Idaho’s legal system reflects the fact that it’s the twelfth least populous and the seventh least densely populated state, with relatively few cases and most of the action concentrated in the municipal courts for the major cities of Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Meridian, Pocatello, Nampa, Sun Valley, Sandpoint, Moscow and Lewiston.
The state ranks favorably in legal matters overall, which also means less court reporting work; the violent crime rate of 2.3 incidents per 1,000 people in 2020 is way below the national average, and the Institute for Legal Reform ranks the state ninth in the nation for relatively low levels of litigation, so you don’t see a lot of civil casework and related depositions, either.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no demand for court reporters. A 2019 report from Boise’s KTVB found that more court reporters in Idaho have been hitting retirement age in recent years, and courts have been having difficulty filling the open positions they leave behind.
Step in to fill one of those positions and you’ll earn the respect of the community while making a respectable living. And it takes just four simple steps to get there:
|Familiarize Yourself with the Minimum Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Idaho
|Become a Certified Court Reporter
|Pay the Appropriate Fees and Maintain your Certification
|Go to Work as a Court Reporter in Idaho
Court reporter jobs in Idaho are found in all judiciaries, the largest of which include:
- Supreme Court of Appeals in Boise
- Seventh Judicial District Court in Idaho Falls
- Third Judicial District Court in Nampa
- Sixth Judicial District Court in Pocatello
- Fourth Judicial District Court in Meridian
Step 1. Familiarize Yourself with the Minimum Requirements to Become a Court Reporter in Idaho
The Idaho Certified Shorthand Reporters Board is the agency responsible for certifying court reporters throughout the state. In addition to providing its own certification process, the Board has reciprocity recognition of certifications obtained through the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
Whichever path to certification you choose, you will need to meet certain minimum requirements and ultimately gain the approval of the Board
You will also need to pass an exam sponsored by the NCRA or the Certified Shorthand Reporters Board.
The NCRA has identified a number of approved court reporter schools in Idaho that offer campus-based and online prep courses for these exams. Approved programs include certificate and diploma programs at specialized court reporter schools as well as two-year associate’s degree programs offered at community colleges.
Step 2. Become a Certified Court Reporter
At this point you will need to decide which agency you’re going to be earning your initial certification through – either the Idaho Certified Shorthand Reporters Board or the NCRA. Either way you will end up needing to pass a final skills and knowledge exam before becoming certified:
The Idaho Certified Shorthand Reporters Board recognizes four certifications offered by the NCRA:
- Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
- Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
- Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
- Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR)
The RPR is generally considered the standard in the field for entry-level proficiency.
You can register for the exams required to earn any of these credentials through the NCRA’s Certification Testing Center.
Once you pass your exam you can register with the Certified Shorthand Reporters Board and become eligible to work as a court reporter in the state. The Board designs its tests to cover essentially the same material as the NCRA’s certification exams.
Certified Shorthand Reporters Board Exam
This exam is offered twice a year in March and September. It’s based on the NCRA examinations, and covers:
- Multiple-choice knowledge portion
- Skills portion testing words-per-minute speeds for the following categories, which must be passed with at least a 95 percent rate of accuracy:
- Jury Charge – 200 wpm
- Literary – 180 wpm
- Q&A – 225
You can apply for the exam by submitting a notarized application to the Board through the Bureau of Occupational Licenses in Boise.
You also have the option of becoming temporarily certified if you submit an application to the Board through the Bureau of Occupational Licenses. This requires you to meet ONE of the following conditions:
- You are registered as a court reporter in another state
- You have graduated from a court reporter training program approved by the NCRA
- You have previously passed the final exam for one of the four NCRA-approved certification programs (RMR, RPR, CRR, RDR)
After one year you will need to meet certain conditions to be eligible to renew your temporary license for a maximum of one year.
Final Certification Process
Last but certainly not least, you will need to apply for final certification with the Idaho Certified Shorthand Reporters Board to become a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR).
Whether you have been certified through the NCRA or passed the Board’s exam, you will need to send this application to the Board for final processing through the Bureau of Occupational and Professional Licenses in Boise.
Upon final approval, you will receive your official CSR document if you have met all the license requirements.
Step 3. Pay the Appropriate Fees and Maintain your Certification
You will need to renew your CSR certificate with the Certified Shorthand Reporters Board once each year before your license expires. The fastest way to do this is online.
Continuing court reporter training or education is not required in Idaho.
The following are the fees associated with becoming a CSR in Idaho:
- Board exam – $50
- Preparation material – $20
- NCRA exam –
- Member: $300
- CSR application fee – $50
- Temporary permit application – $50
- Renewal fee – $75
Step 4. Go to Work as a Court Reporter in Idaho
Court reporters in Idaho can potentially find employment anywhere that court services are provided. Joining a professional organization like the Idaho Court Reporters Association (ICRA) can provide you with several advantages, including:
- Employment opportunities
- Notification about changes in the laws governing court reporters
- Networking opportunities
- Information on additional certification and educational opportunities
Prominent court reporting agencies and employers in Idaho include:
- Q&A Court Reporting
- T & T Reporting
- M & M Idaho Court Reporting Services
Idaho Court Reporting Salary
Although there are not a lot of court reporters in Idaho–only around 50 as of 2019 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics—they earn good money compared to the state median salary, with the average working out to $27.41 per hour, or around $57,020 each year.
The rate is a mixed blessing, however, as it tends to remain fairly flat for reporters across the spectrum of experience.
BLS does not break down salaries by city or region within the state, but it’s likely you can improve your pay range somewhat by looking to larger cities, such as Boise, where greater demand and more legal action tend to push compensation higher.
Annual Salaries For Court Reporters in Idaho
- Median – $57,020
- More experienced – $57,030
- Certified and experienced – $57,030
Hourly Wages For Court Reporters in Idaho
- Median – $27.41
- More experienced – $27.42
- Certified and experienced – $27.42
*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.
All salary and employment data accessed June 2020.