If you want to what scoping is and exactly how you can go about becoming a scopist, this very helpful article will come handy.
It explains a lot about scoping, what it is and exactly how you or anyone can become a scopist.
When an individual tells others what they do for a living, you get a general idea of what their career is by the title.
For example, a bus driver drives a bus, a lawyer is involved in the legal system, a nurse is involved in medicine, a dentist works on teeth, a bookkeeper keeps the financial books, etc.
There are job titles though that make one wonder what the job entails. What exactly is a Food Stylist or a Greensman or a Parabolic Expert?
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Another job title that would require clarification, most likely, is if a person said that they were a Scopist.
A Scopist is a real profession and one in which a fairly decent wage can be earned.
A Scopist is an integral and important position as part of the legal system and the accurate capturing of legal proceedings in court cases.
Therefore, let us “scope” it out.
While serving in the U.S. Navy I was offered the chance to attend what is known as “C” school.
It was additional training beyond what your rating was.
My rating was a medic or Hospital Corpsman.
The only wrinkle in the offering of taking the advanced training was that I would need to extend or serve in the Navy longer than my original four years.
I decided to take the offer and found myself being trained to become an X-ray Technician.
In moments of exhibiting my self-inflated ego, I would often tell people, when they asked what I did, that I was a Radiological Technician.
Someone it sounded more impressive and mysterious but is the same thing.
Another case in point would be if an individual said they were a Domestic Engineer rather than a House Husband or House Wife.
What is Scoping?
Scoping is transcript editing of the notes obtained from the court that captures the legal proceedings.
The process includes the reading of the notes that are obtained from the stenographer who has captured the legal proceedings involved with court hearings.
The court stenographer utilizes shorthand to write the depositions, hearings, arbitrations, and trials.
Scoping also involves listening to recordings from the court proceedings and taking the stenographer’s notes and filling in any missing words and also ensuring that the writing is grammatically correct.
What Does a Scopist Do?
A Scopist does not translate or interpret the documents received from the court stenographer.
The job of the Scopist is to make sure that the transcripts and documents received from a legal proceeding are written properly and capture verbatim all that unfolded in the courtroom as it relates to what was provided to them by the court’s stenographer.
The written documents, reflecting the received court materials, are transcribed into English and then returned to the court recorder.
Even though the software is available to help in this transcription process, the work of this Scopist is to ensure that the document accurately matches the audio recordings provided by the court.
The Scopist must ensure that any missing words, misspellings, or grammar errors are corrected.
How to Become a Scopist (13 Powerfully Helpful Tips)
1. Have the Right Qualifications
An individual who would be a good match for this career opportunity is that individual who loves to be involved with writing or the use of words.
The individual who is most adept at being a Scopist is an individual who has excellent verbal skills along with the ability to excel at written communication.
A quality Scopist also has good listening skills as they will need to ensure that the recordings provided match the content of the written document.
Additionally, the Scopist must have an eye for detail.
2. Have Self Discipline
If you are considering this career path an important character attribute and work ethic should be a demonstration of being self-disciplined.
A Scopist will set their schedule but will be heavily influenced by any deadlines or milestones that need to be met.
You must also be dependable and self-motivated. Also, history and commitment to keeping deadlines is a significant professional skill.
3. Have Mental Discipline
If you are considering becoming a Scopist, it is also important that you have mental discipline.
Being a Scopist does not allow for just choosing any word in the transcription process.
Being a quality Scopist will demonstrate the individual being disciplined mentally and will not be satisfied till the correct word is utilized.
This mental discipline also includes the characteristics of being dependable and driven by completing the task.
Also, mental discipline requires that the individual needs sit at their computer for significant amounts of time to complete the job and satisfy the deadlines in place.
4. Know Your Grammar
The qualifications best suited to be a Scopist include an individual who is proficient as it relates to the use of words and must be skilled at learning a new vocabulary.
The right candidate for this career path has excellent skills in regards to editing written documents, the ability to be aware of words that are missing or that sentences are not structured correctly.
Being able to create a document that is grammatically correct and error-free is of paramount importance.
If you consider yourself a perfectionist, then this may just be the career path for you.
5. Work Under Pressure
Also, a major characteristic that a Scopist should exhibit is to work well under pressure.
This pressure can build especially when the documents are legal documents and often the legality of these documents, if not correct, can bring into question legal proceedings.
Also, the individual will realize pressure as it relates to keeping deadlines and submitting their work on a timely basis.
6. Have the Right Software
Because software is involved, there must be an affinity and capability of learning new software skills.
The software that is involved with the profession of being a Scopist is called CAT.
