Being so close to the nation’s capital has truly benefited Maryland and the legal professionals in the state. Professionals in the state, including court reporters, enjoy above average earnings. For example, court reporters in the Washington D.C. suburb of Bethesda earn an average of over $56,000 per year.
The steps to become a court reporter in Maryland include:
Due to the large amount of legal work to be had in the state, court reporters in Maryland must be sure to maintain the most professional work ethic possible. Reputation in the state means a lot, and in such a small state, word travels quickly. Some pointers for maintaining a spotless reputation as a court reporter in Maryland include:
- Always how up early for jobs
- Maintain strict impartiality
- If conflicts of interest arise, notify all parties immediately
- Maintain a professional demeanor
- Be strong willed during emotional, humorous, or other unexpected testimony.
In Maryland you must be certified as a court reporter if you wish to work as an employee of the Maryland judiciary. There are no specific certification requirements instituted by the judiciary, rather you may be certified by any certification body that the judiciary recognizes.
Despite the lack of specificity as it relates to which certification is best in order to become a court reporter, there are certain steps to follow in order to meet the state requirements.
Step 1. Earn an Associate’s Degree or Diploma in Court Reporting in Maryland
There are a number of diploma and degree programs available through court reporter schools in the state of Maryland which will provide you with the education and training you need in order to become a court reporter.
Being a court reporter is a skill that can involve anything from active listening, to shorthand, to typing. Graduating from a court reporter program is the best way to prepare yourself for the career.
Step 2. Take the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) or Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) Exam
The Maryland Court Reporting Manual refers to a certification recognized “by the chief judge of the Court of Appeals” as being the standard for certification in the state. There are two associations which are recognized across the country. One is the National Court Reporters Association, which has a certification called the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification. The other is the National Verbatim Reporters Association which has a certification called the Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) certification. You should investigate both of these programs and choose the one which best fits your personality and career aspirations.
Step 3. Find Employment as a Court Reporter in Maryland
There are a number of ways to look for work as a court reporter in the Maryland. Some of the best are:
- Put a profile on StenoSearch – Maryland
Apply with private court reporter companies such as:
Apply with courthouses in Maryland such as:
Step 4. Maintain Licensure, Seek Higher Certification, and Affiliate in Maryland
In order to maintain your licensure with the NCRA and the NVRA you will need to keep up with your continuing education requirements. Both organizations require you to have a certain number of CE credits every three years. The NVRA requirement is 30, while the NCRA requirement is 3. Be sure to maintain these requirements in order to avoid losing your certification.
It is a good idea to dedicate yourself to continuing to increase your skillset and marketability by continuing to seek higher levels of certification. Both the NVRA and the NCRA have 3 levels of certification. Because the majority of people can find employment with just the basic level of certification, they may not feel the need to continue seeking higher certifications. This may give you the competitive advantage if you decide to seek higher certifications.
Finally, being a court reporter in Maryland means that you have the opportunity to be part of a real community. It is a good idea to join the Maryland Court Reporters Association in order to stay in touch with the local court reporter community, and to make your voice heard in matters which pertain to court reporters in Maryland.
Read the Maryland Court Reporting Manual. Though this manual mostly refers to working as a court reporter in an official capacity with the state judiciary, it is an invaluable resource if you are looking to get into court reporting in the state.
Maryland Court Reporting Salary
Maryland has very high levels of court reporter and stenographer employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012 it had the highest rate in the country of the following two employment measures:
- Level of employment: 2340
- Concentration of jobs: 0.93 per 1000 jobs
The concentration of court reporter jobs in Maryland was over three times higher than that of the next highest state. In particular, Salisbury had the highest concentration of court reporting jobs of any city in the U.S.
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has provided projections of the predicted job growth for court reporting jobs in the Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) of the state from 2010-2020. They are listed below, along with highest WIA median wage and employment level:
- Anne Arundel County – 32.4%
- Baltimore City – 20%
- Baltimore County – 40.3%
- Frederick County – 84%
- Lower Shore – 55.6%
- Mid-Maryland – 32.7%
- Montgomery County – 1.4%
- Prince George’s County – 32.8% (Highest employment level in 2011)
- Southern Maryland – 33.7%
- Susquehanna – 32.6%
- Upper Shore – 36.4% (Highest median wage in 2011)
- Western Maryland – 31.7%
Most of these predicted employment opportunities are projected to come from the replacement of workers who will leave the workforce during this ten year period.
The BLS provides salary information about court reporters in Maryland. In 2012, the average salary was $39,990 while those in the top ten percent of the salary range made $51,500 a year. Salaries for selected cities are shown below:
A detailed breakdown of Maryland court reporter salaries by percentile (hourly and annual) for a number of areas of Maryland is available from the BLS. It is shown in the following table: