Being a court reporter in the state of Michigan means you may be called upon to record the proceedings of a murder trial, document a corporate scandal, or produce a transcript for a deposition hearing.
In order to become a court reporter in Michigan, review the following steps:
Court reporters in Michigan work both in and out of the courts. The popular image of a court reporter is someone who uses a stenotype machine, fingers typing a thousand miles per minute, while they record every word said in a court hearing. That is only partially true. With the advent of more passive recording technology, such as hard disk digital recording, the field of court reporting has changed forever. Now a court reporter in Michigan may use various means to record a court hearing or legal proceeding.
An example of the importance of the job done by court reporters in the state of Michigan can be seen in the bankruptcy proceedings of the City of Detroit. Because of the high profile of the bankruptcy filing, the number of officials involved, the amount of money and debt involved, and the political nature of the filing, there is sure to be a lengthy legal fight surrounding the filing. As the process works its way through the courts the numerous depositions, court appearances, and testimonies, are likely to be reviewed by all parties involved, including judges and government officials. In this way, the court record is vitally important.
Michigan does not require you to be licensed in order to operate as a court reporter in the state. However, in order to work as a court reporter in Michigan State courts, you must pass a state examination. You can also choose to work away from court in private companies without licensure.
Step 1. Earn a Degree or Diploma in Court Reporting in Michigan
A number of colleges and technical institutions in Michigan serve as court reporting schools and offer training programs that go by titles such as:
- Advanced Court Reporting
- Technical Court Reporting
- Associates of Science in Court Reporting
- Associates in Stenography
You’ll need to obtain a degree in court reporting in order to develop all the skills and knowledge needed to qualify for certification, and to ultimately perform your job well.
Step 2. Take the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) or Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) Exam
There are two main court reporting industry associations in the United States. The National Court Reporters Association has a certification titled the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification. This certification is usually more applicable if you want to go into stenography or shorthand reporting.
If you are looking to go into voice reporting, you would want to become certified as a Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR), which is a certification given by the National Verbatim Reporters Association.
Step 3. Pass Michigan State Assessment
In order to serve as a court reporter in a court in the state of Michigan you must pass an exam which is given by the Michigan government. The exam is given twice per year, with the board determining the score you need to pass. You will be tested on speed and accuracy of your reporting, among other qualifications. You can consult the website for Michigan Courts, or call (517) 373-9526 in order to get more information.
Step 4. Gain Experience and Find Employment in Michigan
Once you have become certified and have passed the Michigan exam, it is time to look for work. You can start by looking for work in the Michigan courts:
There are also a number of private sector legal procedures in Michigan which require court reporters. Some private sector companies which may offer employment include:
Step 5. Maintain Licensure and Join Industry Groups in Michigan
Once you have found employment it is important to join with court reporter industry groups in order to stay informed and active in the community. The most logical associations to join include those through which you are licensed, such as the NCRA or NVRA, and the Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters. This organization can help you stay up to date as to what is happening with the profession of court reporting in the state of Michigan, including any pending legislation which may affect the profession.
Additionally, you will want to make sure your certification remains valid. This means you will have to keep up with the continuing education requirements of your certification. The National Court Reporters Association requires 3 CE credits every three years, with the National Verbatim Reporters Association requiring 30 CE every three years.
Michigan Court Reporting Salary
Michigan’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth projects that the field of court reporting will increase by 6.2% from 2008 to 2018. Almost 75% of the jobs generated for court reporters and stenographers are expected to come from the replacement of professionals leaving the workforce.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides an analysis of employment and wage levels in Michigan in 2012. In addition to having high employment in the cities, some of the nonmetropolitan areas of Michigan had particularly high levels of employment compared to other such areas of the US:
- Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area:
- 2nd highest concentration of jobs
- 4th highest employment level
- Balance of Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area:
- 4th highest concentration of jobs
- 5th highest employment level
In addition, the Balance of Lower Peninsula nonmetropolitan area had the fourth highest wages among areas outside of the cities. The average annual wage in this area was $44,200 in 2012.
The average annual salary of the 530 court reporters who were employed in Michigan in 2012 was $44,840 while top earners in the 90th percentile made $59,800 a year. Information on salaries in specific cities is listed below:
The state of Michigan requires certification for court reporters and recorders to document court proceedings or depositions taken in the state. The Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review administers the testing process to obtain this certification.
Additional detail on the salaries of court reporters in various areas of Michigan is shown in the following table: