How to become Court Reporters?
The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing regulates the court reporting profession. Despite this, the Utah government has not created an independent licensing course or exam, but rather instructs all potential court reporters in the state to become certified by the National Court Reporters Association or the National Verbatim Reporters Association, depending on the kind of license being pursued.
The steps to becoming a court reporter in Utah are as follows:
In Utah, court reporters are considered essential. So much so that in the government shutdown of 2013 the federal court in Utah ordered court reporters to appear for work, even though they would not be immediately compensated for their time. This was proof positive that the function of the court system cannot be completed without the hard and dedicated work of skilled court reporters.
Though being a court reporter is a very rewarding career, court reporters must deal with many of the frustrations of the legal system in the process of doing their jobs including, court delays, fatigue during long days of work, and irregular schedules. Under all circumstances, they are expected to remain neutral during recording and, at all costs, avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Step 1. Decide Between Shorthand and Voice Reporter in Utah
The state of Utah requires that you decide whether you want to become licensed as a shorthand reporter or a voice reporter. You should decide which of these best suits your abilities and interests. You can certainly become licensed in both areas, but it will require becoming certified by each respective national association, as will be seen in Step 3.
Step 2. Enroll in a Court Reporter Degree or Diploma Program
The best preparation for doing the job of a court reporter is to seek a degree or diploma in the field. There are a number of community colleges, universities, and technical schools in Utah that offer such programs. The actual title of the program may vary from one institution to the next. Some titles for the court reporter program include:
- Court Reporting
- Applied voice reporting
Explore Other Education Options Related to Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
Here you’ll find schools that offer certificate and degree programs well suited to a career in legal assisting, law office management and the paralegal profession.
Step 3. Become Certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) or National Verbatim Reporters Association
Shorthand – After becoming familiar with the guidelines which govern court reporters in Utah, and choosing your focus, you must become certified. If you have decided to choose the shorthand path, you will want to become certified with the National Court Reporters Association as a Registered Professional Reporter. This will involve studying, preparing, and taking an exam. The exam covers a variety of topics, such as technology and reporting practices. The minimum passing score for the exam is 70 percent.
Voice Recording – If you decided that you prefer the path of voice recording, you must become certified with the National Verbatim Reporters Association as a Certified Verbatim Reporter. The exam for this certification involves transcribing dictated materials, and must be accurate to 95 percent.