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Today, I have a special interview with a lady who has been working from home, for over 35 years, as a scopist. Not only that, she opened a school and has been teaching others how to do what she does best. She has had great success and her students are now earning $3,000 to $4,500 per month.
So, who is she?
Her name is Linda Evenson, a professional scopist and instructor over at Internet Scoping School. This is a highly reputable scoping school that’s been recommended by the National Court Reporters Association in the US.
Scoping is a rare profession that not many people know about, but it is in high demand and can make you money online.
So, let’s go straight to the interview and find out more!
What is scoping and who is a scopist? Please, tell us more about that.
Scoping is the editing of documents for court reporters. These can be anything from depositions to public hearings to court proceedings – even the winners’ speeches at the Academy Awards!
The reporter writes the spoken words on a steno machine which translates the shorthand into English by matching the strokes to words the reporter has entered into his/her dictionary. Words that the reporter doesn’t write perfectly or that aren’t in the dictionary yet will come out in steno (machine shorthand) strokes.
Scopists read the files word for word, punctuating, paragraphing, deciphering mistranslated/untranslated steno notes (known as notereading) – in my case, sometimes leaving irreverent notes! – researching spellings, and making the file as close to perfect as possible. Then the file is usually proofread by a professional proofreader or by the reporter before it goes to the attorneys.How to make $1,000 per month as a scopistClick To Tweet
Can anybody do this? If not, what is required in terms of training and equipment?
People who love language tend to have an affinity for scoping. Folks who enjoy reading and crossword puzzles/word games, learning new words, who are good spellers and have good vocabularies – these are all signs of someone who tends to shine in scoping. Individuals who love learning new things and challenging themselves to do the best job possible will love the opportunities scoping provides.
In addition to word skills, scopists should know how to punctuate and paragraph, read machine shorthand, how to run the court reporting software efficiently, how to do research on the internet, and put a transcript together properly. People who can motivate themselves to spend long hours in front of a computer, who can relate professionally with clients, be responsible and prompt and provide the consistent service and quality that reporters expect will excel as scopists.
If I got started today, how much should I expect to earn a month or two from now?
It takes a while to build one’s speed and clientele, so earnings vary greatly. A new scopist might want to start slowly and only work with one reporter for a bit to kind of get into the groove. A newbie can work a couple of days a week and bring in about $1,000 per month, then gradually add clients and build speed to where s/he is working pretty much full time.
Scopists are paid by the page, so a newer scopist might only edit 20 pages per hour where an experienced scopist working with a talented reporter can probably edit twice that. Once the scopist has experience and can handle the pressure, he/she might want to get into the expedited market. Some jobs are due in three days or less, some even the same day they are taken, and the page rate is significantly higher.
Internet Scoping School Graduates
- Darice Rusell is earning $4,500 per month as a scopist
- Robin Newberger is earning $3,000 per month as a scopist
Can this be a full-time job or just part-time?
A great thing about scoping is it is very flexible. Some folks just want some additional income to supplement another job or retirement. Others want to go full steam ahead and make as much as they can. Depending on the quality of the writer, the speed and acuity of the scopist, and the deadline when the job is due, a scopist can make anywhere from a dollar a page to twice that or more. These jobs are high pressure and demanding, and they don’t usually come along very often, but when they do, a scopist can make several hundred dollars per day.
Where can I get clients to offer me this type of work?
The internet is full of scopist/court reporter websites. These are wonderful places to interact with reporters, be friendly, contribute to conversations, and demonstrate your word skills and work ethic. There are also job boards where reporters post “ads” looking for scopists and vice versa. Being involved with one’s state and national court reporters’ associations shows an interest in the profession that reporters respect. And word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients are the best referrals of all.
I know you’ve been in the industry for over 35 years. How did you get started? What has the experience been like for you?
I heard that an acquaintance was working from home, typing for court reporters, so I called her and asked for more information. My quest then led me to find a notereading correspondence course, and I started typing from the actual reporters’ notes.
Soon after, I began to work at a local court reporting firm shortly after they got their first computer. It was a mainframe that was as big as a desk and used disks the size of large pizzas that held maybe 250 pages. They cost 100-150K and chugged like locomotives as they translated the files and could be used for nothing but court reporting. But it was a match made in cyber heaven!
Fast forward from those days to my laptop that holds many thousands of pages and can do everything a computer can do and cost about $500! Add in the availability of high-speed internet, and enter the world of the present-day scopist. I can work for anyone anywhere in the world, and I can find the spelling of a doctor’s name in Kalamazoo as easily as if I lived there. Scoping really has come a long way, baby!
My experience in scoping has been awesome! I have always been good at English – and correspondingly horrid at math — so scoping is perfect for me. I love sitting down at my computer every day and working my way through files.
I have worked from home most of my career and have brought many thousands of dollars into our family while being able to spend more time with my family. I work with some amazingly talented reporters, and after all these years, I still love what I do. That’s a tough act to beat!Looking for ways to make extra income? Become a scopist and earn $1,000 per month!Click To Tweet
I understand you have a scoping school and you teach others how to do scoping. Please, tell us more about your school and what it offers aspiring scopists.
I have been running Internet Scoping School for 19 years now, and I have really enjoyed it. Having been a scopist for as long as I have, it was a challenge to try to remember everything I had to learn on my own because there were no scopist training courses in those days. I racked my brain to cover every skill and all the knowledge that a scopist needs to do a professional, excellent job and be successful. Why take someone’s money and train them if I can’t give them all they need to make money as a scopist?
There is a free 7-day email series that gives a brief overview of scoping so that people can get an idea of what scoping is and whether they might be interested in it as a career. That is followed by an introductory section called “Scoping Fundamentals” that gives a more in-depth view of the profession and contains some word usage instruction.
The following sections are: Punctuation and Word Use for Scopists; Notereading; Medical Terminology; Transcript Production; Case CATalyst (reporter software) training; Reporter Files upon which students can practice scoping and then compare their work to an edited file; then “The Successful Professional Scopist” contains a glossary, ethics, ergonomics, basic tax info, scoping tips, marketing, and lots of other information that didn’t fit elsewhere.
It has been very rewarding to me to see graduates of ISS get out there and be successful and keep their clients happy and earn good reputations. It proves that the methodology I foresaw when I started this venture works. Scoping has been so good to me and I really love it. What a pleasure to get to share that with others!
Do you have any success stories or testimonials that you can share with us from the students who have undertaken the course?
There are several testimonials about ISS on our website:
- Cindy is a graduate who specializes in high-end daily copy work and earns more than she and her husband used to earn together;
- Robin is the mother of an autistic son who loves the freedom scoping gives her to spend time with him while bringing home thousands of dollars a year without ever leaving home;
- Darice got laid off from her job and became a busy scopist who never has to worry about layoffs again. These interviews and others can be read by scrolling down the page at Scope School.
As we come to a close, what success tips or advice would you give those who are just getting started?
- Don’t be in a hurry to get through the training. Learning the material well will get you a lot further than trying to rush and not being ready to do a good job for your reporters. Bad reputations get around faster than good ones.
- Be willing to work hard and go the extra mile for your clients. They are in a high-pressure career, often overworked, and they will appreciate your prompt, excellent services. Don’t just be a scopist; be a reporter supporter!
- Always strive for excellence. There is no substitute for pushing yourself to do the best possible job.
- Know your craft well and offer assistance to reporters and other scopists. You will get a great reputation and increase your value to clients exponentially.
- Enjoy working from home and never forget to count your blessings! Scopists truly do have the best of both worlds!
Thank you, Linda! This information is priceless!
There you have it, folks. An interview from an experienced work from home scopist who offers nothing but the best courses at her scoping school.
Scoping can be a profitable work from home career if you get proper training. Enroll for this free 7-day email course and learn everything you need to know. You’d be glad you did a few months from now.
Here’s what you will learn:
Done scoping? Know someone who has? What have your or their experiences been like? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below.