How to Become a Court Reporter in Michigan

Court reporters perform one of the most important duties in Michigan’s judicial system. They create word-for-word transcriptions of murder trials, produce a transcript for a deposition hearing or document a corporate scandal. In short, court reporters in Michigan are as important as judges, attorneys, witnesses and juries.

In 2017, the state of Michigan employed approximately 590 court reporters and paid them the mean annual wage of $51,010. If you are thinking of becoming a court reporter in Michigan then continue reading, fulfill the following requirements and land your dream job.

How to Become a Court Reporter in Michigan
How to Become a Court Reporter in Michigan

Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Michigan

In order to become a court reporter in Michigan, fulfill the following requirements. In addition, do check with your local courthouse if they have any additional requirements.

Meet Educational Requirements –

You can either enroll in a diploma program or an associate degree program in court reporting. If you chose to go down the diploma route then you may finish earlier than those who are pursuing an associate degree in court reporting. However, your employment prospects may not be as bright as those who have an associate degree in court reporting. This is because associate degree holders have a more wholesome and in-depth knowledge of the court reporting field.

Take the Exam –

Once you complete the abovementioned step, you will know about various types of court reporters. If you decide to become a stenographer or shorthand reporter then obtain the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification by passing the relevant exam offered by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). However if you are interested in becoming a voice reporter then become the Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) by passing the relevant exam offered by the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA).

Testing and Certification –

Michigan Court Rule 8.108(G) demands that only certified reporters and recorders can work as court reporters in the state of Michigan. You must therefore get certified. For that you will have to pass exams administered by the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review through the assistance of the State Court Administrative Office.

Find a Job –

Once you are certified, it is time to look for a job. If you are interested in working in legal settings then look for job vacancies at Michigan Trial Courts, Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Claims, etc.

Maintain Certification –

The certification is for a fixed period of time after which it expires. In order to keep it valid, you will need to obtain continuing education credits every so often.

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

Meeting post high school educational requirements will take you roughly two years. Then getting certified will take you a few months, if not years. And if you pass these stages successfully and in first attempt then finding a job may be a time consuming process too. Court reporter’s jobs are growing at a steady rate all across the US and therefore it takes some time before you can become a court reporter.

How Much Does a Court Reporter Make in Michigan

As mentioned earlier, in May 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that court reporters earned the mean annual wage of $51,010 in Michigan. How much you would actually end up earning would depend on your employer, location, areas of specialization, level of certification achieved and level of training. Furthermore, be mindful of the fact that if you work in a legal setting then you would be paid a salary and per-page fee for transcription. However, if you work as a freelancer then your salary would depend upon your contract; however, you would be paid per-page fee for preparing transcripts.

Career Outlook for Court Reporters in Michigan

In 2017, according to the BLS, the state of Michigan employed approximately 590 court reporters.The same source predicts national job growth rate of 3 percent in this field from the years 2016 to 2026. The state of Michigan may experience job growth at more or less the same rate from 2016 to 2026 too.