Guide to Become a Court Reporter in Georgia

Whenever and wherever there is a need for the spoken word to be preserved as a written transcript, the role of the court reporter gets highlighted. Experts in creating verbatim transcripts of legal, quasi-legal and non-legal events, court reporters play a critical role in the dispensing of justice. Their accurate and complete legal record becomes an official document, which is relied on by judges, juries, attorneys and witnesses.

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Court reporters’ role is universal; however how to become a court reporter varies from state to state. If you want to work as a court reporter in the state of Georgia, you have to complete some specific steps. These steps are as follows:

Step 1: Study at a Court Reporting School

While there is no specific educational requirement to work as a court reporter in Georgia, you will have to enroll yourself in a court reporting school that is certified by a professional organization such as the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) and National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).

Step 2: Obtain Certification

After getting the required training, you will have to obtain certification from the NVRA or the NCRA if you want to find employment as a court reporter in Georgia. Both organizations have their own certification requirements and certification from both bodies is acceptable to the Board of Court Reporting of the Judicial Council of Georgia.

Step 3: Obtain the Board of Court Reporting Certification

After getting certified by the NVRA or the NCRA, you will be eligible to apply to the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Board of Court Reporting to obtain state certification. You will be required to pass a test to get the certification.

Step 4: Maintain Your Certification

You will have to ensure that you get continuing education credits because that is mandatory to keep your NCRA and NVRA certifications. The continuing education requirements differs for both organizations.

How to Become a Court Reporter in Georgia
How to Become a Court Reporter in Georgia

Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Georgia

There are different types of court reporters and therefore their educational and training requirements may also vary accordingly. For example, there are stenographers who use stenographic machines. Then there are voice writers who speak directly into a voice silencer. However, all of them must be certified to practice as a court reporter in Georgia.

Certification

There are two professional associations in the US that grant certifications to qualifying court reporters – the State of Georgia recognizes both of these organizations.

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)

Grants a variety of certifications, including the entry-level Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) to those who pass a four-part examination. Once you have become experienced, you may seek advanced-level certifications such as Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), etc. If you obtain these advanced-level certifications, you will exhibit higher levels of competency and experience.

The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA)

Grants a variety of certifications, including the entry-level Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) to those who pass a four-part examination. Once you have become experienced, you may seek advanced-level certifications such as Certified Verbatim Reporter – Certificate of Merit (CVR-CM), Realtime Verbatim Reporter (RVR), etc.

Once you are certified, you should then request reciprocity by the Georgia Board of Court Reporting. Once that is granted, you may then practice court reporting.

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

After completing high school it may take you up to two years to complete court reporting educational requirements. Once done, you will need to pass examinations to get certified. Once certified, you will start looking for a court reporter’s position in Georgia. All in all, you are looking at a considerable time investment before becoming a court reporter.

How Much Do Court Reporters Earn in Georgia?

In May 2017, the reported annual mean wage of court reporters in Georgia was $36,980. There were approximately 570 court reporters in the state at the time.

Work Environment

A majority of court reporters in Georgia work in law offices, courtrooms, state and local legislative buildings and conventions. In short, they work in comfortable settings and the work is largely hazard free. Those court reporters that work free-lance or as independent contractors, work from home. However, court reporters are not unknown to experiencing stressful work conditions where accurate and complete work is expected to be finished in time. Some court reporters have experienced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

Summary: How to Become a Court Reporter in Georgia

Georgia is one of those few states which does not have specific educational requirements to become a court reporter. However, it is mandatory to be certified in order to work as a court reporter in Georgia.