also work there?

Are there any national test or state test that I will need to take? I am beyond clueless and looking for any advice anyone can give me.

Also anyone know of any good schools in Florida? Or a good school anywhere that I can compare to?

Thank you so very much! Jaime

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Please send me your email address. Mine is atshemi@aol.com
Thanks anita,
Mine is Jaimestepp@yahoo.com

I appreciate it!
You will have to take a state test for California CSR. Great job.

You set your own hours and you can make as much or as little as you want. A lot of moms like this job. I like the 1:00 to 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. jobs because I don't have kids and I can sleep in and run with my dogs in the morning and then go to work.

I am sure Florida has court reporting schools> They are everywhere. Probably online as well I bet. Let us know if you have more questions. Hard to know where to start.
Hi Kelly,
Thanks so much!

I found 2 schools near me that are NCRA certified. So once I have the training from school then i can take what ever state test (FL or CALI) and then I will be able to work?

Also does CR ever require an associates degree? I feel like thats a stupid question but, wonder.

Do you live in California? I am not a mom yet, but will be one day. Looks like I would love that schedule also!

What do you guys do about health insurance? Are you consider general contractors?
We are independent contractors. You have to get your own health insurance. This is a great job but there is no paid vacations, no health or vision, dental insurance. Now, maybe the NCRA has some group rate or something. I sure have not heard of that before though. Also, since we are independent contractors, we do not have taxes taken out of our wages. That is the difficult part. I am getting ready to write a 30,000 check for Federal taxes for 2009. Boy, does that hurt. Ouch!!!

I live in San Mateo, which is outside of San Francisco, Ca. I hear the California and New York tests are the most difficult tests to pass. I took the California and Nevada. Let the Nevada lapse because I am never going to live there again.

You do not need an associates degree to be a court reporter. It is a good idea to go to seminars and catch up on the latest and greatest technology that our field has to offer, as well as get continuing education. You will have to look into equipment also.

Since you are just starting out, buy a used steno machine. You do not need anything fancy at all. Once you pass your state test and pass, you are able to work, yes.
Kelli,
I was reading the California State Board exam qualifications and I don't understand this part below. Is this why you also took the state test in Nevada? Does this mean I will have to go to one of these states and certificate and liscense to practice there even though I don't live there?


(e) A valid certified shorthand reporter's certificate or license to practice shorthand reporting issued by a state other than California. Only the following state licenses are accepted by this Board: Georgia ("A" certificate only, issued after 1990), Nevada, and Texas.

Just wondering if you could help with this. The requirments seems tough. But, where theres a will theres a way. Did you have any trouble passing and did you have to send all of this stuff aswell, Im assuming?

Thanks again!
jaime
Jaime, passing the Georgia, Nevada or Texas tests is just one way to qualify. You don't have to do that. You could pass the national test (RPR) in order to qualify, for example.
No, I did not take the Nevada test for any reason other than I was moving back to Reno to be close to my family at the time.

There is a ton of helpful info listed below from very experienced reporters.
Hi, Jaime.

No, you don't really need to have an Associates degree to become a court reporter ... but (in theory, anyway) having the degree will make you a more "well-rounded" individual!

If getting your degree is important and time is a factor, you can take CLEP tests to take care of the Associates degree ... and each test will cost you $70, so BE READY.

Even better, if you are prior military, the VA will reimburse you for each test that you pass ... so in theory, one could get an AA/AS for all of $70.

But, as I said, having the degree isn't important in this field. What firm owners want to know is can you write at 225 (or better; always shoot for better!), and can you produce a transcript with your CAT (that's "Computer "Aided Translation") software.

As for testing for the California CSR while in a Florida school, you may have to spend some extra $$ and take Marc Greenberg's CSR Prep course, because the California CSR is one of the harder state tests out there (as is the Texas CSR exam).

Finally, when you get a chance, it can't hurt for you to check out the Yahoo Court Reporting Students group.

While the group has been pretty quiet of late, there is still a lot of good info in the archives ... but don't forget to sign up for the Digest version; if you don't, some days you will get a blizzard of e-mails!

Good luck in your soon-to-be studies!

--gdw
-----------------------------------
"For a Good (steno) Time ...."
http://www.cheapandsleazy.net
Here are the requirements to take the CA test.




eligibility requirements are as follows (Section 8020, Business & Professions Code):

(1) Over 18 years of age;
(2) high school education or its equivalent;
(3) has not committed any acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure and
(4) the applicant must submit satisfactory evidence that he or she has originally obtained one of the following:
(a) 12 months of full-time work experience in making verbatim records of hearings, or judicial or related proceedings by means of machine shorthand writing and transcribing such records. Only records of multiple-voice proceedings, such as court and deposition proceedings, will be considered in calculating the required hours. Time spent in transcribing taped recordings or in reporting lectures, etc., will not be considered. A letter from an employer, on their business letterhead, signed by the official in charge, is required when submitting your application as proof of your experience. If you are a freelance reporter or have owned your own business, three letters from clients you have worked for will be required. Letters should list date of employment, whether it was full-time or part-time, your duties, and what percentage of time was spent in each of those duties. In addition, job/work sheets documenting at least 1400 hours will be required. Each job sheet or work sheet should indicate the kind of job reported and the number of hours actually spent reporting.
(b) A verified certificate of satisfactory completion of a prescribed course of study from a CALIFORNIA RECOGNIZED COURT REPORTING SCHOOL, or certification from such school evidencing equivalent proficiency, and of the ability to make a verbatim record of material dictated in accordance with regulations adopted by the board contained in Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(c) A National Court Reporters Association RPR Certificate or Certificate of Merit accompanied by a letter from NCRA stating the original issuance date of the certificate.
(d) A passing grade on the California State Hearing Reporters Examination. A copy of your pass letter from the State Personnel Board is required as proof of taking and passing the examination.
(e) A valid certified shorthand reporter's certificate or license to practice shorthand reporting issued by a state other than California. Only the following state licenses are accepted by this Board: Georgia ("A" certificate only, issued after 1990), Nevada, and Texas.
Hi, Jaime. You've got a ton of good answers here. Other than being a topnotch speller and grammarian, I'd say that someone aspiring to be a court reporter needs to pay close attention to the details of not only spelling and punctuation, but just getting every aspect of a document totally correct.

But I always ask of those who are looking into court reporting, what made you interested in reporting? And what do you think it will be like working as a reporter? In other words, what are the benefits that you are looking to get from becoming a reporter? Inquiring minds want to know!

M.A.

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