Minnesota Court Reporting Schools | How to Become a Court Reporter by Fulfilling Licensing Requirements in Minnesota (2023)

There are currently 410 active court reporters in Minnesota, including court reporters and broadcasters. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that number will increase by 6%, or 440 jobs, through 2018. You can expect to spend anywhere from two to four years training to become a court reporter. While there are no licensure requirements in Minnesota, you will need an associate degree or certificate in court reporting.

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The following steps are common among those interested in becoming a court reporter in Minnesota:

Minnesota Court Reporting Schools | How to Become a Court Reporter by Fulfilling Licensing Requirements in Minnesota (2)Earn a Minnesota Court Reporting Diploma or Certificate
Minnesota Court Reporting Schools | How to Become a Court Reporter by Fulfilling Licensing Requirements in Minnesota (3)Deciding Between Official and Independent Judicial Reports
Minnesota Court Reporting Schools | How to Become a Court Reporter by Fulfilling Licensing Requirements in Minnesota (4)Consider getting certified

A recent job for a court reporter in Minnesota's First Judicial District offered an hourly wage of $19.70 to $21.17, which translates to an annual salary of $39,936 to $44,070, based on a 40-hour week. There is considerable salary variation based on geographic location and the degree of competition. Average annual salaries for court reporters in different Minnesota cities are reported as follows:

  • Minneapolis e St. Paul – $ 54.100
  • Eden Prairie, Lakeville e Minnetonka – $ 54.100
  • Saint Cloud – $ 52.170
  • Duluth – $ 49.561
  • Rochester – $ 48.935

Step 1. Obtain a Forensic Reporter Diploma or Certificate

The 70 credit hour court reporter courses offered in Minnesota generally take two years to complete, although additional time may be needed to increase your typing speed to the minimum requirement of 225 words per minute (wpm). You will spend considerable time learning to write effectively on a real-time shorthand system. A remedial English class may be a prerequisite, depending on placement test scores.

Courses include:

  • English (writing, grammar, spelling)
  • business law
  • computer technology
  • Machine shorthand theory
  • Legal and medical terminology
  • Judicial procedures and practices

A lot of emphasis is placed on increasing typing speed. Programs also incorporate a mandatory summer session and completion of an internship that must incorporate 40 hours of verified writing.

In addition to proper education and training, you will need certain skills and abilities to be a successful court reporter, including keen ears, finger dexterity, good proofreading skills, the ability to concentrate, and excellent grammar/spelling.

Step 2. Decide Between "Official" and Standalone Judicial Reports

Court reports are used by federal, state, and local courts, court reporting agencies, or law firms. Court reporters who work directly for the court system are called “official” court reporters. The three branches of the Minnesota court system are:

  • supreme court
  • Court of Appeal
  • District Courts (First Instance)

The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are part of the Minnesota Judicial Center located in St. Paul, capital of Minnesota. District courts include criminal and civil courts, as well as specialized courts such as drug, truancy, transit, or divorce courts. There are district courts in all 87 Minnesota counties; they are divided into 10 court districts that cover a different number of counties based on population numbers. The Fourth District Court is the most populous. While it only covers one county, it includes Minneapolis and handles over 800,000 cases a year – enough to keep many court reporters busy! The second and third largest cities in the state, St. Paul and Rochester, are in the second and third districts, respectively.

Under the Minnesota statute of 2013, a judge may appoint a specific court reporter to act while that judge is presiding. This stenographer also acts as the judge's secretary in everything related to official duties.Official court reportersyou must deposit a bond of $2,000 which is filed (along with the oath of office) with the court administrator. Open positions and applications for all Minnesota courts are outlined in the state court employment system.site web.

You can also choose to be a freelance court reporter which has the advantages of greater autonomy and more flexible working hours but the disadvantage of a less reliable income. Freelance reporters may work for a court reporting firm or be self-employed. There are approximately 50 court reporting firms located in 15 Minnesota cities; 18 of those companies are in Minneapolis. Self-employed stenographers usually work as individual contractors but sign a business contract with the company. Contact individual agencies for job prospects.