This acronym stands for Computer Aided Transcription.
The primary purpose of this software is to take the stenographer’s notes and translate the stenography into English.
The cost or investment of purchasing this software is $1500.
Of course, if seriously pursuing the career of being a Scopist, this is an investment that will provide a good return on your money.
7. Have More Tools Required
In order to successfully match the working needs of a Scopist, it is important to have additional tools.
Those additional tools include having a good laptop or desktop and utilization and availability of a rapid Internet connection.
The reality of working as a Scopist is that all of the work will be done utilizing one’s computer.
Therefore, an above-average or good quality computer is central.
Additionally, a quality Internet connection is paramount due to the fact that this is the primary venue or method of communicating with one’s clients, receiving further employment opportunities, and submitting the documents back to the court.
A good Internet connection will mitigate any potential delays in reaching one’s deadline as well as reduce any frustration on you or your customers.
On a practical note, because you will be seated at your computer or laptop, having an ergonomically conducive chair will be a sound investment in alleviating any potential physical issues.
8. Working as a Scopist
The beauty of being a Scopist is that the work can literally be done remotely; from home or even while the individual is on vacation.
This employment opportunity does not require you to sit at a stationary desk or be office-based.
9. Do a Lot of Learning
One of the ways that an individual can learn how to be a Scopist is to earn a degree through formal education.
The degree that an individual should pursue would be a Bachelor’s Degree.
The earning of this degree will help the individual to learn the needed skills necessary to be a quality Scopist as well as build on any natural skills that you may have.
Ideal courses that should be considered for the individual wishing to be a Scopist would include English, communication, journalism, developmental communication, etc.
10. Get Scopist Specific Training
Another way that an individual can learn this skilled profession is to enroll in a Scopist training-specific program.
There are educational entities that provide this specific training.
The advantage of attending this specific training to be a Scopist is that the course is designed around this career and teaches the needed skills and actions that will contribute towards a successful Scopist career.
Also, a search on the Internet will return to you a variety of online courses that are available for pursuing this career path.
11. Become an Intern
Another way that an individual can learn this craft is by serving as an intern for a court reporter or other Scopist who has a proven track record.
By being an intern in the court system, it will give the individual a quality experience on the various aspects of court reporting as well as how the Scopist fits into the process.
Although court reporters are not Scopists per se, it can be argued that there are significant similarities between the career of the court reporter and a Scopist.
If one is able to secure such an internship this would be a valuable experience in helping you to achieve your career goals.
12. Become a Court Reporter
Another way that one career can bridge towards being a Scopist is by securing a job as a court reporter.
What better instruction and training to build on being a Scopist than actually being a court reporter.
Of course, one just cannot walk in off the street and apply for a court reporter position.
As with any other occupation, there are a number of qualifications that are required.
However, if this step of being a court reporter can lead one to be a Scopist, it will certainly provide an added edge in competing with other Scopists for transcribing work.
13. Finding Clients
Of course, the ultimate goal will be the securing of clients and successfully pursuing your career path of being a Scopist.
The best way to find Scopist employment opportunities is utilizing the Internet and specifically finding opportunities on court reporting websites, online groups consisting of court reporters, or Scopist online listings.
Of course, it is important not to neglect your own community and reach out to court reporters within the county court systems.
This can be done by simply introducing yourself, handing out your professional information, and making that initial contact on your way to becoming a successful Scopist.
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Becoming a Scopist FAQs
What Is the Pay for a Scopist?
The average salary for a Scopist is $39,644. The salary range of a Scopist is from $32,909 to $48,859 annually.
What Is the Difference Between a Proofreader and a Scopist?
The order of producing an accurate court document is the court recorder providing the document to the Scopist to create the narrative from the court proceedings.
Generally, the Scopist then submits the document to a proofreader, who uses different software, to catch any mistakes.
You Can Do It
This career path was made for you.
You enjoy writing, are self-motivated, you enjoy reading a document that is error-free and grammatically correct, and you are a perfectionist.
Coupled with the benefits of setting your own time, working from home, or even while on occasion, this job has all of the markings of being a dream job for you.
Interestingly, we’ve most likely seen movies where the stenographer is capturing all of the ins and outs of the court hearings and trials.
Perhaps, though, our thoughts have never gone any further as to how those written documents are created capturing all of the communication within the court.
Fortunately, there is a career known as the Scopist.
This individual diligently and methodically takes those notes and matches them up with the court recordings to produce the legal documents.
This process protects the legal system, both defendants and plaintiffs, and the integrity of the American court system.
The court is in session and you as a Scopist are an integral part of that process.