In today’s world of abundant work-from-home opportunities, there is a job that not many know of. You might not have heard of it, but there is a highly paid job-opportunity called scoping. Yes scoping and, you have not heard of it because you will not be able to find it anywhere on a dictionary.
So what is scoping? How do you become a scopist? What must you do to become a professional scopist? Are there courses you can take? How much can a professional scopist earn in a month? How many additional skills would you have to learn?
Before getting started, it is fitting to know that scoping is a high paying job and the skills required can be easily learned and improved upon.
Read more to find out about scoping and how to get started!
What is Scoping?
Scoping in simple terms is editing transcripts from legal proceedings for court reports. It includes reading steno notes of court hearings after they are translated into English, listening to audio recordings and then filling in missing, incorrect, misspelled words, correcting grammatical errors and, so on.
Is scoping the same as proofreading?
No, scoping is not proofreading. When a proof-reader goes through a document, it implies that the text is an edited text and, the proof-reader only corrects minute details.
However, a scopist work starts right after the steno notes are transcripted into English. Scoping is the first step to make the legal document more readable and understandable.
What Does a Scopist Do?
To simplify the work done by a scopist, one can say that a scopist makes sure that the transcript from a legal proceeding is understandable so that the client can share it with their attorneys.
Every court hearing is taken down by a stenographer and, stenographers often use short-hand to take down notes quickly. These steno-notes from court proceedings are then translated and transcripted into English with the help of computer software.
Once this is done, there are chances that some of the steno notes are mistranslated or that some words remain untranslated. It also possible that some of the steno notes aren’t accurate so the English transcript wouldn’t make sense.
It is now when a scopist is to start doing their work. A scopist will read the transcript and compare it to the original audio recording of the court proceeding.
Then the scopist would fill in missing words and research spelling of words. They would also read transcripts word by words and correct all of the untranslated or mistranslated words. A scopist would know grammar and punctuation, so the transcript would be punctuated to make it more understandable. For easier reading, the text would be paragraphed and formatted.
Once this work is done, the scopist sends the document back to the court reporter that then sends it to a proof-reader or uses it for further proceedings.
It is the scopist who holds the huge responsibility of making the transcript clear, legible and understandable. Thus a scopist, is a highly sought after job as a scopist helps the court reporter do their job efficiently.
Who is best-fit to be a good scopist?
Scoping does not require you to have too many complicated skills that take way too long to learn. All you need is a dash of passion and a few easily learnable skills to do well in this job. If you are wondering whether you’ll be a good scopist, think whether you possess these qualities.
We shall talk about the required skills in a later section what you shall read about now are just a few personality traits that will help you become a good scopist.
To be a good scopist, you must be good with words and, you must a word nerd and must be good at grasping new vocabulary. Apart from this, you must be dependable and self-motivated. You should also have the ability to stick with deadlines.
Another quality you must have is the willingness to put in the time to learn skills and be tech-savvy enough to learn how to operate the necessary software.
What skills are required to become a scopist?
Well, firstly, what you do not need to become a scopist is any sort of college degree or certification. That’s right, you heard it! This means that you do not need to spend massive amounts of money for a college or university education to be able to work as a scopist! All you need is some dedicated time to learn a few easily obtainable skills that will give you the push you need in the direction of becoming a scopist.
Now, what are the skills you need? The most essential one here is a good grasp of the language. Since you will be editing very important legal documents, your knowledge of the language is what will do the magic. So what you need is some strong word power which includes appropriate word usage skills along with some good punctuation and grammar.
If your language skills need improvement, there are always ways that you can work on them and make them better as you. Bettering your language is not a costly task to do as the internet gives you access to various online courses that will help you with improving your knowledge.
Secondly, the skill that you will need is the knowledge of reading steno notes. Why this particular skill is important is because very often the transcribing software used to convert steno notes into English may mistranslate or miss out on words. This is where your steno skills will come in handy as you will be able to compare the steno notes directly with the audio recordings and make the final legal document as accurate as possible.
Being familiar with legal terminology is also a good skill to have as it will definitely come to your aid along the way. Knowing legal terms can make sure that the final court report that you edit will be easily comprehensible.
Further, what you will need is to know how to use the CAT software as this how court reports along the course of your work will be sent to you. Knowledge of operating the CAT software is a skill that you cannot avoid if you want to be a good scopist.
Good marketing skills will also help you launch your career as a scopist because when you start off, it is only your marketing skills that will help you land jobs. So having a good marketing strategy will prove to be very useful in the long run.
What tools are required to work as a scopist?
Being a scopist will require you to have three tools- a laptop or a desktop, a fast internet connection, and the CAT software.
