March 21, 2019

Steps to Becoming a Certified Court Reporter in California

By: Colleen Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: Court Reporters in California

certified court reporter in california

To become a certified court reporter in the state of California, there are several steps you must take to meet the necessary requirements. The following steps are necessary to prove your ability and to help you maintain your credibility throughout your licensing period.

Minimum Requirements for Licensing in California

The minimum requirements to become a certified court reporter include being at least 18 years of age, holding a high school degree (or equivalent), and having a clean criminal history. You must also have some level of experience in terms of shorthand and transcription.

Complete an Approved Educational Court Reporter Program

In order for you to be a certified court reporter in California, you must have experience in the field or have completed an educational program that is accepted by the California Court Reporters Board.

What Subjects Are Involved in Court Reporting Degrees?

The Court Reporters Board of California awards certifications after successfully clearing the following assessment topics and completing of the state examination. The apprenticeship hours are included in the program.

Requirements Hours
English and vocabulary 240
Medical 120
Legal 150
Transcript procedures 25
Apprenticeship training 60
Technology 60
Resource materials 5
Total minimum prescribed academic hours 660
Total machine shorthand & transcription hours 2300

Pass the State Test

To pass the California state licensing exam, you must be able to transcribe 200 words per minute with a 97.5% accuracy rate. In order to be certified, you must pass both the written and performance skills tests.

Pass the Dictation and Transcription Exam

Once you have completed the application and included all of the necessary materials, you will have to pass the dictation and transcription portion of the test. The test takes approximately 3 hours to complete. You will be transcribing actual court files. You must maintain 200 words per minute for at least 12 minutes.

Pass the California Written Exam

Once you have passed the skills portion of the exam, you will need to schedule a date and time to take the written test. There are several state testing centers to choose from.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Court Reporter in California?

Depending on the kind of training program you join, it may take you around 12-18 months to become a court reporter. The quickest route to becoming a court reporter is to enroll for an associate’s degree. More extensive degrees may take 24 months to 4 years for completion. Also, the duration of these courses depends on the chosen focus areas. For instance, the stenography court reporting requires 33 months for completion.

Begin Your Career

Once you have passed your tests and received your certification, you can begin to take on clients and build your career.

How Much Does a Court Reporter Earn in California?

There are many reasons why California is a well-paid state for a court reporter or stenographer to thrive in. In May 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that court reporters draw an annual average salary of $79,500. Factors like where you reside and how much you work might decide how much you would make in a year.

Continue to Meet the Requirements to Retain Your License

You must continue to meet the state’s requirements for maintaining your court reporter’s license. This involves taking continuing education classes every two to three years.

Receiving your court reporter certification in the state of California can be the beginning of a wonderful career.

Add your name to our list of prestigious and top-notch certified court reporters and experience the professional satisfaction of working with an agency that values your expertise. Fill out this form to join us.

One response to “Steps to Becoming a Certified Court Reporter in California”

  1. I am interested in taking the California state test for court reporters. I am being displaced out of my 17 year job by a video recording system.

    I work in the criminal division as a certified court reporter but must relocate to get another job.

    If you can assist me in finding out what l must do to take the state examination l would so appreciate it.

    Kind regards,
    CSR Doreen Bell
    734 292 7688

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