It's best not to hang your own tile until you have several years of experience in the state and have established a network of business relationships. Self-employed freelance reporters are hired by a variety of legal, corporate or civic clients to record activities such as:

  • evacuations
  • Municipal Hearings
  • table meetings
  • arbitrations

Step 3. Consider becoming NCRA certified

Minnesota does not require NCRA or NVRA certification; however, it is an option.

The NCRA (National Association of Court Reporters)was founded in 1899 to promote the profession of court reporting. Although headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, its affiliate, the Minnesota Verbatim Association of Reporters and Captioners (MAVRC), is located in Marshall, MN. MAVRCaffiliationis open to all Minnesota courtroom reporters and students, active or retired. Both the NCRA and MAVRC host conventions, conferences, educational seminars, and other events. They also promote professional standards and lobby political bodies to promote legislation on certified court reporters.

There are three NCRA certifications, each representing a higher level of achievement:

  • Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
  • Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
  • Registered Diploma Rapporteur (RDR)

First Level Exams (RPR) are offered twice a year in April and November. The city of Anoka is the test site in Minnesota. It is essential that yousign up well in advanceto secure a spot. The exam includes a written and skills test. Certification increases your credibility as a court reporter and serves as recognition of your skill and professionalism. Twenty-two states currently accept NCRA certification in lieu of state or licensing exams.

The National Association of Literal Reporters (NVRA),Headquartered in Hattiesburg, MS, it is the national voice for voice writers. The organization offers voice reporters many of the same opportunities and benefits, including testing and certification, that the NCRA offers stenographic reporters. Testing for a Literal Registered Reporter Certificate of Merit is offered at various times and in different locations across the country. check the NVRAtest scheduleto find out when the test will be offered in Minnesota, or call the main office at 601-582-4345.

Minnesota Court Report Salary

The field of court reporting is growing nationally and in Minnesota. The State Secretariat for Employment and Economic Development projects a 13% increase in the number of vacancies from 2010 to 2020. The expectation is that just over half of these vacancies will be made available due to the need to replace professionals who are leaving the job market. .

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This department provides a projection of the increase in the number of court reporter positions in Minnesota. The projected percentage increase is shown below:

  • Minnesota Central: 17.4%
  • Northeast Minnesota: 24.2%
  • Northwest Minnesota: 16.4%
  • Seven County Minneapolis-St. Paulo – 10,5%

Employment and salary information for court reporters in Minnesota is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Twin Cities area had the tenth highest level of employment of any metropolitan area in the country in 2012. Sixty percent of state court reporters were located in this area.

The 2012 salaries of court reporters in the state are listed below:

minnesota city

average annual salary

Highest 10th percentile salary

minnesota: state

$ 63700

$ 63710

Minneapolis-St. Pablo

$ 63700

$ 71400

The following positions for the Minnesota Judiciary paid from $40,976 to $64,875 in 2013:

  • official court reporter
  • Official stenographer stenographer

In addition to working for the state of Minnesota, a large number of forensic reporters work for private companies that provide forensic reporting services to attorneys and companies seeking this type of experience. Some of the court reporting firms in Minnesota are listed below:

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  • Pregunte, Trondson & Smith, Inc.
  • Reference reporting agency
  • Eles informed Braden Undeland
  • Northwest Court reporters
  • Paradigm Court reports and captions
  • Twin West Court Reports

The BLS provides a breakdown of salaries for all forensic reporters in the Twin Cities area in the following table:

area name


average hourly wage

average annual salary

average hourly wage

75th percentile wage per hour

90th percentile hourly wage

average annual salary

75th percentile annual salary

90th percentile annual salary

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI




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How do I become a court reporter in Minnesota? ›

In Minnesota, stenographic court reporters must meet the following minimum qualifications: Graduation from high school or equivalent; and. Graduation from a court reporting school approved by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) within the past two years; or.

What is the difference between a court reporter and a digital court reporter? ›

Instead of the traditional court reporter machine, these professionals record the proceedings using digital technology. That usually means audio, but sometimes includes video.

