- May 16, 2018
I’m here to introduce a new kind of work that you can do from the comfort from your own home - scoping. Okay, scoping isn’t exactly “new” - but it isn’t a common work from home job, either.
When it comes to home-based work, we usually hear about certain job types more than others. Some of the more common ones include audio transcriptionist, online tutor, e-commerce seller, online virtual assistant, phone sex operator… er, okay, maybe not all of these jobs are “common.” But you get the picture. And it’s understandable why they’re popular - some of these are relatively simple.
Scoping, on the other hand, isn’t the simplest of jobs. It involves taking training courses and having a working knowledge of legal terminologies and processes.
The complexity of the job is probably the reason why you won’t hear about scoping a whole lot. But before you close this tab, go read the rest of this article first. I’ll be writing about what a scopist does, how they train for the job, and how much they earn. Who knows? This might be the type of job you’ve been looking for!
What is a Scopist?
Scoping sounds like a gross medical procedure, but don’t worry, it doesn’t involve anything medical. A scopist edits of transcripts of court proceedings that were made by court stenographers.
Have you ever watched a courtroom drama and noticed the person near the judge who was busy taking down notes on what looks like a tiny laptop? That’s the courtroom stenographer. It’s their job to transcribe verbatim everything people say in court. They need to work quickly, since lawyers, judges, and witnesses aren’t likely to stop what they’re saying so the stenographer can catch up. To transcribe faster, that person uses a special stenography machine.
Since stenographers are only human (and working furiously to keep up with the courtroom proceedings), the transcription may have errors. And that’s where the scopist comes in. It’s the scopist’s job to read the transcription on a computer and correct anything that needs correcting.
More specifically, some of the things a scopist will need to do includes:
- Correcting spelling
- Correcting dates and numbers.
- Adding correct punctuation
- Adding missing names
- Adding any missing information
- Correcting any wrong information
You’re probably wondering why the courtroom stenographer doesn’t just do the editing themselves. Well, there are two reasons why:
1. Two eyes are better than one - Stenographers might not always be able to spot errors in their transcriptions. And it’s not due to negligence or lack of skill. Simply put, when you spend so much time working on something (i.e. transcribing) your eyes can become immune to errors in the text. That’s why a fresh pair of eyes is needed to review the text and make the necessary corrections.
2. Faster turnover times - Stenographers and scopists work as a team. When the scopist does the editing, the stenographer becomes free to take on more jobs. And that in turn, means more work for the scopist.
And with that said, let’s move on to the juicy part.
Earning Potential as a Scopist
As a scopist, you will get paid per page - $1 per page seems to be the average. Your actual hourly or daily earnings will depend on how many pages you can edit. About 20 pages per hour seems to be the industry average, but that could change depending on the complexity of the transcription. So earnings of $20 per hour looks like a good baseline. All that depends on the amount of available work, of course.
Scopist can charge much higher than that, when they get more experience. Rush or immediate-delivery jobs will pay even higher. With immediate delivery, the stenographer will be passing files to you as proceedings are taking place. You will be expected to pass the corrected transcription as soon as the courtroom session ends. There’s a lot of pressure in that scenario, but the payoff can be big. I’ve read about some scopists getting paid up $500 for immediate delivery jobs! You won’t be doing those kinds of jobs right away, but it’s something to work towards.
How to Train to Become a Scopist
Being a scopist is a fairly demanding job. You have the task of editing courtroom transcriptions - that’s a pretty big responsibility. If you screw that up, it could have huge repercussions. Compare that with transcribing regular voice recordings - if you make a mistake, the worst that could happen is you get an angry client.
As you may expect, getting training is recommendable before you go out and advertise yourself as a scopist. Scoping doesn’t require a license, so training is the best way to prove your capabilities at the start of your career.
When it comes to training, one school comes up more often than others: the Internet Scoping School.
You can also download a free scoping mini-course, which will be sent to your email address. You can sign up at the following page:
Free scoping mini-course: https://scopeschool.com/scoping-mini-course-enrollment
The Internet Scoping School (ISS) is one of the top-of-mind schools for aspiring scopist. Here, you’ll learn all the necessary skills to do the job well.
If you’re still nervous, don’t worry. You will also get practical experience by reviewing dozens of real transcripts. By training with real-world documents, you’ll be better equipped to handle real jobs later on.
Where to Get Work as a Scopist
Once you’ve invested all that time and effort, it’s time to get an actual job. The ISS will also be your source for employment. The ISS passes contacts to graduates, which is helpful for finding work. The school also teaches students how to find work and market themselves. Top notch!
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So that’s all the info I have about becoming a scopist. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried working as a scopist? How did you find jobs, and how were your earnings?
Let’s hear your stories!