7 Best Online Court Reporter Programs (Complete Guide)

Much like our technology and the advent of AI, the field of court reporting has evolved to accommodate the ever-changing landscape of the legal profession.

Today’s court reporters play a central role in transcribing judicial proceedings and legal meetings, which often can only begin once a certified judicial court reporter is present and officially prepared to transcribe the record.

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What is Required to Enter the Field of Court Reporting?

  1. High School Diploma or Proof of Equivalent
  2. Complete an online court reporter certification program by achieving a typing speed of 200+ words per minute with an overall accuracy rate of at least 97.5%.
  3. Pass a State or National Certification Examination
  4. Secure State Licensure for states with mandatory licensing requirements upon completion of the steps above.

Nationally recognized certifying bodies offer court reporter training and education programs to help prepare them for taking national certification tests.

Below, we discuss some of the best online court reporter programs that offer students certification-based training from the comfort of their own home or office.

Who Certifies Court Reporters in the US?

The National Court Reporter Association, The American Association of Electronic Reporting Transcribers, and the National Verbatim Reporters Association are the only three nationally recognized certification bodies offering court reporter education, training, and certification options for prospective court reporters and stenography students.

These nationally recognized agencies issue the following accreditations for students completing online court reporter training programs.

American Association of Electronic Reporting and Transcribers Certifications

  1. Certified Electronic Reporter (CER)
  2. Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET)
  3. Certified Deposition Reporter (CDR)

NCRA Court Reporter Certifications

  1. Registered Professional Reporter – RPR
  2. Registered Skilled Reporter (RSR)
  3. Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
  4. Certified Realtime
  5. Captioner (CRC)

NVRA Court Reporter Certifications

  1. Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR)
  2. Realtime Verbatim Reporter (RVR)
  3. Registered Broadcast Captioner (RBC)
  4. Certified Legal Transcriptionist (CLT)
  5. Certified Legal Scopist (CLS)

Important Note About Court Reporter Certification and Training

Many states will accept certifications from these nationally recognized accrediting bodies instead of state licensure.

Check with your local court reporter licensing authority to verify your state’s licensing requirements.

Best Online Court Reporter Programs

Are you looking for an online court reporter program to earn a certificate or degree online?

Below is our comprehensive overview of several leading court-reporting schools and programs offering 100% online instruction.

In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at each program’s unique offerings, special qualifications, accreditation status, and contact information for each program.

The institutions listed below have earned NCRA accreditation or accreditation via one of the three nationally recognized court reporter accrediting bodies.

The programs listed below are highly recommended by the accrediting bodies for their commitment to delivering top-tier online court reporter education leading to lifelong careers.

#1. – Alfred State College of Technology – Alfred, New YorkAlfred State College of Technology - Alfred, New York

About the Program

Alfred State College of Technology offers an NCRA-approved training program that educates prospective court reporters and captioners on the basic skills required to work as Freelance Court Reporters.

Students who enroll in this program will learn tips and tricks for perfecting high-speed recording skills and real-time translation.

They set their students up for success by providing foundational court reporting skills and offering a lending library where enrolled students who demonstrate financial need can apply to borrow a laptop and steno machine to complete their coursework.

Their program prepares students to develop shorthand recording speeds and dictated list speeds with at least ninety-five percent accuracy.

Courses Offered

  • High-Speed Recording Skills
  • Realtime Recording Skills
  • Computer Aided Transcription
  • Closed Captioning Skills
  • Legal Office Administration

Program Type

  1. Associate of Applied Science – AAS
  2. Court Reporting Certificate

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 10 Upper College Drive – Alfred, New York 14802

Website: https://www.alfredstate.edu/court-reporting

Phone: 607-581-3421

#2. – Generations College – Chicago, IllinoisGenerations College - Chicago, Illinois

About the Program

Generations College in Chicago offers an NCRA-accredited court reporter training program for prospective court reporters interested in entering the field and active freelance reporters who need to update or refresh their skills.

The college offers a fully online training program that educates new students on the basic principles required to enter the field.

They provide advanced training and certification programs for active reporters who want to enhance their skills or adopt a new specialty.

