The field of digital court reporting has seen a significant rise in recent years, with an increasing number of individuals seeking to establish themselves as professional digital court transcribers. AAERT aims to bridge the gap of approximately 10,000 court reporters and transcription professionals that are needed. This shortage has arisen due to the declining number of court reporters despite the surge in litigation over the past 25 years.

Obtaining AAERT (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) certification is preferable to excel in this field. AAERT certification is a valuable recognition of a digital court transcriber's knowledge and expertise in electronic reporting and transcription.

This certification demonstrates that the individual has met the industry's highest professional standards and is trained in the latest digital court reporting techniques.

Here are a few examples of the types of questions you might see on the AAERT exam:

Multiple-choice question: What is the purpose of a transcript timestamp?

a) To indicate the time of day the transcript was created

b) To identify the beginning and end of each speaker's testimony

c) To indicate when breaks were taken during the proceedings

d) None of the above

True/false question: Audio recording equipment is allowed in all courtrooms. a) True b) False

Dictation exercise: You will listen to an audio recording of a legal proceeding and transcribe it into written form. This exercise will test your ability to accurately and quickly transcribe spoken words into text.

Overall, the actual exam will cover a wide range of topics related to court reporting transcription, and will test your knowledge, skills, and abilities in these areas.

Demands for AAERT Certification in 2023

AAERT certification is recognized as a standard for digital court reporters and transcribers, indicating high competency and professionalism. Demand for AAERT certification continues to grow in 2023 and beyond. It is because the digital court reporting industry is rapidly evolving and becoming more dependent on technology. In addition, more courts and legal organizations are adopting digital reporting and transcription technologies, which increases the need for qualified professionals who can provide accurate and reliable services.

As such, more employers may require or prefer AAERT certification for their employees. Additionally, individuals who obtain AAERT certification may have a competitive edge over non-certified individuals when seeking employment or freelance opportunities.

What is AAERT Certification?

AAERT, which stands for the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, is an organization that provides education and certification for individuals working in digital reporting, transcribing, and related fields. In addition to offering certification programs, AAERT also serves as a platform for networking among its members and works towards promoting public awareness of the importance of digital reporting.

Types of AAERT Certification Exam

AAERT offers three different types of certification exams to meet the varying needs and qualifications of professionals in the digital court reporting industry:

  • Certified Electronic Reporter (CER®): This certification is for individuals responsible for capturing the spoken word in a legal proceeding using digital technology. The exam fee for the CER® certification is $275.
  • Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET®): This certification is for individuals who are responsible for transcribing the digital recording of a legal proceeding into an official transcript. The exam fee for the CET® certification is $275. For your CET, the $275 will cover both the knowledge and practical portions of the exam.
  • Certified Deposition Reporter (CDR®): This certification is for individuals responsible for capturing the spoken word in a legal proceeding and transcribing the digital recording into an official transcript. The exam fee for the CDR® certification is $275.

It's important to note that in addition to the exam fees, additional costs may be associated with preparing for the exams, such as study materials and practice tests. However, becoming AAERT certified can significantly enhance your career prospects in the digital court reporting industry, making the investment well worth it.

How to Get AAERT Certification

To become AAERT certified, you must follow steps that include completing the required education and passing the relevant certification exams. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get AAERT certification:

  • Choose an AAERT-approved school: AAERT-approved schools provide the necessary education and training to become a digital court reporter. Choose a school that meets your needs and preferences.
  • Complete the required education: Complete the education requirements of the AAERT certification you are seeking. The education requirements may vary depending on the certification you want to obtain.
  • Practice your skills: Practice your skills and techniques by working with digital court reporting equipment and software.
  • Take AAERT practice tests: AAERT offers practice tests to help you prepare for the certification exams.
  • Register for the certification exam: Register for the certification exam that matches your education and training. You will need to pay the exam fee at this stage.
  • Take the certification exam: Take the certification exam at a designated testing center. You will need to pass the exam to obtain your AAERT certification.
  • Maintain your certification: AAERT certifications require periodic renewal to maintain the credential. Ensure you fulfill continuing education or professional development requirements to keep your certificate active.

AAERT certification requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. However, it can open up many opportunities in the digital court reporting industry and help you establish yourself as a qualified and respected professional.

Job & Salary after Completing AAERT Certifications

After completing AAERT certifications, individuals can expect access to various job opportunities in the digital court reporting industry. Certified Electronic Reporters (CER®) and Deposition Reporters (CDR®) are qualified to work in multiple settings, including depositions, arbitrations, hearings, and trials. Certified Electronic Transcribers (CET®) are eligible to work as transcriptionists in various industries, including legal, medical, and business.

According to AAERT, the average salary of a digital court reporter in the United States ranges from $25,000 to $125,000 per year, depending on the experience level and the region. Some factors that may influence the salary include the type of certification obtained, the job title, the industry, and the experience level.

The digital court reporting industry is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by the increasing demand for digital technology in the legal system. Therefore, obtaining AAERT certification can be a wise investment in career advancement and earning potential in this field.


In conclusion, obtaining AAERT certification is an excellent way to establish oneself as a qualified and respected professional in the digital court reporting industry. To receive AAERT certification, individuals must complete the required education, practice their skills, and pass the relevant certification exam.