Digital Court Reporter

This digital court reporting program prepares students to enter the high-demand field of court reporting. Currently, the industry is experiencing a severe shortage of court reporters with a need for an additional 10,000 nationwide. This well-established shortage presents a substantial opportunity for those seeking a rewarding career with a secure future. Digital reporters can work in the freelance market for a court reporting agency or work as a full-time government employee at a courthouse.


6 Months / 60 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

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Course code: GES2096

What you will learn

  • Digital court reporting procedure for all types of proceedings; depositions, hearings, trials, etc
  • Digital reporting hardware and software, including practice using digital recording software
  • Fundamentals of the United States legal system
  • Professionalism, ethics, and confidentiality
  • Legal, medical, and industry terminology

How you will benefit

  • Develop the skills you need to become a successful digital reporter who can work in the field and at home
  • Be in a position to sit for and pass the AAERT's (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) Certified Electronic Reporter (CER) exam
  • AAERT certification vastly improves your marketability when applying for work at freelance agencies or court systems, some of which require the certification by law or because of government contracts

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 60 course hours
  1. The Legal System
    1. Court System
    2. Laws
    3. Life Cycle of a Case
    4. Proceedings
  2. Terminology
    1. Historic Terminology
    2. Legal Terminology
    3. Medical Terminology
    4. Business Terminology
  3. Hardware
    1. Sound
    2. Audio Equipment
    3. Additional Equipment
  4. Your Software and Annotations
    1. Software
    2. Annotations
    3. Annotation Practice
  5. On the Job and On the Record
    1. Before the Proceeding
    2. During the Proceeding
    3. After the Proceeding
    4. Working with a Legal Videographer
  6. Court Work and Large Proceedings
    1. Intro to Courtroom Proceedings
    2. Types of Court Proceedings
    3. Court Annotations
    4. Large Proceedings
  7. Professionalism in the Legal System
    1. Professionalism and Decorum
    2. Ethics
    3. Maintain Confidentiality
  8. Course Wrap up
    1. The Transcript
    2. AAERT Certification Information
    3. Final Test

Merritt Gilbert is legal professional with over 10 years of industry experience. She is a Certified Electronic Reporter and holds a Certificate of Voice Writing. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University.

Natalie Hartsfield is court reporter with more than 10 years of experience in the legal field. She has taught court reporting since 2007. Natalie holds an Occupational Associate Degree in Court Reporting from Stenotype Institute.


To complete this course, you will need the following:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Basic computer skills, for example:
    • Create folders (aka directories) and save files
    • Find files saved on a computer and upload them to a webpage
    • Use a web browser and search the Internet
    • Familiarity with a word processing program
    • Ability to use videoconferencing software, like Zoom
  • Eligible for notary public commissions in your state


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course must be taken on a PC. Macs are not compatible.
  • If using a desktop computer with no internal sound card, it may be necessary to plug in an external USB microphone.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome is preferred. Mozilla Firefox and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Word Online
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • A free trial of digital reporting software will be provided in the Software module of the course. 
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins, except for the digital reporting software.
  • Reliable Internet


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Yes, you will be prepared to sit for the AAERT's (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) national certification, CER (Certified Electronic Reporter) exam.

Preparing for an AAERT Certification Exam

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the CER certification exam through AAERT.

  • AAERT members in good standing, who are eligible for notary public commissions in their states;
  • have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
  • have one year* of experience in reporting or transcribing.

*Note: A member with less than one year of experience may sit for examinations if provided with (1) a letter of recommendation from an AAERT-certified member or a current employer** or (2) a certificate of completion from an AAERT-approved course. (This course is approved.) A referral must be signed and submitted in writing to AAERT or your exam(s) will be canceled. Apprentice Members MAY NOT sit for any AAERT certification exam. You MUST be an active Individual Member or Corporate Member to take an exam.

Digital court reporters play a key role in the legal system by capturing and maintaining a verbatim record of court proceedings. Within the legal industry, digital court reporters might also be known as real-time court reporters, electronic court reporters, or computer-assisted court reporters. Regardless of the job title, these individuals are a Notary of the State who swear in witnesses and generate a clear and complete recording of court proceedings. To create an accurate and detailed record of case events, digital court reporters operate digital recording software and transcribing systems to record, tag, and transcribe court proceedings.

A stenographer and digital court reporter both deliver a report based on court proceedings, but their methods differ. Stenographers rely solely on a 22-key stenotype machine to take shorthand notes of the court proceedings. Digital court reporters use audio and video equipment to capture information.

According to AAERT data, court reporting companies that transition into digital are expected to save nearly $250,000 over the next decade. Because of this, there is a growing demand for court reporters with the skill set to use digital court reporting technology.

Yes, this course will teach you how to record the proceedings with digital technology and how to take notes using a software platform. Experienced stenographers may find the "Legal System and Terminology" module less challenging, but this is still essential information needed to pass the AAERT exam.

According to, the annual salary for a digital court reporter in the United States is $42,159 a year.

Notaries review and validate signatures made on documents, as well as swear-in witnesses to testify under oath. Learn how to become a notary here.

This career requires excellent English written and verbal skills, professionalism, visual and tactile acuity, and being comfortable with technology.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

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