To become a stenographer, enroll in and complete a stenography training program at a college or vocational school, pass the Registered Professional Reporter exam to become certified, and seek employment in the field. It takes approximately three years to complete these requirements.
- Complete a stenography program
Choose a stenography program that is certified by the National Court Reporters Association, which is necessary if you plan to seek employment with the federal government. Select a program that also offers internships to ensure you gain some experience in the field before graduation.
- Pass the Registered Professional Reporter exam
Passing the Registered Professional Reporter exam certifies you as a stenography professional. While earning this certification is voluntary, most reputable companies and government agencies require potential employees to have this certification because it requires students to pass a four-part exam that tests their stenography skills and knowledge of court reporting. You can sign up for the exam at the National Court Reporters Association website.
- Search for employment
Apply for stenographer jobs with government agencies, law firms and private companies. Such organizations often keep stenographers on staff to transcribe events that take place in a courtroom, record private witness testimonies or record events that take place during business meetings.