Their program allows students two to three years of an externship as part of the program.

Courses Offered

  • Judicial Court Reporting
  • Machine Shorthand Theory
  • Speed building
  • Legal and Medical Terminology

Program Type

  1. Associate of Applied Science – Court Reporting
  2. Diploma Program

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 29 East Madison Street – Chicago, Illinois 60602

Website: https://generations.edu/programs/court-reporting-major

Phone: 312-922-1884

#3. – Des Moines Area Community College – Newton, IowaDes Moines Area Community College - Newton, Iowa

About the School

Des Moines Area Community College is an online court reporter program offering a two-year real-time court Reporting program that prepares new court reporters for certification and licensing.

They offer online court reporter training via live training classes in a full-time program that meets during the day.

The National Court Reporters Association and the Higher Learning Commission accredit the Des Moines Area Community College.

The program prepares students to begin entry-level court reporter jobs in courtrooms and to work as captioning professionals.

Courses Offered

  • Realtime Broadcast Captioning
  • Conferences and Conventions
  • Depositions
  • Stenotype

Program Type

Associate of Arts degree in Court Reporting – AA

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 600 North Second Avenue West – Newton, Iowa 50208

Website: https://www.dmacc.edu/programs/courtreporting/Pages/welcome.aspx

Phone: 641-792-3622

#4. – National Court Reporters InstituteNational Court Reporters Institute

About the School

The National Court Reporters Institute operates one of the longest-running court reporter training programs that has been running for over fifty years.

Their online stenography program teaches students the concepts needed to become freelance court reporters using steno machines in six weeks.

They offer additional programs that prepare students to take the NCRA certification test, which the agency administers.

Upon completion, students who complete one of their court reporter training programs will be prepared for entry-level careers as court stenographers and freelance transcriptionists.

Their online program requires students to have a secure internet connection and access to Microsoft Word for practice.

Courses Offered

  • Court Reporting Steno Machine
  • Court Reporting Voice Writing
  • Court Reporting Procedures
  • Medical Terminology
  • Legal Terminology
  • Captioning
  • Foundations of Law

Program Type

  1. Continuing Education
  2. Court Reporting Certificate Program
  3. Certification Exam Prep

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 12355 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 610 – Reston, Virginia 20191

Website: https://www.ncra.org/discoversteno/discoversteno-home/ncra-a-to-z-online-program

Phone: 800-272-6272

#5. – Arlington Career Institute-Grand Prairie, TexasArlington Career Institute-Grand Prairie, Texas

About the School

Arlington Career Institute offers its online Court Reporting Steno Machine Program that teaches students how to record judicial proceedings and transcribe records using a specialized machine that translates single-key presses into legible legal records and documents.

Students who complete their online training program will be prepared to work in entry-level careers as Communications Access, real-time translators, or Official Judicial Reporters.

Courses Offered

  • Computer-Aided Transcription
  • Court Reporting English
  • Introduction to Law and Legal Terminology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Court Reporting Procedures II
  • Closed Captioning Skills
  • Realtime Reporting

Program Type

  1. Associate’s Degree – Reporting, Stenograpy
  2. Certificate – Court Reporting, Stenography
  3. Diploma Program

Accredited: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 901 East K Avenue – Grand Prairie, Texas 75050

Website: https://www.arlingtoncareerinstitute.edu/court-reporting-steno-machine-program/

Phone: 972-647-1607

#6. – Clark State College – Springfield, Ohio

About the School

Clark State College in Springfield, Ohio, offers its online Judicial Court Reporting program in partnership with Stark State College. Students who take their sixteen-week online class will learn how to create verbatim records using computer-aided transcription software.

They will also learn legal and medical terminology and take related coursework as part of their certification prep.

This program includes a seventy-five-hour internship where students practice in mock and real-time environments.

