Georgia residents with an interest in becoming courtroom reporters tend to have quite a few questions about the field and the nature of the work. Overwhelmingly, however, what most of these hopefuls want to know is how to get started in court reporting. As with most worthwhile ventures, the answer to that question is through formal education.
The type and level of education you will need, however, will vary according to the exact job you wish to have in the field. For some, a simple associate’s degree or even a training program is enough, while others will require more extensive schooling. The important thing is that you find the right school to match up to your career goals.
One of the top schools for court reporting in the state is the Brown College of Court Reporting, which is located in Atlanta. This is the only school in the state that focuses only on court reporting educations and careers.
Most other institutions offer a variety of programs, but this school is fully committed to court reporting. In fact, it is so prestigious that it is even certified by the National Court Reporters Association. If at all possible, you will want to make this school your top choice.
Whether you get your education from the Brown College of Court Reporting or from somewhere else, you will still have to be licensed in order to legally work as a court reporter in the state. Licensure requires the passing of two tests, referred to as the A and B certification tests.
These tests are made up of questions related to three skill areas, which are testimony, literary charge, and jury charge. Those seeking licensure must also pass a written test. With Test A, required speeds are 225 for testimony, 200 for jury charge, and 180 for literary charge.
For the B test, the speeds are 200 for testimony, 180 for jury charge, and 160 for literary charge. In order to achieve licensure, those taking the test must receive at least 96 percent accuracy and 85 percent on the written examination.
Once you have both your licensure and your education, then and only then are you ready to go out and start looking for jobs. This is a great time for you to get in touch with the career center at the educational institution where you earned your degree.
Typically, these centers will have excellent resources to help you find and acquire work in your field. If these options are not available to you, then you can search online and through local listings for jobs matching your qualifications. In many cases, obtaining additional, optional certifications, ideally ones that are specifically related to the area of court reporting in which you wish to work, can be a great way to increase your chances of employment.
They can also boost your starting salary and position as well, so they are definitely worth your while in the long run.