How fast must court reporters type? ›

How many words can court reporters write per minute? To be qualified as a legal, certified court reporter, you must have a typing speed of up to 200 words per minute with an overall accuracy rate of 97.5%.

Is being a court reporter difficult? ›

While the work of a court reporter is fairly predictable, it can also be stressful. These professionals usually have tight deadlines to meet each day, and multitasking for long periods of time can cause mental fatigue. During your breaks, perform activities that are calming or enjoyable.

What is the highest salary for a court reporter? ›

How much does a Court Reporter make in California? The average Court Reporter salary in California is $67,900 as of May 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $48,991 and $88,871.

How long does it take to study stenography? ›

ITI Stenographer Course is a one-year non-engineering course which prepares you to transcribe spoken words by typing them into a stenotype machine i.e. shorthand typewriter.

How long does it take to learn stenography? ›

To write text for personal use, such as writing emails and instant messages, you could learn basic steno at ~40WPM within 3–6 months. To productively use steno to write most text at under 100WPM, it might take 6–18 months. For live dictation at 200WPM, it might take you 2 or more years.

Can I learn stenography myself? ›

Do a few short sessions each day and make sure to practice writing letters and words repeatedly. You could also test yourself with dictation exercises. This means recording yourself and writing down the words that you spoke using shorthand.

How do court reporters type so fast? ›

Stenographers are equipped with a unique keyboard called a “steno machine” that allows them to type faster than the speed of sound! Â Steno machines have fewer keys than a traditional QWERTY keyboard.

Why do court reporters wear a mask? ›

Today's stenomasks guarantees near-complete silence from the voice writer, thereby ensuring that courtroom proceedings are not interrupted. The voice writer, who holds the stenomask over the mouth when speaking, must ensure that everything in the courtroom is repeated as accurately as possible.

What is the dropout rate for court reporters? ›

In fact, less than 10% of stenographers who start court reporting school actually graduate.

Do court reporters have to type every word? ›

Courtroom reporters are responsible for transcribing every word in courtroom proceedings, along with nonverbal communications such as gestures and pauses. These professionals must keep up with the proceeding as it goes along, so typing accuracy and speed are key.

What are three important qualities that court reporters need? ›

Qualities to Expect in a Court Reporter
  • Professionalism. The first sign of a professional court reporter is the ability to arrive on time. ...
  • Confidentiality. ...
  • Impartiality. ...
  • Speed & Accuracy. ...
  • Quality Transcripts.
Mar 16, 2020

What are the cons of being a reporter? ›

Cons of being a journalist
  • Dangerous. While not always the case, journalism can sometimes be a dangerous career. ...
  • Competition. Journalism can be a competitive field, and finding the right opportunity can take patience and commitment. ...
  • Demanding. ...
  • Exposed.
Jan 26, 2023

What makes a good court reporter? ›

Accuracy is the number one quality needed to be a good Court Reporter. Court Reporters must pay attention to every detail that comes out of someone's mouth. It must be recorded accurately without mistakes.

Are court reporters smart? ›

These highly-skilled, intelligent people have an extensive knowledge of language, the terminology associated with numerous industries, and modern court reporting technology. The most critical aspect of a court reporter's job entails capturing dictation in shorthand on a stenotype machine.

What state pays court reporters the most? ›

Top-Paying States and Metro Areas for Court Reporters

According to the BLS, the top-paying states were: New York: $90,040. California: $87,750. Massachusetts: $79,720.

What kind of typewriter is used in court? ›

The stenotype machine (also called the stenograph), used by court reporters and transcriptionists, has a special keyboard with only 22 keys. The modern stenograph has two rows of keys on each side, which represent consonants, and 4 keys at the center, in front, with the vowels A, O, E and U.

What is the highest paid type of journalist? ›

High Paying Journalist Jobs
  • Financial Writer. Salary range: $49,000-$126,000 per year. ...
  • Magazine Writer. Salary range: $40,000-$124,500 per year. ...
  • Travel Journalist. Salary range: $39,500-$120,500 per year. ...
  • Political Reporter. ...
  • Newspaper Reporter. ...
  • Multimedia Journalist. ...
  • General Assignment Reporter. ...
  • Feature Reporter.

