What is the best Scopist training?

As a niche field, scoping is not the type of job you can easily slide into with no knowledge or experience.

You need expertise because you’re dealing with legal documents. Scopists use CAT software (Computer Aided Transcription), read steno notes, and work with court reporters.

 

Do you need scopist training?

Just to clarify, you don’t need a certification. However, formal training will help you become successful.

You can acquire that training through a few options…

Scopist Training

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How do you become a Scopist?

The most common options to learn scoping are:

  1. Mentorship with a Court Reporter or Scopist
  2. Scopist Training Program

If you know a Court Reporter or Scopist who’s willing to train you, you can learn how to become a Scopist for little to no cost. However, you might not get thorough training because you’re not being taught by someone who specializes in teaching scoping.

If you want to get comprehensive training, you have to go through a scopist training program. The Internet Scoping School (ISS) offers the most extensive and detailed program.

 

Why is ISS the most in-depth scopist training?

  • The course creator Linda Evenson has over 35 years of experience as a scopist.
  • The training covers not only how to become a scopist, but also how to BUILD a successful scoping career.
  • They are the only scoping program that includes LIFETIME ACCESS to support.
  • You will also get any content upgrades FREE with the initial tuition.
  • There is a private Facebook group for students and graduates only where you can ask questions, give advice and get referrals.

 

If you’re curious about what this course is like:

✅ ISS offers a FREE online mini course to learn about scoping and whether it’s the right fit for you.

 

You can decide from there if you want to commit to the full online course and pursue a career in scoping. The full course takes approximately 6 months or less to complete if a student dedicates 15-20 hours/week.

 

I was fortunate to get into contact with a former ISS graduate and successful scopist Robin Newberger. She offers valuable insights on her experience as an ISS graduate and scopist.

But before we get into the interview…

If you don’t know exactly what a Scopist is (I didn’t either!), here’s what a Scopist does:

How can you train to become a Scopist

What is the job of a Scopist?

Scoping is probably the work at home job most people haven’t heard of!

When I first heard the term Scopist, I thought it was slang for someone who uses a microscope at work. Like a CSI lab technician!

This profession has been around for over 30 years.

Scoping is editing legal transcripts for court reporters. Court reporters hire scopists to help them save time so they can take on more jobs (and make more money) or just have more time for themselves.

 

Scopists don’t have to be in the courtroom or meet the court reporter. A scopist’s work can be 100% done from a computer at home.

Scopists earn approximately $30,000-50,000 per year working full-time hours.

If you like crime shows like Law and Order and would like to read real court case transcripts, this might be a job for you!

 

I’m now excited to introduce you to successful scopist and Internet Scoping School graduate Robin Newberger…

 

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Interview with a Successful Scopist

Robin Newberger, Scopist at ScopeMaster Services

 

Robin, how did you become a Scopist?

I was studying to become a court reporter in the mid-2000s, and decided to change career paths to scoping, which is a niche profession within the court reporting field.

My son was born in 2008, I wanted to find a career that would allow me to work from home.

Scoping was a good fit for me in all respects: how much I wanted to work, the amount of money I needed to earn, and being able to be at home with my child and not work out of the home.

Scopists read the transcripts that court reporters produce. We read them, edit them for punctuation, ensure the transcript’s formatting is correct, and many other job-specific tasks, and return the work to the court reporter on the agreed-upon deadline.

Free Scopist Training

How did you decide on the Internet Scoping School?

ISS seemed to offer a range of courses that would adequately prepare me for the work.

I was able to audit courses that I didn’t need because of my background in court reporter training, such as being fluent in reading steno, and English grammar and punctuation skills. I liked that this was an option because it saved on the cost of the course overall.

Also, Linda Evenson is very much hands-on with her students, is always available to answer questions, and has decades of experience herself as a scopist.

ISS was the best fit for my needs.

Ten years later, I still consider it the best decision I made in preparing for my career.

 

What was your biggest hesitation with taking this scoping course?

I didn’t have any hesitation going forward with the course.

I was eager to complete the coursework because I felt that being well trained was key to having a successful business.

It is not a requirement to go through a course to become a scopist, and there are no certifications currently in place. However, I knew that if I prepared well and took the training, I would go into the field with confidence, and also instill confidence in my clients.

Scopist training

 

What’s the most valuable thing you learned in this scopist training?

I can’t pick just one thing that was most valuable, but I would say that the course on the CAT software (Computer Aided Transcription) was extremely valuable.

 

How did you obtain your first scopist client?

