Who Performs Certified Court Reporting and What Credentials Do They Have?
Court reporters are qualified through agencies such as the NCRA. There are other agencies that do the same job, but the NCRA was set up to recognize the competence of a court reporter, and since 1935 it has done a lot to support the industry, establishing people as 'Certified Professionals,' who are known as CPs, and can work in courts.
These days, if you want to be a reporter, you will need to be certified. There are there tiers that can be earned. The lowest tier, Registered Professional Reporter, is something that 11,000 people have earned. There are more than 2,100 people who have earned the next level - Registered Merit Reporter, and 450 who have become 'Registered Diplomat Reporters.'
Other qualifications for real-time reporting and broadcast captioning allow people to perform more specialist roles in the courtroom.
It is possible to work without those designations, but these certifications mean that people are more likely to get jobs in new courtrooms and that they will enjoy a wider range of opportunities and referrals.
Establishing yourself as a reporter shows that you can complete complex assignments and that you are a fast typist that understands the kind of dictation that you would need to handle. It also ensures that you have the consultant skills and the proof that you are suitable to be in such an important job.
The RDR is considered to be the highest level of qualification that a court reporter can earn. It will credit you with 0.25 PDCs, which you can use to show that you are continuing your personal development. Experienced reporters, who may feel that they don't need to earn certifications because they already have a lot of experience, can use this to retain their elite status, and as an 'insurance policy' that should they need to move to a new area they will be able to get a job in a different court without issue.
Certified court reporting is a very skilled job, but it is possible to earn some prestigious positions with the CRR qualification. Real-time reporting is becoming more commonplace, and competition for the positions is fierce. Programs such as TRAIN and the CRC certifications open up extra opportunities for reporters and will help you to get the most interesting jobs in the courtroom, and prepare you for the future too.