It’s bad news when a court reporter ends up directly involved in a court case, but that’s unfortunately the case in a recent murder investigation in Meriden, halfway between New Haven and Hartford. Perrie Mason, with a name made for legal work and a job as a court reporter for the state, went missing in August of 2019 after an argument with her boyfriend. Days later, her battered body was discovered near a textile recycling facility… which also happened to be her boyfriend’s place of employment.
Although other reporters in the state will mourn the loss of one of their own, they will also continue to exercise their duties with impartiality and respect… even in the upcoming case where Mason’s accused killer is brought to trial.
Because it’s a small state, Connecticut has a small community of court reporters. The average annual salary of $55,930, or about $26.89 per hour, is slightly lower than the national average for the role, but life in the Nutmeg State is compensation in itself for those lucky enough to live here.
The Connecticut State Board of Shorthand Reporters licenses court reporters in the state. Follow these steps to learn how to earn your license:
|Complete a Court Reporter Degree/Certificate Program|
|Take the Connecticut Exam for Licensure|
|Apply for Connecticut Licensure|
|Get to Work in Connecticut and Maintain your License|
Step 1. Complete a Court Reporter Degree/Certificate Program
A court reporter program may be in the form of an associate’s degree or certificate program through a technical school or dedicated court reporter school. A comprehensive court reporter program should include training on the preparation of verbatim transcripts, thereby ensuring an accurate, secure and complete legal record.
Study in a court reporter program may include:
- Realtime technology
- Legal terminology
- Medical terminology
- Courtroom procedures
- Computer-aided transcription
- Computer-compatible stenograph theory
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certifies court reporter schools that adhere to the General Requirements and Minimum Standards established by the Council on Approved Student Education. Only those schools deemed NCRA certified meet these minimum standards.
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. Take the Connecticut Exam for Licensure
You must take and pass the Connecticut exam for licensure before you apply for licensure. Registration dates, upcoming test dates, test sites, and online registration can all be found on the Connecticut Court Reporter’s (CCRA) website.
The Connecticut exam consists of two portions: the written exam and the skills exam. The fee for the exam is $50 for CCRA members and $100 for non-members.
- The Written Knowledge Test (WKT) consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
You will be given 60 minutes for the WKT and you must pass with a minimum score of 70.
- The Skills Section includes two tests:
- Two Q&As, two-voice testimony at 225 wpm
- Two literaries at 180 wpm
- Two jury charges at 200 wpm
You will be given 75 minutes per skills section, and you must pass with an accuracy of 95 percent.
You do not need to pass all four sections of the exam in one sitting. All test results are available on the CCRA website within 30 days of the exam through a private login.
Note: The Board also offers reciprocity with the NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter certification and any state whose test the Board deems “substantially similar” to the RPR.
Step 3. Apply for Connecticut Licensure
Upon passing all four sections of the Connecticut licensure examination, you must apply for licensure by completing the Shorthand Reporter Application, including a check or money order in the amount of $290 (made payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut), and mailing the application to:
Department of Consumer Protection
License Services Division
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Step 4. Get to Work in Connecticut and Maintain your License
Court reporters in Connecticut may work in Connecticut’s court system, which includes:
Or through a private court reporting agency, such as:
- Niziankiewicz & Miller, East Hartford
- Bridgeport Court Reporter, Bridgeport
- Scribes, Inc., New Haven
- Toby Feldman Inc., nationwide
Court reporter state licenses in Connecticut are renewed on a triennial basis. Licensure renewal requires the renewal of your RPR Certification and the completion of at least 10 hours of continuing education courses every year, or 30 hours during the three-year licensure period, which ends on December 31st. The cost for licensure renewal is $150.
Connecticut Court Reporting Salary
As of 2019, according to the state Department of Labor, there were about 150 court reporters employed statewide in Connecticut. Through a combination of new job creation and turnover in existing positions as reporters transition to retirement, around 10 openings are expected each year around the state.
And while the state average salary doesn’t quite beat the national average, reporters with more advanced education, certification, and experience can make nearly $70,000 per year, or $33.16 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide a breakdown for salaries in different areas of the state, but it’s common for reporters to make higher than average salaries in more heavily urbanized areas, so the New Haven and Hartford areas are likely to have both more job openings and better compensation rates.
Annual Salaries For Court Reporters in Connecticut
- Median – $55,930
- More experienced – $60,270
- Certified and experienced – $68,970
Hourly Wages For Court Reporters in Connecticut
- Median – $26.89
- More experienced – $28.97
- Certified and experienced – $33.16
*Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2019. Figures represent accumulated data for all employment sectors in which court reporters work. BLS salary data represents state and MSA (metropolitan statistical area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries.
2019 job growth projections from the Connecticut Department of Labor are aggregated through the U.S. Department of Labor-Sponsored resource, Projections Central. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
All salary and employment data accessed June 2020.