The way that I obtained my first reporter was not the most common way it’s done.  Usually, scopists begin advertising via social media like Facebook groups and the like.

In my case, I was attending a software conference where I was learning more about the CAT software specific to scoping, and the majority of attendees were court reporters.  I met my first client at the conference, and she is still a client to this day.

 

How many clients do you work with?

I work with an average of three court reporters.  Some scopists work with one, some work with two or three, and some may work with more than that.  It just depends on how they focus their business.

Become a Scopist

 

How much money does a Scopist make?

Scopists are paid by the page.  That rate is different depending on the turnaround time of the job.

A turnaround time generally varies from “regular,” which is usually five days’ time, “expedite,” which is less than regular and usually between two to four days, “daily,” which is within 24 hours, and “immediate,” which is same-day turnaround.

The shorter the time period, the higher the page rate. Page rates in California start, on average, at $1.00 per page for regular turnaround and increase accordingly.

Being a stay-at-home mom, I set my work hours for when my son is in school.  My work averages ten to fifteen hours a week, roughly, part time. If I have a higher page load, I can adjust my hours, which is the beauty of working from home.

 

What are your initial and ongoing expenses as a Scopist?

The primary expense when you begin working as a scopist is the CAT software and a computer.  The scopist works with court reporters who use the same software.

The cost to purchase software varies between vendors and they usually offer a scopist’s version as opposed to the full version that court reporters require.  The current cost of the software I use is $1595.00.

The jobs are sent to the scopist via the Internet, so it goes without saying that Internet is a requirement.

best scopist course

There is an annual support contract that should be renewed in order to keep up with the current version of the software.  This cost also varies per vendor. My cost for this is around $350 a year.

Other expenses would include antivirus software like Norton, accounting software for invoicing (many are free), and basic supplies like printers, paper, etc., can all be claimed on your taxes.

 

What is a typical day for you?

A typical day is I check my business e-mail in the morning for any correspondence from clients regarding work, and then I work for however long I need to that day.  I calculate how many hours I need to work to return the job on time.

 

What are the pros and cons of being a scopist?

For me, personally, the pros of being a scopist are:

  • I can work at home,
  • I can set my own hours,
  • I learn a little bit about a lot of different subjects by reading transcripts, and
  • I enjoy my work.

Internet Scoping School Reviews

I don’t see this as a con, but the one con I can think of is working alone. If you are the kind of person who needs to be around people, then this aspect of the job would be a con. It isn’t for me because I enjoy working by myself.

 

What kind of person is best suited to become a scopist?

You have to have good English-language skills and be skilled at correcting it.  A scopist does not change the testimony in a transcript. We add/correct/delete punctuation and fix certain words accordingly.  We have to know these rules of English and when to apply them.

For example, “The police did a canvas of the area,” needs to be corrected to, “The police did a canvass of the area.”  

“The folder and it’s contents is their on the table” needs to be corrected to, “The folder and its contents is there on the table.”

What I always say is that to be successful, you should really enjoy what you do.  A person who enjoys this type of work is best suited for it. Also, a scopist needs to meet deadlines.  This is a critical part of the job. If I don’t meet my deadlines, that reporter is not likely to hire me again.

People best suited for this field are organized, on time, have an eye for detail, are good communicators with their clients, enjoy the English language, and don’t mind working alone.

 

What does it take to become a successful scopist?

The key to success is

  • having the aforementioned skills and maintaining them
  • staying current with the ever-changing software
  • keeping up with new tools to make you more effective, and, above all,
  • producing a good work product for the reporter.

If you continue to do that, you will be successful.

 

Do you have advice for an aspiring scopist?

I believe in being properly trained, so I am a big proponent for training as a scopist before doing any work for a court reporter.  It is worth the time, effort, and cost.

Once you are trained and working, you can begin to establish your clientele, and you have a career that can take you far into the future.

 

A big thanks to Robin for giving us an in-depth look into the world of a scopist. Robin can be reached via her website here.

If you’re interested in becoming a scopist, check out the FREE mini intro course offered online by the Internet Scoping School.

 

Interested in other work-from-home opportunities?

Here are additional work at home options that are well-paid:

 

Other ways to make some money from home

If you only want to earn a little bit of side cash quickly and easily each day, here’s a list of legitimate survey companies with user-friendly sites that I’ve personally tried and liked:

The more companies you join, the more surveys you’ll qualify for taking. If you like taking surveys and being able to voice your opinion and know that it’ll make a difference with brands and products, taking surveys might be right up your alley.

 

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