Stenographer Salary

Get the inside story on Stenographer Salary

Get the inside story on Stenographer Salary

Stenographers are primarily used in courts and in the offices of lawyers to record details of the court or court related proceedings. The job of a stenographer is to record everything that is said accurately and quickly. As a result, the job requires a good deal of concentration and focus. Stenographers also have to handle a range of equipment like word processors, voice recorders, laptop,computer, and a stenography machine to record the details of the court proceedings quickly. Most stenographers are paid an average salary, along with overtime, bonuses and health benefits. However, the average stenographer salary will also depend on a range of factors like education, job responsibilities, licensure, qualifications and even experience.If you are interested in becoming a court stenographer, here are a few details on how a stenographer salary is decided and…

What You Can Expect:


State organizations usually pay an average rate of about $27.00 per hour. Business support services which also use legal stenographers also pay about $22.87. Local Governments pay about $27.43 per hour. The Federal Government pays a higher rate for trained and experienced candidates ranging to about $26.51 to about $29.51. Private employers pay a lower amount ranging to about $14.36 per hour. Please note that these are average salary ranges. These basic salaries are also dependent on education, accreditation, licensure and experience of the candidate.

Education and Training

The actual stenographer salary will depend on the educational qualifications of the stenographers. Most court reporters or stenographers have to complete their college education or high school diploma with an additional focus on grammar, English,spelling, typing and shorthand. They then have to take two or three year courses in real time voice writing. After taking the course, most stenographers will learn on the job. Almost every postsecondary college or technical school will have courses that will teach stenography and real time voice writing. To get the highest salary, stenographers have to complete a course that has been approved by The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). After completing the course, students can then continue their education with stenotype computer-aided transcription and real time reporting classes. This will increase their technical skills and ensure that they have a higher chance of getting jobs in courts.
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Most courts will require students to transcribe atleast 125 -225 words a minute. This is also the basic requirement for federal jobs. Programs will also usually result in a bachelor’s, associate’s degree or a certificate degree. Generally, candidates with an approved degree from recognized institution along with accessory training like computer-aided transcription, steno tool training and voice recorder transcription will get paid the most. Usually, entry level candidates can expect an average salary of about $49,710 per year.


After completing their basic education, students have to complete their basic certification. For example, stenographers have to register with The National Court Reporters Association. On registration, the candidate is conferred an entry level Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation. The candidate also has to pass a four-part examination and passing this examination is a mark of prestige for students. Court reporters and stenographers who have additional qualifications and certifications like Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC),Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), and Certified CART Provider (CCP) are more likely to get paid higher and be given multiple responsibilities. Additional optional certification in the form of Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR) and American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) will also mean higher salaries for the candidates.

Geographical locations

Trained and experienced candidates can expect a higher salary if they are willing to relocate to high demand areas. For example, Maryland has a mean hourly rate of about $21.28 per hour which ranges to about $44,260 per year. States like Florida also pay competitive salaries ranging to about $17.05 per hour ranging to an average salary of about $35,460 per year. Higher paying states include California which pays an average hourly rate of $38.70 totaling to about $80,490 per year; followed by New York which pays an hourly rate of about $39.26 resulting in an average stenographer salary of $81,660 per year.

Experience the Key

All employers will prefer candidates with 1-5 years of experience. For example, entry level candidates can earn an average salary of about $49,710. Candidates with two to five years of experience can expect a median salary range of about $35,390 and $67,430. Candidates with additional experience and certification can expect an increased salary of about $83,500 to about $125,000 per year. For stenographers, there is going to be no dearth of opportunities. Employment opportunities are expected to increase by as much as 18% in the coming years resulting in higher salaries for trained as well as new candidates.

Now that you know what a stenographer salary range can be, find out how to become a court reporter!