A Scopist: The Work at Home Career You’ve Never Heard of!
Do you want a work at home job that pays well? How does editing court transcripts (also known as scoping) at home sound?
I personally didn’t even know this job existed until a couple years ago and the fact that its something that can be learned and done in the comfort of your own home I thought was great.
One of the reasons you probably never heard of this work at home job is because of the weird name. A person who edits court transcripts is called a scopist and the act of editing the court transcripts is called scoping.
I’m guessing you never Googled for scoping jobs before so this may be your first time hearing of it.
Below I’ll go over what exactly a scopist does, what skills and equipment you need to become a scopist, and where you can get training.
Let’s get right into it!
What is Scoping?
According to NCRA.org (The National Association for Court reporters and Captioners), a scopist is a professional transcript editor for court reporters.
However, unlike an editor or a proofreader, a scopist has the ability to compare a court reporter’s shorthand to the finished transcript. By “scoping” the transcript, mistranslate errors can be identified thereby helping the court reporter preserve an accurate record.
Court reporters write or “takedown” proceedings using steno writers. They then import their steno notes into computer-aided transcription software that translates the steno into English.
Because errors can happen in this process, court reporters then hire scopists to edit their transcripts.
Why Does Someone Hire Scopists?
Like I mentioned above, a court reporter hires scopists to edit their transcripts, but you may be wondering why they don’t just do it themselves?
A court reporter makes money per page, not per hour, so the more pages he or she can take down, the higher their earning potential.
Outsourcing the tedious editing allows them to make more money. That’s reason #1 why scopists are valuable and in-demand: court reporters want to make more money. So they hire scopists.
Not to be confused with a proofreader (who goes to work post-editing), a scopist uses the same software along with audio to edit the translated steno. He or she ensures all the steno language and punctuation is translated properly to make the verbatim record as accurate as humanly possible.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Proofreader, check out this free workshop.
What Equipment is Needed to be a Scopist?
All that’s needed to edit court transcripts or scope is a good reliable laptop or desktop computer, some scoping software, and an internet connection.
You may also want some good headphones and a good office chair since you’ll be sitting at the computer for long periods of time.
That’s it! No complicated setup or fancy equipment needed. Plus anything you buy could potentially be a tax writeoff (consult your tax accountant on this as I am not one).
How Much Does a Scopist Make?
According to Internet Scoping School, a well-trained scopist can earn $30,000 to $50,000 or more.
It’s a work at home job where you can decide how much you want to work so there is always the potential to grow.
What Skills are Needed to Become a Scopist?
The good thing is that scoping does not require a college degree, certification or test but it does require some training to do it well and to be able to know where to find the best scoping jobs.
SKILLS YOU NEED TO BE A SUCCESSFUL SCOPIST:
- Be good with grammar and punctuation
- Be ok with deadlines
- Be able to handle reading and hearing sometimes horrible and sensitive stories (remember you’re editing court transcripts)
- Be able to work alone
- Be self-motivated
Scoping is not usually something you can start today (unless you have experience scoping or doing a similar job) but it’s something that can be learned rather quickly and cheaply compared to other similar paying jobs.
Where do I Find Training to Become a Scopist?
As far as training, I recommend definitely getting some even if you think you have most of the skills I mentioned above.
There’s a school called Internet Scoping School and they offer a FREE INTRO TO SCOPING MINI COURSE where you can learn all about scoping as a career.
Internet Scoping School also offers a full in-depth course on scoping you can check out here.
What I like about this training is that it teaches everything you need to know about becoming a successful professional scopist. It’s basically like a degree in scoping but at a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree.
Think about all the degrees that earn you just as much money ($30-$50K) and cost thousands more! Take the free intro course first and see if it’s for you.
Want more work at home job ideas? Check out my Money Making Ideas page.