How to Become a Court Reporter in Maryland

The Maryland Court Reporting Manual dated February 16, 2005, defines court reporting as follows:

“means the act of making the official verbatim record – that is one that reflects accurately the spoken word and nonverbal communication and action in, or for use in, any Maryland court – whether by an audiographer, reporter, videographer, or other individual, through use of an electronic device, stenomask equipment, stenotype machine, written symbols, or otherwise;”

This section not only identifies who court reporters are (audiographers, reporters, videographers, stenographers, etc.), but also what they do and accentuates their importance by stating that court reporters make the official verbatim record. If you would like to join this challenging field in Maryland then continue reading as only educated and skilled individuals can become court reporters.

How to Become a Court Reporter in Maryland
How to Become a Court Reporter in Maryland

Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Maryland

These requirements are twofold – education and certification.

Education related Qualifications

As mentioned earlier, court reporters perform a very important role in the State of Maryland’s judicial system by making the official verbatim record, which is accurate. In order to do this, you must be able to type fast and accurately, while using a variety of equipment. A successful court reporter is an active listener, who is skilled in shorthand and typing. These are skills which can be learned by enrolling in a technical institute or community college’s court reporting program. These programs are typically offered at diploma and associate degree levels. While a diploma program is shorter in duration, it is also less comprehensive, compared to an associate degree in court reporting.

Certification

You must be certified in order to work as a court reporter in Maryland. There are no specific certifications that the state prefers, however the following are the main certifying bodies in the United States:

  • The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) – This national body offers many certifications, including the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification, which is recognized in the State of Maryland.
  • The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) – This nationally recognized body of verbatim reporters also offers many certifications, including the Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) certification, which is recognized in the State of Maryland.

Once you are certified, it is time to look for a court reporter’s position. One of the ways is to visit your local courthouse and enquire about court reporters vacancies. You can also become a member of the Maryland Court Reporters Association (MCRA) where you will get ample opportunities to network with your peers and seniors and learn more about this profession. In addition, you may also find current court reporters vacancies on the association’s website.

Once you have found the job you’ve been looking for, do not forget that your certification is for three years after which it will need to be renewed with continuing education credits.

How Much Do Court Reporters Earn in Maryland

Locality Pay Area Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Maryland $86,964 91,312 $95,660 $100,009 $104,357

*Court Reporters’ Rates of Pay (effective January 8, 2018)

The abovementioned statistics are taken from the United States Courts official website and reflect the pay scale of those court reporters that were hired before October 11, 2009.

Court reporters nationally earned the median annual wage of $55,120 in May 2017 as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, you can earn a lot more in Maryland if you have years of experience as a court reporter, type 225 words per minute with 95% accuracy, etc. In short, what you will actually make in a year will depend on your location, expertise, skills level and amount of time you spend working as a court reporter.

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