How To Become a Court Reporter

Court transcripts contain every word that was spoken during a session and who said it. To create this document, the court reporter will listen to the proceedings and write down what is said as it is occurring. Reporters used to do this with pens, paper, and shorthand. Today, reporters use a stenotype machine. The key to becoming a reporter is to go through extensive training and understand how to use the proper equipment.


To work as a reporter, you will need to meet the necessary training requirements and attend an accredited court reporting training school. Typically it takes three years to finish your training, and applicants need at least a high-school education. Some specific schools also require courses in keyboarding and data entry for applicants. During training, you will learn about keyboarding, shorthand, legal terminology, law, reporting, vocabulary, medical terminology, proofreading, dictation, and ethics. You will also take extensive typing classes because you will be expected to type at least 225 words in one minute to pass your training.


To accurately capture what is being said in a courtroom, reporters must produce transcripts quickly. Today, they use a stenotype to do this. This machine has different keys that reporters can press simultaneously to document words and sounds. Stenotypes have 22 keys set up, so they resemble piano keys rather than a computer’s keyboard. These represent some letters, although most of the time, they are supposed to be pressed simultaneously to create an imitation of sounds.

Reporting is an important job in the courtroom. Reporters are responsible for documenting all of the words spoken during a session and who said them. They do this by using a special stenotype machine and undergoing extensive training. If you wish to become a reporter, it is important that you understand the requirements and how you can meet them.