Can I learn stenography in 3 months? ›

Stenography is a skill that can be learned in 1-2 years.

Is it possible to learn stenography online? ›

Courses run all year, but there are also online shorthand and speedwriting courses. These courses suit those who prefer working from home. With Pitman, you can choose to learn shorthand anytime you like. Whether full-time or part-time, you enjoy a flexible schedule that suits your schedule.

Which college is best for stenographer? ›

Top colleges to study stenography:
  • Rajhans Commercial college.
  • Vocational Training Institute.
  • Modern College of Laxmibai Nagar, New Delhi.
  • International Women Polytechnic (IWP) (Delhi),

How many words a minute can a stenographer type? ›

This shortened style of writing and unique keyboard layout allow stenographers – or court reporters, as they are most commonly referred to – to type on average more than 200 words per minute. Some court reporters can type over 250 words per minute with very high rates of accuracy.

Is stenography a stressful job? ›

The level of stress one has really depends on two things: the amount of experience the stenographer has, and what kind of work the stenographer is stenographying (not a word). On average, this isn't the most stressful job in the world, but that doesn't mean it isn't without its less-than-stellar days.

What is the easiest shorthand system to learn? ›

There are many different alphabetic shorthands out there, such as Easyscript, Quickhand, Speedwriting, Briefhand, and each one has different rules for how you create the abbreviations. “Alphabetic shorthands are generally the easiest to learn, for these the most popular systems (here) are Forkner and Speedwriting.

How can I practice stenography at home? ›

Plan to devote two hours every day to learning stenography at home. This would be the same amount of time as a student taking the class at school, one hour of class time and one hour of practice at home. It will take about 10 months to learn Gregg Shorthand if two hours every day is devoted to study and practice.

Can you use a normal keyboard for stenography? ›

Thanks to modern keyboard technology, you don't need to buy a $3,000 steno machine in order to learn stenography. All you need is a modern keyboard that has N-Key Rollover (NKRO). Most gaming keyboards have this but we recommend the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 keyboard.

Is stenography outdated? ›

Even with advances in technology that many feared would make stenographers obsolete, in reality, it has widened the opportunities available. Captioning of real-time broadcasts and providing live transcripts to assist the hard-of-hearing are demanding services that only the most skilled professional can provide.

What do court reporters hold to their mouth? ›

A stenomask is a hand-held microphone built into a padded, sound-proof enclosure that fits over the speaker's mouth or nose and mouth.

What is the average speed of a court reporter? ›

Court reporters' fingers glide across their 23-button keyboards at a speed of up to 225 words per minute—a rate that's more than 60 percent faster than the average person can even speak.

What does a typical day look like for a court reporter? ›

Typical Court Reporter Duties

Attend courtroom proceedings and other proceedings to make verbatim official recordings and to record formal and/or informal meetings. Read back transcripts during trial and courtroom proceedings. Prepare transcripts according to standardized formats.

How do you type like a stenographer? ›

The trick is that you press each key separately and then press space bar to send the stroke. Usually a stenographer will press all keys together and release them together. Most QWERTY keyboards, however, are non-NKRO (N-key roll over), meaning only the first 6 keys held together will be noticed; later keys are ignored.

What are the 4 methods of court reporting? ›

And, there are four main methods to choose from: stenotype, voice writing, real-time reporting, and audio transcription. Let's start with the stenotype method. This involves using a special, stenotype machine to transcribe spoken words into written text.

What is the difference between a stenographer and a court reporter? ›

Beyond recording everything that the judge, jurors, clerk, bailiff, plaintiff, dependent, attorneys, and witnesses say, emote, or gesture, court reporters may assist attorneys and judges and organize research and information in the court records. Stenographers, on the other hand, often stick to transcription services.

Do court reporters still used steno machines? ›

Although today's court reporters may use a variety of advanced technologies to record written proceedings, stenography still remains the most widely used form, both in and out of the courtroom.

