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Scopist Jobs | How to Get Started

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Not many people have heard of a scopist, yet so many people depend on the work they do.

Scopists are the unseen, unheard, unknown freelancers working behind the scenes to produce final, polished transcripts of legal testimony taken down by court reporters on their steno machines.

Scopists work only on transcripts produced by court reporters on steno machines. These are usually but not always legal documents. A freelance scopists’s job is very important, as many legal matters are major criminal cases or lawsuits involving people’s lives and large amounts of money.

Here is some quick info to get you started doing freelance scopist jobs!

Illustration of woman at a table in front of her laptop with several icons floating behind her, contemplating scopist jobs


Scopist definition

A scopist is a freelancer who produces written transcripts of depositions, trials, and other proceedings that were typed onto a steno machine by a court reporter. You can read a very detailed description of the freelance scopist job here.

Exactly what does a scopist do?

Using scoping software, a scopist combs through the initial typed transcript that was taken down on a steno machine by a court reporter at a legal proceeding. The scopist usually listens to an audio backup to ensure they get everything as they’re reading through the transcript. Doing this, the scopist produces a nearly final version of that transcript. They then send it back to their court reporter client for one final look before the court reporter submits it to their lawyer clients.

There is a very important distinction between scopist and transcriptionist. A scopist produces only transcripts taken down by court reporters on their steno machines. A transcriptionist produces any type of written document except for a transcripts taken down by court reporters on their steno machines.

(If you’re interested in transcription, you can learn about transcription careers here.)

How much do you make doing scopist jobs?

You can find lots of in-depth information about how much scopists in the U.S. as well as much of the rest of the world earn here.

You can read a detailed breakdown of scopist rates per page here.

What qualities does a successful scopist need?

A good and reliable scopist is a valuable asset to court reporters. If you’re interested in earning money as a scopist, you should have::

  • patience
  • reliability
  • good work ethic
  • good communication skills
  • good listening skills

What skills does a successful scopist need?

Scoping is a very important freelance job. If you want to succeed as a scopist you need:

  • good scopist training
  • training in a scoping software
  • great spelling and punctuation skills
  • reliable computer

How can I get scopist training?

Scopists help produce legal documents, often in important criminal cases and lawsuits involving people’s lives and large sums of money. Scopists really need to know what they’re doing, and some type of training is an absolute must.

There are a few different scopist training programs on the internet. If you are or were a court reporter, of course you know how to scope so you do not need training. If you know a court reporter, you could ask them if they will train you on scoping software. You’ll discover 6 different ways that you can learn how to become a scopist here.

You can get highly-rated comprehensive scopist training in the popular Internet Scoping School scopist training program. Internet Scoping School has a free introductory scopist training course which you can sign up for here.

You can read the World of Freelancers interview with the founder of Internet Scoping School here.

You can also receive comprehensive scopist training with the well-established BeST Scoping Techniques scopist training course. You can learn more about BeST Scoping techniques here.

For more insight, read the World of Freelancers interview with the co-founder and educator at BeST Scoping Techniques here.

How can I find scopist jobs?

Scopists can work out of their homes, while traveling or anywhere they wish. You can look for scopist jobs on here and on StenoSearch here.

The training programs at Internet Scoping School and BeST Scoping Techniques training courses include learning how to market yourself and find court reporter clients.

For more information about freelance scopists, you can read:

The lifestyle of a freelance scopist

The history of the scopist

Get started earning money with scopist jobs by signing up for a free scoping minicourse with Internet Scoping School here today!

Cover image by Mudassar Iqbal

Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.

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