Court reporters take on essential roles during legal proceedings. They become record keepers and the documents they produce are vital to the progression of a trial. If you’re aiming to become a West Palm Beach court reporter, know that it’s a career path you have to take very seriously.
Pursuing a career in court reporting can prove to be a wise decision. You can make a decent living from this occupation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the median annual wage for court reporters is $57,150.
Court reporters also belong to a pretty exclusive club. You could be among a select few who are qualified for this kind of job.
Does this career now sound more appealing to you? If so, please feel free to check out the details below. Use what you learned in this article to find your path in the field of court reporting.
Different Qualifications and Requirements
The path to becoming a court reporter varies depending on where you live. You have to qualify in certain ways to become a West Palm Beach court reporter. Those qualifications may be different if you live in New York City or Los Angeles.
We’ll focus on the requirements to become a certified court reporter in the state of Florida. Let’s get to those requirements now.
Meet Educational Requirements
Getting an education is important when pursuing any career. Aspiring court stenographers in Florida will need to either be a high school graduate or possess a General Equivalency Diploma.
Familiarize yourself with the rules of court reporting in the state too. Make sure you read up on these rules before you begin the application process.
Pass the Court Reporter Exam in Florida
Hopeful applicants will have to pass an examination if they want to become a certified West Palm Beach court reporter. This examination will try to gauge how well an applicant can handle the tasks associated with becoming a stenographer.
Applicants should avoid waiting until the last minute to secure their slot for the examination. The Florida Court Certification Reporter Certification Board will announce the place and time for the examination in advance. It will be better if you can learn those details early on so you can prepare better.
Applicants must pay different fees before they can take the examination. You will have to pay both an application fee and an examination fee.
Provide Proof Indicating You Don’t Need to Take the Court Reporter Examination
Notably, taking the examination is not a requirement for everyone aiming to become a West Palm Beach court reporter. There are situations wherein you can get that requirement waived and effectively speed up the certification process.
Per the Florida Supreme Court, there are a few ways in which you can get the examination requirement waived.
Do you have a certificate issued by the court reporter board of a different state? It could be your ticket to skipping the exam. The certificate the board in Florida typically looks for is one provided by another state or the District of Columbia.
You can also get the examination requirement waived if you possess specific certificates from national associations. Secure a certificate from the National Court Reporters Association and you can skip the exam. Skipping the exam is also an option if you have a certificate from the National Stenomask Verbatim Reporters Association.
These are not the only certificates that may qualify you to skip the court reporter exam. Possessing a current certificate from an organization that is equal to the board means you can get the examination requirement waived.
Renew Your Certification
Once you’ve met the base requirements and passed the exam, you will be certified as a West Palm Beach court reporter. However, that doesn’t mean you can take things easy.
You must stay on top of your certification in the coming years. The certification may be revoked if you forget or neglect it.
That means you have to pay close attention to the renewal process. Ensuring you renew your certification in Florida requires accomplishing a few things.
For starters, you will have to pay an annual renewal fee. The Florida Court Reporter Certification Board will set up the amount you’ll need to pay.
Your certificate will be suspended if you don’t pay on time. You will have to pay the fee before you can be reinstated.
Court reporters have 60 days to settle their late fees. Don’t allow that grace period to expire. You’ll have to go through a more complicated reinstatement process if that happens.
Aside from paying an annual fee, you’ll also have to continue your education. Certified court reporters must earn at least 30 education credits over a three-year period.
It’s also worth noting that those credits don’t come from anywhere. The Florida Court Reporter Certification Board will indicate the approved programs. Use the information they provide to make your choices.
Some programs may not be listed by the Florida Court Reporter Certification Board, but they may still approve the credits you earn from it after further examination. Double check with the board to make sure.
You must also note the progress of your continuing education whenever you pay the yearly renewal fee.
Job Opportunities for Court Reporters
Different job opportunities are waiting for you once you’ve become a court reporter. Many people in this line of work typically opt to join agencies or work for government courts. Those are not your only options though.
Go into the market and talk to different media companies. There’s a chance they’re looking for someone with your skills.
Court reporters are hard to find. You can secure a nice payday if you scan the market carefully for the best job openings.
Becoming a West Palm Beach court reporter takes a lot of work, but it’s a career choice that can be rewarding in so many ways. Hopefully, your foray into this field will be more successful now that you know how to become certified.