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Court Reporter Jobs and Training Opportunities in Florida

Florida ranked third in the nation in terms of the number of court reporters the state employs, and fifth in the nation for its concentration of court reporter jobs in urban centers. From Jacksonville and Miami to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando, there are several court systems that support jobs for court reporters in Florida.

Although there is no current state-issued license to practice as a court reporter in the state, the Florida Supreme Court has written legislation regarding the creation of a Certified Court Reporter designation and a Florida Court Reporter Certification Board.

Regardless of the absence of a mandatory certification/licensure program for court reporters in the State of Florida, there are a number of steps that you should take if you want to pursue a career in the field of court reporting in Florida:

Complete a Formal Court Reporter Program
Pass the Florida Professional Reporters Certification
Get to Work and Maintain your Florida Certification

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Formal Court Reporter Program

A formal education is a necessary component for beginning a career as a court reporter. But the type of education you choose will be largely dependent upon the school through which the court reporter program is offered. For example, community colleges may offer associate degrees in court reporting, while technical schools and dedicated court reporter schools may offer professional certificates or diplomas.

Many programs adhere to the National Court Reporters Association’s (NCRA) General Requirements and Minimum Standards (GRMS), which was established by the Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).

In general, court reporter programs allow students to earn credit hours for court reporting in machine shorthand, pass dictation tests with an accuracy of at least 95 percent, and pass courses in:

  • Communications/language and writing
  • Word processing
  • Medical terminology
  • Foundations of law
  • Court reporting transcript preparation
  • Court reporting procedures
  • Vocabulary and usage
  • Captioning

Programs may also include a comprehensive internship program and preparation for NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification.

Explore Other Education Options Related to Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Here you’ll find schools that offer certificate and degree programs well suited to a career in legal assisting, law office management and the paralegal profession.

 


 

Step 2. Pass the Florida Professional Reporters Certification

The Florida Court Reporters Association’s (FCRA) Florida Professional Reporters Certification is a mandatory program, due to the absence of licensure requirements in Florida. More than 950 people have received their Florida Professional Reporters (FPR) Certification since the program was initiated.

The court reporter certification program is achieved by attending the one-day Florida Rules and Ethics Certification Seminar. At the conclusion of the seminar, you will have the opportunity to take the certification exam. A score of 80 percent of better is considered passing, and you will be awarded your Florida Professional Reporter certificate.

Note: You must show proof of the completion of your graduation from a court reporting school to receive the certification.

You can use the FCRA website to register for the exam and to view upcoming exam dates and locations.

 


 

Step 3. Get to Work and Maintain your Florida Certification

Certified Florida court reporters must complete at least 3 continuing education units on December 31 on a triennial basis to maintain their FPR certification. The Florida Court Reporters Association is an excellent resource for achieving continuing education units and for networking with other professional court reporters in Florida.

Membership in the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) may provide you with a wealth of information regarding professional opportunities, networking opportunities, and employment opportunities. The NCRA also provides many continuing education programs and courses for members.

Professional opportunities in court reporting may be achieved either through the Florida’s court system or through private court reporting agencies:

 


 

Florida Court Reporting Salary

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that Florida is a good state for seeking employment as a court reporter or stenographer.  By these two measures, it rated in the top five of all states in 2012:

  • Level of employment:  3rd highest
  • Concentration of jobs:  5th highest

Two metropolitan areas of Florida have the ninth highest indicators of employment:

  • Orlando:  employment level
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton:  concentration of jobs

The Florida Department of Education’s career profile website indicated that the annual growth rate of this profession will be 37% a year.  They project that ten of the state’s workforce regions will have growth rates of over 20% with some being as high as 67-68%.

In 2012, the 1510 court reporters employed in Florida earned an average annual salary of $37,760 according to the BLS.  Those in the top ten of their field made $65,470 a year.

The 2012 salary data for selected cities are shown below:

Florida City
Average Annual Salary
Jacksonville
$22910
Miami-Fort Lauderdale
$32400
Tallahassee
$53480
Tampa-St. Petersburg
$39380

According to the Florida Department of Education, 16% of court reporters worked for the state.  2013 salary ranges are available for court reporters who worked for the State of Florida.  There are two levels of this position that pay the following:

  • Level 2: $25,774 – $70,999
  • Level 3: $30,622 – $88,572

In contrast, 70% of Florida’s court reporters worked for business support services such as court reporting firms.

The BLS has a detailed profile of salary information for court reporters in a number of cities in Florida as shown below:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Jacksonville FL
estimate not released
22910
Lakeland-Winter Haven FL
estimate not released
31740
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach FL
500
32400
Naples-Marco Island FL
estimate not released
36620
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL
240
49990
Tallahassee FL
40
53480
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL
estimate not released
39380
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan Division
160
20610

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