Courses Offered

  • Digital Court Reporting Software
  • Realtime Business Procedures
  • Digital Reporting Concept
  • CAT Transcript Production
  • Legal Proceedings
  • Ethical Standards
  • Verbatim Records Capture
  • Medical Terminology

Program Type

Associate of Applied Business Degree – Judicial Court Reporting

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 570 East Lefell Lane, Springfield, Ohio – 45501

Website: https://www.clarkstate.edu/academics/degrees-and-certificates/school-of-business-and-applied-technologies/judicial-court-reporting/

Phone: 937-328-8080

#7. – Community College of Allegheny County – Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCommunity College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

About the College

The Community College of Alleghany County operates an online court reporter training program through its Paralegal Studies and Court Reporter classes for people with previous experience in the field and for students with some college experience.

Their online training program leads students to a certificate or a degree in court reporting.

The Community College of Alleghany County has several online learning options for students interested in pursuing careers in legal transcription, court reporting, and stenography.

CCAC offers an online court reporting certificate and virtual degree program that prepares graduates to work in closed captioning and real-time translation jobs in America’s courtrooms.

Courses Offered

  • Court Reporting Orientation
  • Court Reporting I and II
  • Machine Shorthand Theory
  • Computer-Aided Transcription
  • Legal Procedures
  • Court Procedures
  • Speed building
  • Jury Charge I
  • Literary I

Program Type

  1. Associate of Arts in Court Reporting
  2. Court Reporting Certificate

Accredited Program: Yes

Contact Information

Address: 800 Alleghany Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 15233

Website: https://catalog.ccac.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=12&poid=2757

Phone: 412-237-2222

What Courses Are in an Online Court Reporter Training Program?

Realtime Translation Theory: This course teaches stenography students the basic principle of machine shorthand.

Students take this class to become familiar with keys on a stenotype machine and how to use shorthand codes to transcribe complete documents.

Legal Terminology and Criminal Procedure: Stenography students take legal terminology classes to learn the basic terms used in courtrooms and judicial proceedings.

Students must understand these terms to transcribe trials, mediations, and other legal proceedings correctly.

Many online training programs offer legal terminology and criminal procedure simultaneously.

Transcribers will need to understand basic criminal and courtroom procedures to follow along and transcribe complete and accurate court records.

Computer-Aided Transcription: Court reporter students take computer-aided transcription courses to boost their shorthand speed while maintaining over ninety percent accuracy.

Students must achieve high accuracy as the legal documents they transcribe become binding public records.

Medical Terminology: Medical terms and information about healthcare claims frequently arise during legal proceedings.

Transcriptionists must be familiar with basic medical terminology to transcribe documents and records accurately.

Transcription Courses: Today’s stenographers and court reporters use a variety of digital tools to transcribe accurate records and legal documents.

Students will learn stenographic, voice writing, and digital recording transcription records as critical components of their online training programs.

Can You Earn an Online Court Reporter Certificate Completely Online?

Yes! Prospective court reporters will be happy to learn they can earn a court reporter certificate or degree entirely online.

A wide variety of vocational schools, nationally accredited court reporting agencies, colleges, and universities provide virtual learning environments for stenography students to learn and practice their skills.

The list above contains examples of court reporter programs that offer training online.

Now that you know about some of the best programs available online, let’s look at how long it takes to become certified as an entry-level court reporter.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Court Reporter Certification Online?

Most new court reporters will take three to five years to complete all the courses and programs required to take certification classes or become licensed court reporters in their state.

Court reporter programs typically offer one to two years of immersive training and another to three years of externships or on-the-job training.

Many online court reporting programs offer self-paced options, so the time it takes individual students to complete all program requirements can vary.

How Much Does an Online Court Reporter Certification Cost?

While the cost of online court reporting programs can vary depending on program type, duration, location, and included materials, most programs typically cost between four–thousand and twelve thousand dollars to complete online.

Schools that offer online virtual court reporter training also provide financial aid options, scholarships, and tuition waivers to help students cover the costs of court reporter training.

Contact your program director or financial aid office to learn if you can qualify for financial assistance.

Final Thoughts

The future of today’s court reporters, legal transcriptionists, and captioners looks very bright! Students entering the field can expect high-paying careers, high job placement rates, and flexible work environments as one of the following.

  • Judicial Court Reporters
  • Broadcast Captioners
  • CART Reporters
  • Court Stenographers
  • Court Transcribers
  • Deposition Reporters
  • Scoping and Editing

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