What are the start-up costs involved in becoming a scopist?

These are the start-up costs associated with scoping:

A quality computer. The rule of computer equipment is “get the most bang for your buck”: An Intel Pentium computer with the largest hard drive, the fastest processor, and the most RAM you can afford (minimum of 2 GB of RAM is preferred). For more specifics on equipment needed to run CATalyst software, click here or call at 800-323-4247.  Cost: $700-2000

Scopist training course. Cost: $2000-3000 — depending on how you choose to pay. It costs more if you train at a court reporting school, and not all scoping courses include lifetime access to updates and support. ISS does. Be sure to do your research and read the fine print for other schools if you’re shopping around. What appears to be the “best” deal probably isn’t.

Reference books. The course is largely based on Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters. We also recommend Medical Terminology for Court Reporters Cost: $100-150.

High-speed Internet connection. Cost: $10-45 per month.  You can get by using free Wi-Fi or slow connections while training, but you’ll need a high-speed Internet connection once you’re ready to go to work.

CAT software key (edit version)  **Cost: $1000-1600. For ISS students, Stenograph Corporation offers special pricing on Case CATalyst software. 

Optional Costs

  • Professional fees (NCRA/state association membership) – Cost: $125-200 per year
  • Forum subscriptions to scopist sites – usually free
  • Attendance at user group meetings, conventions – varies

Notes on Startup Costs

Most of these costs are tax deductible in some way, but check with your accountant to be sure. I’m not a tax professional; I’m a scopist 🙂

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