Why National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Certifications are Necessary

Getting any of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certification is a voluntary act. If you want to become an entry-level Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), the next-level Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) or to the even more advanced level of Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), you can take the specific tests in these respective levels of your own volition.

The question now is this: If NCRA certifications are not mandatory, why would you want to take the exams to get certified? Aren't your educational program and on-the-job trainings enough?

Quite frankly, the answer is no- especially if you picture yourself in this career for the long-term. Here are the various reasons why you should get an NCRA certification:

  1. NCRA certifications are accepted nationally. The certification programs of NCRA have been in place since 1937 and have set the standards by which the proficiency and professionalism of reporters are assessed. As of the moment, you can show your NCRA Registered Professional Reporter certification in lieu of a state certification or licensing exam in 22 states.
  2. NCRA certifications get you the job and give you the chance to advance you in your career. Because of the recognition enjoyed by the NCRA, their certification programs are an objective measure of your professional capacity. Both private and government firms, for example, use your RPR, RMR or RDR certification to determine if you are suited for a particular job or if you are capable enough in handling administrative or management positions.
  3. NCRA certifications get you more lucrative job offers. If you have an NCRA certification combined with experience and a continuing education, you could belong to the elite category of court reporters receiving more than $80,000 annually. A certification also means more job referrals and more flexibility over your hours and job choices if you are working as a freelancer.
  4. NCRA certifications earn you the respect of your colleagues and clients. NCRA court reporter exams are not easy tests. They measure your capacity in the various aspects of the job (e.g. reporting, transcript production, operating practices and professional issues) in an objective and fair exam. When you pass the tests and receive your RPR, RMR or RDR certifications, everyone in the profession will know that you are a qualified professional and that they can depend on you to make accurate recordings.
  5. NCRA certifications have expanded to accommodate the demands of technologies and the need for court reporters in these fields. Aside from the traditional Registered Professional Reporter, Registered Merit Reporter and Registered Diplomate Reporter certifications, the NCRA also has seven more certification programs. These are: Certified Realtime Reporter (CPR), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC), Certified CART Provider (CCP), Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS), Certified Reporting Instructor (CRI), Master Certified Reporting Instructor (MCRI) and Certified Program Evaluator (CPE).

In all honesty, an NCRA certification is your passport towards a more secure future as a court reporter. Whether you want to work in the Federal, state, municipal or local courts, government agencies, private firms and corporations, as a freelance CART practitioner for the deaf or hearing impaired, an NCRA certification is valuable if you want to be respected professionally and advance in the court reporting profession.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Court Reporter, then the first step is the Court Reporter Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Border Patrol hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Court Reporter Exam Study Guide

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