Why do court reporters still exist? ›

They are able to certify that the resulting transcript is true and correct according to what they heard and witnessed. Microphones paired with remote transcriptionists simply can't compete with this level of fidelity. And that is why live stenographers still and will continue to exist.

What is the highest dropout rate? ›

Dropout Rate by Race

In particular, American Indian/Alaska Native high school students have the highest high school dropout rate at 9.6% (NCES, 2021).

How many people are employed as court reporters in the US? ›

National estimates for Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners:
Employment (1)Employment RSE (3)Mean hourly wage
14,2402.5 %$ 33.79

What language do court reporters use? ›

Every court reporter must have an excellent command of the English language, a high attention to detail, and the ability to focus for long periods of time.

What do court reporters wear? ›

For male court reporters, a coat and tie and dress slacks are appropriate for court, and a tie and dress slacks for depositions. 3. Inappropriate dress includes casual sandals, canvas shoes, denim, khakis (in court), t-shirts, sweaters as a substitute for a jacket, low cut shirts and short skirts.

Do you have to be a good speller to be a court reporter? ›

In terms of academic skills, court reporters need expert English grammar and punctuation skills, a comprehensive understanding of courtroom procedures, and an extensive technical vocabulary. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and missed dialogue can ruin a report.

How do I become a successful court reporter? ›

Exhibit Excellent Grammar and Punctuation.

Although you are recording the exact words of someone else, you will be tasked with punctuating sentences and proofreading all transcripts. A good court reporter must have excellent grammar skills, as well as an exceptional understanding of the English language.

What happens if a court reporter misses something? ›

Because of the importance of accuracy, a court reporter who misses a word or phrase must interrupt the proceedings to have the words repeated. The court reporter may be asked by the judge to read aloud a portion of recorded testimony during the trial to refresh everyone's memory.

What is one interesting fact about a career as a court reporter? ›

They help keep a written record of everything that's said out loud in court so that the attorneys and judges involved can refer back to it later. While attorneys and judges get most of the credit for litigating cases, the court reporter ensures a fair trial.

How much do court reporters get paid near Minneapolis MN? ›

$47,402 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $82,702 is the 75th percentile.

How much does a journalist get paid near Minnesota? ›

The average Journalist salary in Minnesota is $45,119 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $39,461 and $51,738.

What is the difference between a court reporter and transcriptionist? ›

Transcribers provide a hard copy of dictation given to them by an attorney, while court reporters transcribe verbatim words spoken at actual court proceedings and in legal depositions.

What state pays news anchors the most? ›

Reporter Salary By State FAQs

The highest-paid state for reporters is New Jersey with an average salary of $57,516 per year. What city pays reporters the most? Washington, DC pays reporters the most with an average salary of $60,032 per year.

How much do court reporters make in Minnesota? ›

Average Minnesota Judicial Branch Reporter yearly pay in the United States is approximately $65,464, which is 39% above the national average.

Where do journalists make the most money? ›

1. New York
Total Journalist Jobs:661
Average Annual Salary:$79,214
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$49,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$127,000
Location Quotient:2.57 You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Apr 6, 2021

How do court transcribers type so fast? ›

Stenographers are equipped with a unique keyboard called a “steno machine” that allows them to type faster than the speed of sound! Â Steno machines have fewer keys than a traditional QWERTY keyboard.

What are three similar occupations to a court reporter? ›

Court Reporters - Similar Jobs
  • Legal Secretaries.
  • Paralegals.
  • Secretaries.
  • Court and License Clerks.
  • Medical Transcriptionists.

Do court reporters type every word? ›

Courtroom reporters are responsible for transcribing every word in courtroom proceedings, along with nonverbal communications such as gestures and pauses. These professionals must keep up with the proceeding as it goes along, so typing accuracy and speed are key.

What is the lady that types in court? ›

A court reporter, court stenographer, or shorthand reporter is a person whose occupation is to capture the live testimony in proceedings using a stenographic machine, thereby transforming the proceedings into an official certified transcript by nature of their training, certification, and usually licensure.


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5. Senate Floor Session - 01/04/2023
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6. University of Minnesota Board of Regents Meeting - Dec. 11, 2020


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