How to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

Court reporters, also known as shorthand reporters in New Jersey, are responsible for keeping written, verbatim record of legal proceedings, whether in court, private or government settings. In addition to judges, lawyers, witnesses and juries, court reporters play a crucial role in the dispensation of justice. Therefore, if you do not have the will or means to become a lawyer, consider becoming a court reporter, since court reporters are as integral to any legal system as lawyers and judges are.

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However, before you learn how to become a court reporter in New Jersey, know the types of court reporters in detail. This is important since each type may have its own qualifications.

How to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey
How to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

Should I Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey?

Working as a court reporter in New Jersey can be a good option if you want to be part of court proceedings without getting a law degree.

EducationPostsecondary education and an Associate’s Degree
Area of StudyTypewriting, Court Reporting, etc.
License/CertificationNeeded
Experience/TrainingRequired
    Key SkillsWritten and oral comprehension, Strong concentration, Great typing speed, etc.
Annual Mean Salary – US (2020)$66,710 (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)
Annual Mean Salary – New Jersey (2020)$81,570 (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)
Job Outlook – New Jersey (2018-2028)7% (Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners)

Sources: O*Net Online and US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

In order to work as a court reporter in New Jersey, you have to complete the following steps.

Step 1: Get the Required Education

You need to get postsecondary education and an Associate’s degree. An Associate’s degree will give you an extra push when you start to apply for a job.

Step 2: Get Certifications

A lot of US states require court reporters to have certification from a professional association or a body. The requirements for licensing will vary from state to state.

Step 3: Get Training

Court reporters and simultaneous captioners also need on-the-job training. The duration varies according to the nature of the job.

Step 4: Apply for a Job

Once all the prerequisites have been met, court reporters and simultaneous captioners can start applying for jobs.

Types of Court Reporters in New Jersey

Court (Official) Reporting

These court reporters take down records of proceedings, be it court proceedings or administrative hearings.

Court (Freelance) Reporting

These court reporters write testimony or the spoken word verbatim especially at arbitration or deposition hearings.

Realtime Closed Captioning

These types of court reporters provide realtime captioning for live television events such as sports events and weather emergencies.

Closed (Broadcast) Captioning

If you turn on closed captioning function on your TV, you will see a feed at the bottom of your TV screens. This feed is prepared by these court reporters.

Webcasting

These court reporters provide realtime reporting services for internet-based events.

Communications Access Realtime Reporting (CART)

These types of court reporters provide specialized services to hard-of-hearing people in live situations.

Skills Required to Become a Court Reporter in New Jersey

The following are standard requirements for getting into any of the above mentioned types of court reporting:

  • The ability to operate a stenographic machine at 200 wpm
  • The ability to perform legal clerical work with a high degree of accuracy and speed
  • The ability to work independently
  • The ability to read back verbatim

In addition, court reporters in New Jersey must be able to successfully:

  • Follow oral and written directions
  • Operate a variety of machines such as computers, printers, audio equipment, and transcription machines
  • Work in a group environment – a court reporter must be a team player
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Concentrate for long periods of time
  • Remain seated for long periods of time

Furthermore, court reporters must have expert level knowledge of:

  • The English language
  • The English grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and spelling
  • Legal and medical terminology
  • Legal and clerical recordkeeping procedures and practices
  • Principles, methods, practices and techniques of court shorthand reporting

Requirements to Become a Certified Court Reporter in New Jersey

According to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs official website, the following are the requirements to become a certified court reporter in New Jersey. Candidates:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Should have submitted a complete application form to the State Board of Court Reporting not less than three weeks before the date of the required examination
  • Ought to have paid the application fee
  • Should have passed the Board approved examination for the Certification of Court Reporters called the National Court Reporter Association’s RPR exam
  • Must have a place to conduct business in New Jersey

Once you are certified, your certification is good for two years. To renew, you will need to obtain continuing education credits.

How Much Do Court Reporters Earn in New Jersey?

According to May 2020 statistics taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), court reporters and simultaneous captioners in New Jersey earned an annual mean wage of $81,570.

Career Outlook

According to the figures provided by O*Net Online, court reporters and simultaneous captioners working in the state of New Jersey will experience 7% growth in job opportunities between 2018 and 2028. This figure is higher than the national average of 3%.

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