When choosing an academy of court reporting, it is important to investigate the school to make sure that its training programs are recognized by licensing or certification authorities in the jurisdiction in which one wishes to establish a career in court reporting. After determining whether the academy of court reporting's course offerings are considered legitimate, one should find out about the costs of its courses, course schedules and whether or not the courses taught address the skills necessary for the type or types of court reporting that a student wishes to undertake.
The qualifications for working in court reporting vary by jurisdiction. There are also several different techniques used in court reporting, and each method may be taught in a different way. In some cases, an aspiring court reporter will need to attend an academy of court reporting in order to become skilled in a particular technique. Another option may include on-the-job training. Before applying to an academy of court reporting, an individual should make sure that he understands the various methods of recording courtroom speech and activity so that he can select the best training opportunities.
Potential students should investigate whether an academy of court reporting is approved to operate by the government agency that approves schools in the jurisdiction where it operates. Another good idea is to ask court reporters if they are aware of the school's reputation and whether they have an opinion on the quality of instruction offered. Potential applicants should also consider the affordability of the tuition at a court reporting school, and ask if there are any scholarship or financial aid programs available. Finally, potential applicants should find out about how a school schedules its courses. If a school doesn't offer courses during times and at places that are convenient to an applicant, he may do well to consider other schools.
In the United States, formal education is not always required to become a court reporter, though obtaining continuing education hours may be required to maintain one's certification as a court reporter. Continuing education courses may be offered through an academy of court reporting, by a professional society or through vendors of court reporting equipment. Court reporters who need to renew their certification should check with their certifying body to determine if a course is approved for certification renewal purposes. It is important to remember that courses and schools approved by one certification body may not be approved by another, so clarifying approval before taking a course is very important.