Court Reporter Jobs and Training Opportunities in Hawaii

Court reporters provide their valuable services on all islands, and at all judicial levels in Hawaii. Regulated and certified by the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters, these specialists must go through a specific process to become legally able to practice in the state, and must additionally meet certain minimum qualifications.

Learn how to become a court reporter in Hawaii by following these steps:

Meet the Prerequisites in Hawaii
Become a Registered Professionals Reporter (RPR) with the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
Choose to Work in Hawaii as a Freelancer or Directly with the Judiciary
Apply with the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters
Renew your Certification in Hawaii as Needed
Working in Hawaii

Court reporter jobs in Hawaii are available in the following jurisdictions:

  • Supreme Court in Honolulu
  • Intermediate Court of Appeals in Honolulu
  • Circuit, Family, and District Court Divisions as follows:
    • Oahu – First Circuit
    • Maui – Second Circuit
    • Hawaii – Third Circuit
    • Kauai – Fifth Circuit



Step 1. Meeting the Prerequisites in Hawaii

You will need to get some basic things out of the way before you can begin court reporter training in Hawaii. The two agencies you will be working with – the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and the State Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters – maintain similar general eligibility requirements.

The license requirements in Hawaii include:

  • Being a good and moral individual
  • Having a high school diploma or an equivalent
  • Passing the NCRA’s Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Exam

The NCRA maintains a country-wide list of educational programs it certifies which prepare students to pass the RPR exam. Besides locations in Washington, Oregon, and California, there are also some online court reporting schools available to residents of Hawaii.

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.

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Step 2. Passing the NCRA’s Registered Professionals Reporter (RPR) Certification Exam

The NCRA’s RPR certification exam consists of two parts: a Written Knowledge Test (WKT) and a skills test. You can register for both of these online, and because they are separate tests you will need to register for each individual test.

The WKT is a 105-minute multiple-choice test comprised of 115 questions covering:

  • Professional practices
  • Reporting practices
  • Technology

The skills test is an evaluation of your words-per-minute (wpm) speed and transcription abilities divided into four parts:

  • Literary at 180 wpm
  • Testimony Q&A at 225 wpm
  • Jury Charge at 200 wpm
  • 75 minutes to transcribe notes from these sections with a 95 percent accuracy rate



Step 3. Choosing to Work in Hawaii as a Freelancer or with the Judiciary

Once you have been certified by the NCRA as an RPR your focus should return to the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters and your remaining requirements for certification in the state. If you plan to work directly with the Judiciary you can skip this portion and move on to Step Four. However if you plan to work as a freelance court reporter you will need to be a resident of Hawaii or maintain a local address here, and hold a notary bond. To become a notary in Hawaii:

  • Fill out a notary application
  • Pay a $10 application fee
  • Pay a $10 exam fee
  • Pass a notary examination, for which the Attorney General’s Office provides a study manual for $3.00
  • Pay a $40 issuance fee if you are approved
  • Obtain a $1,000 surety bond from an insurance company to the satisfaction of the state



Step 4. Applying with the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters

You will now be eligible to complete an application for registration with the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters. This includes:

  • Application
  • Proof of certification by the NCRA
  • $125 application fee
  • Passing a written knowledge test on Hawaii that includes:
    • Hawaiian language vocabulary
    • Geographic facts about the island
    • State history and trivia (state flag, bird, motto, mammal, etc)



Step 5. Renewing Your Certifications in Hawaii

You will have two certifications to keep track of – your NCRA and Board of Certified Court Reporters – plus a surety insurance policy if you are a freelance court reporter. With the aim of keeping the certification renewal process as simple as possible, the Board has mandated the following requirements:

  • License renewal fee of $50 due every year by January 31st
  • Completion of 3 continuing education units (CEUs) every three-year cycle, coinciding with this same requirement for renewing the NCRA RPR certification
  • Maintenance of the RPR certification, which requires the following:
    • Membership with the NCRA, $260 per year as a Participating Member
    • $25 annual certification renewal fee
    • CEU requirement: 3 units per three-year cycle. Can be fulfilled concurrently with the Board’s CEU requirement



Step 6. Working in Hawaii

Court reporter jobs in Hawaii can be found across the state wherever there is a courtroom or court-related proceeding. A good starting place to find vacant positions is with the State Judiciary’s job opportunities webpage. The Hawaii Court Reporters & Captioners Association (HCRCA) is also a good resource for any of the following:

  • Networking with colleagues
  • Keeping up on the latest legislation regarding court reporters in the state
  • Professional development
  • Information about upcoming local continuing education opportunities

Prominent employers in the state include:



Hawaii Court Reporting Salary

The number of people employed in the legal professions in Hawaii is expected to increase by 6.9% in the period from 2010 to 2020 based on projections by the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.  Growth is expected to be even higher in the following counties:

  • Hawaii County – 8.7%
  • Kauai County – 14.5%
  • Maui County – 11.1%

According to Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, the average annual salary of a court reporter in the state in 2011 was $49,629.  In 2013, a court reporter II position for Honolulu, O’ahu paid $49,932 a year.

The duties of a court reporter II include the following:

  • Taking verbatim records of court proceedings
  • Transcribing and certifying typewritten transcripts

Requirements include being able to take verbatim dictation at the following speeds (words per minute):

  • Question and answer testimony – 225
  • Jury charges – 200
  • Literacy – 180

In addition, applicants to work for the State Judiciary must have been certified by the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters.

Another source of employment for court reporters or stenographers in Hawaii is with the private court reporting firms that contract out their services to attorneys and businesses.  A number of court reporters provide closed captioning services for those who are hard of hearing.  A partial list of these firms that operate in Hawaii include the following:

  • Barrett Reporting
  • Carnazzo Court Reporting Company, Ltd.
  • KLW Reporters
  • Ralph Rosenberg Court Reporters

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