Becoming a South Carolina Court Reporter

How to Become a South Carolina
Court Reporter

Have you ever considered becoming a South Carolina court reporter?  Maybe you’re planning your first career.  Maybe you’re ready for a new one. You have a great vocabulary and a command of punctuation. You’re prompt, friendly, and a good communicator. You don’t mind stress.  You’ve watched this great video from Project Steno on Your Life as a Court Reporter.  If this is the case, CompuScripts can show you how to make it happen.  

Assess Your Talents

The first step to becoming a South Carolina court reporter is to assess your talents, skills, and personality. You must have a broad general vocabulary and a love of language mechanics. You must be comfortable in an office environment and with technology.  CourtReporterEDU lists additional traits.  First, you must be able to maintain confidentiality.  Next, you must be able to keep your emotions in check.  Finally, you must be able to remain impartial during legal proceedings.  And if you’re still not sure, try the National Court Reporters Association’s A to Z Online Program!  This is a free six-week course designed as an introduction to the court reporting field.

Recognize the Need
for South Carolina Court Reporters

Whether you’re planning your first career or your fourth, recognizing where the need exists for your talents is important.  Currently, there is a shortage of South Carolina court reporters. Thus, South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty has ordered several counties to use digital court recording systems.  The Charleston Post and Courier reports that there are currently 36 job openings within the South Carolina Judicial System.  Consequently, many cases are left in limbo for months. Even court reporters who work outside the court system are feeling the need for help. One Lowcountry court reporter reports regular requests for double, triple, and quadruple job bookings in a single day.  Therefore, with fewer new South Carolina court reporters, “…the pressure’s on all of us,” she said.

Coursework

High School Coursework

You know yourself, and you know the need. If you want to become a South Carolina court reporter, you can start planning as early as middle school. The South Carolina Department of Education directs that students choose a career path at the end of middle school. Students, parents, and guidance counselors then develop an  Individual Graduation Plan.  Most importantly, the IGP helps students match their coursework with their career goals. If you are  interested in becoming a South Carolina court reporter, you follow the Business, Management, and Administration pathway.  Therefore, you choose electives such as science for the technologies, technical writing, and business and electronic communication.

Professional Coursework

Following high school, you will need to seek additional education in an approved court reporting program. While The National Court Reporters Association does not certify schools, they do publish a list of court reporting schools that have been accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. A state-by-state list of accredited programs that are committed to excellence in realtime court reporter education can be found on the NCRA website.

Acquire Your Certification

Once you complete your education, you may choose to receive professional certification in the court reporting field. A South Carolina court reporter will first test as a Registered Professional Reporter. To pass the RPR exam, you must pass a multiple choice Written Knowledge Test.  Next comes a skills test that evaluates accuracy and speed in writing. Once you gain more experience in court reporting, you may test for additional levels of certification.

Choose an Agency

When you’re finally ready to begin work as a South Carolina Court reporter, choosing an agency to work with is important. CompuScripts Court Reporting has a top-notch group of reporters who work with us in South Carolina.  Besides that, we’re always looking for reporters to network with us across the nation.  So when you’re ready, contact CompuScripts to begin your career as a South Carolina court reporter!