Most, if not all, of the work you do as a scopist will be on your laptop or computer, which is why having one is unavoidable. Whether to work on a laptop or a computer is entirely left to you. You have to take into consideration if you will be working only from home or even as you go on vacation or travel before deciding which device you’ll be working on.
A high-speed internet connection is also essential as you will be communicating with your clients, receiving jobs, and sending back final outputs online. To make sure that you are punctual in responding to your clients and deliver work on time, you would need a good internet connection.
Your job will also require you to research words, correct your grammar and check spellings and this is where a good internet connection will help you finish your work on time.
The CAT software is a Computer-Aided Transcription court recording program that translates steno notes into English. This tool would cost you around $1500 to purchase. However, this investment you make will surely be paid back once you start your job as a scopist.
Can you work from home with a scopist job?
The answer to that question is a big yes! Scoping is more of skills related job, the city, or country, or the distance between you and your client has nothing to do with your job. All you need is – language skills, the essential software, a laptop or a computer, and a high-speed internet connection. With these essentials at hand, you are ready to work no matter where you are.
The work hours are flexible too. You get to choose how many hours a day you work and how much work you take up. You may work after your everyday office job, or full-time from home, or during your vacation, it’s all up to you.
If you are from a different country than your client, what you will need is some basic understanding of how the legal system in your client’s country works and you are good to go.
How much money can you earn?
How much money you earn as a scopist depends entirely on the speed at which you deliver the quality of work you produce and the experience you have. When you start working out as a scopist, you can easily be earning $20 every hour and as you gain experience working as a scopist you can be earning around $35 -$40 an hour.
Compared to the investment you have to make to start working as a scopist, the money you’ll be making as your work will easily pay off the investment you make.
How do you find clients and projects?
Getting jobs as a scopist depends a lot on how you market yourself. You would have to get in touch with court reporters and start working for them. Once you work for a few reporters, you will be recommended to others based on your skills and that is what will enable you to land new jobs.
Is there a course you can take to become a scopist?
There is! There is a brilliant course offered by the Internet Scoping School, that will help you acquire all the skills that you need to launch your career as a scopist.
The Internet Scoping School is the best scoping course that you will ever be able to find. This is not an exaggeration. The Internet Scoping School offers one of the most thorough and comprehensive scoping courses that will empower you with everything you might need to start in this field.
The Internet Scoping School offers you a self-paced learning experience, which means that you can take as much time as you might need to complete your course.
You are also guaranteed to get lifetime access to all the content of the course and online support whenever you might come to need it.
What makes this course special is that you will get access to all the updates and bonuses, you will be listed in the student’s directory and also get access to the student’s only Facebook group where you will get constant tips and help.
Further, the Internet Scoping School’s approach is effective because you will be screened before enrolling in the course which means that unless you truly have the potential to become a good scopist you would need to waste money doing a whole course.
You will also get access to a cheaper version of the CAT software which is a bonus to the course.
About Linda Everson
Linda Everson is the creator and the instructor of the Scoping course. She is a highly experienced professional in this field having worked for nearly 40 years as a Scopist. Linda is passionate about sharing her knowledge with aspiring scopist which why she created this course.
Linda has worked closely with the National Court Reporters Association serving on the Scopist Task Force and has made several contacts over the years, she is eligible to be teaching this course.
What can you expect to learn?
The Scoping Course is spread over four sections- Advanced Punctuation, Note reading, Medical Terminology, Transcript Production, Case Catalyst 4+ Software Training, Practice Files, and The Successful Professional Scopist.
You will be given access to the Case CATalyst software and also supplement texts.
The course will be taken forward through training videos, downloadable workbooks, answer keys and worksheets, interactive quizzes, practice transcripts, online support forums, and bonus eBooks.
Before starting with the full course, you have an option to start with the Free Mini-Course. This is a seven-day long course that will help you get a feel of what scoping really is.
This mini-course will take you through What Scoping is and what a scopist does, how big the demand for scopist is, the skills you will require and so much more. The best thing about this course is that it’s all for free and after this, you get to decide if you want to go ahead with the full course.
The Full course will teach you every single thing that you might ever need to be a successful scopist, starting from the basic skills to marketing and how to find clients.
The full course can cost you around $2500-$3000 depending on what option you choose. The Internet Scoping School has 5 payment options all of which offer immediate access, lifetime support, and lifetime updates.
The 5 options vary in the number of payments that you make to pay your tuition fee entirely. The options range from a one-time payment to monthly payments spread across 3, 5, 8 and 12 months which you can choose based on your convenience.
So if you are planning on becoming a scopist, or at least looking into this profession, do check out the Internet Scoping School and it will definitely give you a push in the direction that you want to take your career.
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