There are three different kinds of court reporters in Massachusetts:
- Stenographers input what was stated during a hearing to a stenotype machine
- Electronic reporters produce a written copy of stenotype transcripts
- Voice writers record real-time information.
Court reporting in Massachusetts offers you a wide array of career options and opportunities.
To date, there is no state license needed to get in order to be able to work as a court reporter in Massachusetts. However, national certification is recognized and you will be required to become a notary public.
To become a court reporter in Massachusetts, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow:
|Get The Right Training in Massachusetts|
|Become a Massachusetts Notary Public|
|Look for Job Opportunities in Massachusetts|
|Maintain Certification in Massachusetts|
Being a court reporter is challenging, but technology has made this job easier and more efficient. Still – no matter how advanced a machine may be, it will always lack human intuition. Speech is similar to fingerprinting since every spoken statement is said in different pitch, cadence, accent and can have a different interpretation based on regional dialect.
Among the things that court reporters in Massachusetts are responsible for are:
- Oath administration
- Making a verbatim transcript that is accurate
- Marking and Identifying exhibits
- Rereading the testimonies during the court proceeds when requested
- Translating statements when requested
- Real-time depositions
- Depositions of videotapes
- Depositions of video or telephone conferences
Step 1. Get The Right Training in Massachusetts
There are a lot of schools in Massachusetts that offer programs vital to beginning a court reporting career. Earning a diploma or degree through a comprehensive training program is the surest way to develop the skills needed to perform the job.
Some court reporter concentrations in Massachusetts include:
Sometimes, it takes years to learn the techniques used in stenographic typing. Computer Aided Transcription (CAT) is computer software that a stenographer must master.
Many colleges in Massachusetts offer courses for stenographic court reporting. These programs are highly recommended by the National Court Reporter’s Association (NCRA).
The NCRA requires that a person must get an average of 255 words per minute on the speed writing test to pass the stenograph machine training.
- Voice writing
A lot of school programs offer programs in voice recording techniques. Though voice writing doesn’t require you to specialize in writing shorthand, it is still important to the profession.
National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) requires you to get a result of 225 words per minute on a dictation speed test to pass the voice writing equipment training.
- Electronic reporting
As an electronic reporter you’ll need to familiarize yourself with reporting software and different digital recording formats. Specialized skills in electronic transcription can be learned at a court reporter career training school.
The certification for electronic reporting is given by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT).
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. Become a Massachusetts Notary Public
The state of Massachusetts requires its court reporters to be a notary public. To become a notary public you have to:
- Provide a certificate of completion with any Massachusetts Notary Training Course
- Provide a filled out copy of the notary public application. You can find the notary public application online.
- Get a lawyer and three residents of Massachusetts that are at least 18 years old, to endorse your notary public application
- Send your application to
Notary Public Dept.
State House, Room 184
Boston, MA 02133
It takes two-three weeks for the application to process. You will then receive further instructions.
Step 3. Look for Job Opportunities in Massachusetts
There are a lot of ways to get a court reporting job in Massachusetts. Here are some of the ways:
- Check the NCRA’s Massachusetts employment page
- Check the classified ads on the MCRA
- Check for job postings online
- Check for job postings with the courts, such as:
- Massachusetts Trial Court
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
- Massachusetts Appeals Court
- Create an account in Linkedin or other job-seeker sites and have companies see your application.
- Check some listings on companies like
Step 4. Maintain Certification in Massachusetts
After you have entered into the profession of court reporting, you will want to be sure to maintain your certification. This means completing your continuing education requirement with the association by which you were certified. Both the NCRA and NVRA have a 3 year period for CE requirements, with the NCRA requiring 3 in that period, and the NVRA requiring 30. It is essential that you meet these CE requirements in order to be able to maintain your certification.
Massachusetts Court Reporting Salary
According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the field of court reporting is growing in the state. They project an 11.27% increase in the number of jobs from 2010 to 2020.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides salary and employment data for the 140 court reporters who worked in Massachusetts in 2012. Information on wages is shown below:
In 2012, over half of the state’s court reporters were located in the Boston area.
Court reporters use verbatim methods to document pretrial and trail proceedings. This field includes stenographers who use computerized captioning equipment to provide captions of broadcasts to help those who are impaired in their hearing.
A major employer of court reporters throughout the US is state government. In Massachusetts, the courts are organized by county. They are state agencies, however, and are supervised by the Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court.
A number of court reporters work for private firms that provide reporting of depositions and trial proceedings. Massachusetts contains a number of court reporting firms. A partial list is shown below:
- A-Plus Court Reporting
- Capital Reporting Company
- Catuogno Court Reporting
- Eyal Court Reporting
- Farmer Arsenault Brock LLC
- McCarthy Reporting
- O’Brien & Levine
- Philbin & Associates
- Shea Court Reporting
- Sterling Court Reporters
- Todd Olivas & Associates
Salary information for all types of court reporters is available from the BLS. They provide a detailed breakdown of wages and employment levels for various locations in Massachusetts in the following table: