How to Become a Court Reporter in Ohio

In addition to judges and attorneys, there is another group of professionals that play an integral role in Ohio’s legal-court system and that group of professionals is the court reporters. Makers of official records of what is being said in the courtroom, court reporters put into words all that has been said by the judge, attorneys, witnesses and others in the courtroom. And they do this accurately at a lightning fast speed.

Transcribing court proceedings require a set of skills, which can only be gained by enrolling in a court reporting program. Once you complete those educational credentials required by the State of Ohio to become a court reporter, you should get certified, irrespective of whether it is a job requirement or not. It will only brighten your chances of getting hired in a field which is showing moderate growth in the coming years. It will also make your earnings more.

How to Become a Court Reporter in Ohio
How to Become a Court Reporter in Ohio

Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Ohio

Education

A variety of technical institutes and community colleges offer degree based and non-degree based programs in court reporting in areas such as Court Reporting with Voice Writing, Court Reporting with Steno, Broadcast Caption/Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and Realtime/Judicial Reporting. If you are unsure which path to pursue then make an appointment with a guidance counselor at the school and they should be able to help you select the right program. Whatever program you enroll in, its ultimate objective would be to impart theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to work as a successful court reporter in Ohio.

Certification

The State government of Ohio’s requirements regarding this aspect of court reporting are vague. Nonetheless, you should get certified. There are professional associations like the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT), and the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) which grant a variety of certifications to those who qualify. However, be mindful of the fact that these certifications are typically for three years and require continuing education (CE) credits for renewal.

Look for the Job

Educationally qualified and certified, you are now ready to look for your ideal job. Start by searching for vacancies online. Join Ohio Court Reporters Association (OCRA). Professional bodies like these keep you abreast of latest legislative changes which might affect your profession. Furthermore, they also list vacancies available in your area. For example, on OCRA’s website there is the “Career Opportunities & Marketplace” tab which lists current court reporter vacancies.

How Much Do Court Reporters Earn in Ohio

The following statistics are taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Median Annual Wage, National (May 2017) Annual Mean Wage, Ohio (May 2017)
$47,000 $55,120

 

However, the following set of statistics, which is taken from the United States Courts official website, paints a different picture.

Locality Pay Area Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Cincinnati $81,301 $85,365 $89,430 $93,496
Cleveland-Akron-Canton $81,443 $85,515 $89,587 $93,660
Columbus-Marion-Zanesville $80,690 $84,724 $88,759 $92,794
Dayton-Springfield-Sidney $80,107 $84,112 $88,117 $92,123

 

Level 1 Starting salary
Level 2 Starting salary plus 5% (Requires merit certification from NCRA)
Level 3 Starting salary plus 10% (Requires realtime certification from NCRA)
Level4 Starting salary plus 15% (Requires both realtime certification and merit certification)

 

In short, irrespective of whether certification is required or not to become a court reporter in Ohio, it pays to be certified as illustrated above.