Ever heard of Scopist Jobs?
Do you have a real aptitude for English? If you are someone who loves to read and write, play word games, work crossword puzzles, and enjoy the language. Wait, I’ve got a lucrative in-demand work from home opportunity especially for you!
If you don’t know what this is about, you’ll know it in a while.
This job is quite similar to proofreading but has much more editing to do than regular proofreading (Consider it, advanced proofreading).
As a Scopist, your job is to assist the court reporter in the transcription process. A full-time Scopist will be able to make $40-$50K working full time. The least experienced Scopist should make a minimum of $20-25 per hour.
If you’re knowledgeable about shorthand or have an eagle eye for editing files then this job suits you the most. Even if you’re not, you can still acquire the skills necessary to earn a 6-figure income with this course.
Today, I’m excited to introduce to you someone who thrives as a successful Scopist for more than 40+ years.
It’s Linda Evenson, a true inspiration and the mastermind behind Internet Scoping School (…started way back in 1998!). Linda has been making a 6-figure income in this niche working from home. Scope School is the most thorough and effective scoping training program that teaches to do far more than edit transcripts for court reporters — how to build a successful scoping business.
Want to learn more about Scoping?
Hope this interview will give you a better insight into this lucrative less-known work-from-home opportunity. If you prefer to choose this amazing field as your career option, this mini-course will help you get a grip and turn it into a full-time business while enjoying time with your kids.
Hi Linda, What Inspired You to get Into this Career?
I heard that an acquaintance of mine was doing transcribing for court reporters from home, and having small children, that sounded really appealing. I called and asked her about it. I found and studied a correspondence course in note-reading (reading the machine shorthand), then made some phone calls to local reporters about working for them. This was about the time one agency got their first mainframe computer that translated steno notes into English. They gave me a chance to try it and I loved it. I was always a “wordophile” anyway, so it was a perfect career for me. It still is, nearly 40 years later!
What is Scoping?
Scoping is the editing of court documents for court reporters. This can be depositions, trials, or hearings that reporters are hired to write on their machines. Reporters need to be able to write a whopping 220 words per minute to graduate reporting school, so these folks can pick up their fingers and put them down!
However, just as with typing, a reporter will sometimes hit a wrong key, or depending on the speed and quality of the speakers, not get every word down. When they send a file to a Scopist, it is in English, but it needs to be edited to fix any errors and add missing text. We listen to the audio, insert paragraphing and correct punctuation, decipher mistranslated/untranslated steno notes, fix formatting issues, and research spellings, getting the file as close to perfect as we can. It then goes back to the reporter or to a professional proofreader for the last read-through before going to the attorneys.
How long have you been in this career? How much money do you make per month as a Scopist?
As I mentioned above, I have over 39 years’ experience as a Scopist. Wow, that went fast! Now that I’m retirement age, I scope more part-time to supplement my income. But back when I was younger and worked full time, I usually made in the neighborhood of 35K/year, and that was several years ago.
A full-time Scopist presently should be able to make 40-50K working full time, once s/he has marketed him/herself up to some better writers. My rule of thumb is the least an experienced Scopist should make per hour is $20-25. We have bookwork and other chores in addition to actual scoping, of course, but I think that’s a pretty darn good wage – at least here in Montana.
How much money can a Scopist expect as a complete novice?
When a newbie starts out, s/he won’t have the speed and accuracy that a more experienced Scopist would have. I have also found that new Scopists sometimes start with not-so-good writers, so there is much more editing involved and it’s slow going.
However, this is a great learning experience for a novice. In almost any profession, it seems like there are dues to pay upfront.
Once the Scopist is ready and has some experience, s/he should go on the hunt for some better writers. If a Scopist can edit 5 more pages per hour, that’s a $5 or more raise per hour. Not bad, huh?
What are the skills/traits necessary to get into this career?
A Scopist should have a real aptitude for English. Someone who loves to read and write, play word games, work crossword puzzles, and enjoy language is a good bet for success at scoping.
A Scopist also needs to be able to: sit at a computer for long hours; keep him/herself motivated; meet deadlines; be dedicated to providing excellent quality work and the best service possible for one’s clients, and keep track of expenses and income for taxes.
What makes students choose ISS?
ISS is the most thorough online training course, having two to three times the amount of training material as the other schools.
I am by far the most experienced instructor and have been actively involved in the profession as no other instructors have. I served on the NCRA Scopist Task Force, have written many articles, and spoken at many conventions.
ISS is known in the profession as an excellent school, and ISS graduates have an awesome reputation and are successful. If there’s anything we can do to promote that success, we are there!
There is no certification for Scopists by any certifying body as there is for court reporters.
Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion from the course, and since the course is well known and respected by reporters and others in the profession, that certificate is worth a lot.
How does a Scopist find clients?
Back when I started working, the mainframe computers cost 100-150K! They were the size of a stove and held a disk the size of a pizza that held very little information. Needless to say, Scopists in those days worked in-house for reporting firms. We’ve come a long way, baby! Thankfully, the editing software now runs on a laptop that costs a tiny fraction of the mainframe and has 100 times the capability.
Scopists nowadays receive and return work via the internet and can work with reporters anywhere in the world. Making client connections is easier than it ever has been. Most connections are made in online forums and websites. ISS teaches Scopists where to find and how to keep clients and build lasting relationships. The school also publishes reporter leads in our private Facebook group. We believe in doing all we can to promote the success of our grads.
What tools do you find indispensable for accomplishing tasks?
A Scopist must have:
- an internet connection,
- preferably high speed;
- a relatively recent computer;
- know how/where to find research sites online;
- having a forum to converse with one’s peers, compare notes, seek/give advice, swap job leads, and help each other to be successful.
What are the pros and cons of being a Scopist?
- Working from home; setting one’s own hours; being one’s own boss;
- having more freedom for family and fun;
- making a good living;
- constantly learning new things;
- being part of a global profession that keeps the wheels of justice turning.
- Working from home can be very isolating;
- long hours of sitting at a computer can cause pain and stiffness, so one must practice good ergonomics;
- sometimes it’s hard to get away from the computer because it lives in your home!
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
* I have learned that when I work early in the morning, I need to give myself time to drink some coffee and let my brain wake up. Otherwise, things can get ugly!
* Although I have had almost no problems in almost 40 years, to be aware that there are reporters who will try to stiff Scopists, who want rush work at no uprate, and who otherwise will try to take advantage.
* I have found there are Scopists who do nothing to promote/better themselves who will criticize those who do and constantly complain about having no work. These are not ISS grads!
What’s the best advice you would like to give to someone wanting to become a Scopist?
If you are a word nerd and would like to work from home and have your own business, be prepared to work for it. While ISS will do a comprehensive job of preparing you for your career, no one is going to hand you success.
You have to study hard, work for your own benefit, take responsibility for your successes and failures, and push yourself to be the best you can be. Scopists with this work ethic can’t help but succeed!
So, that’s my take on Scoping. Thank you! Linda, for sharing your available insight into this unique work from opportunity.
Interested, in becoming a Scopist and make money staying at home. Go ahead and sign up for this FREE mini-course right now.
Have questions to ask?
Leave your comments below, to connect with Linda and have them resolved 😉