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

These are the start-up costs associated with scoping:

A quality computer.  Cost: $700-2000.  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 Stenograph at 800-323-4247.  

Scopist training course. Cost: $2000-3000 (depending on payment plan.) 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. Cost: $100-150.  The punctuation section is based on Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters. You will also need Medical Terminology for Court Reporters by Nathaniel Weiss for the med term unit.  Be sure to buy both books from the bookstore at ncra.org; they have the best price by far.  By phone:  800-272-6272.

High-speed Internet connection. Cost: $20-45 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.  Cost: $125-200 per year.  NCRA/state association membership/software group membership. 
  • 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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