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5 Reasons to Proofread Transcripts for Court Reporters

5 Reasons to Proofread Transcripts for Court Reporters

I know how it is because I’ve been there! You’ve probably been all over the internet looking for proofreading work. Or maybe (hopefully!) you got lucky and found this website first. Whichever situation you may be in, you’re here now looking for a way to change your career path and start earning what you’re worth.

Proofreading for court reporters is one of my favorite forms of proofreading — and hopefully this post will get you pumped up and motivated to start working your way toward a piece of the pie. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it… and here’s why!

Proofreading transcripts rocks because…

1) You’re paid per page!  

One of the big differences in proofreading transcripts vs. general proofreading is how you are paid. Court reporters are paid per page, and so are you — it’s that simple! The amount you earn is directly affected by how focused you are, how efficient you are, and how quickly you turn work around.

For example: I receive two transcripts, each about 100 pages in length. I bill $0.40/page on each job. When I read Job A, I have laser-sharp focus and I’m done in an hour. How much did I earn? $40. But, when I read Job B, I’m hungry, have already read 300 pages that day, and have gotten distracted by my husband arriving home from work. It takes me 2.5 hours to read the same work. How much do I earn? $40. But what’s my hourly rate? $16.

WOW! That’s how much I got paid per hour at my last (and final!) desk job!! Do you see what I mean? Efficiency pays off. That’s why I created this course, to help you make yourself into a well-oiled machine, ready to increase your bottom line and crank out awesome work.

Not to mention, when you’re distracted, not only does it take you longer, your brain isn’t as engaged in the work as it may be if you were more focused and reading faster. One might think you would miss more errors if you read faster, but the truth is, you can read slowly and be thinking about three other things and miss a lot more errors than if you had precision focus and read very quickly.

2) Proofreading is remote.

If you do it using my method, you can pack your bag and take your tablet and off you go, into the wild blue yonder (as long as you have Wi-Fi, even if only sporadically).

Working abroad is simple! I did a year-long stay in Cuenca, Ecuador, where the essentials are cheap and the livin’ is easy. Our rent (including utilities and Internet) was only $350! We are just giddy with excitement at what a location-independent career allows us to do.

3) It’s CHEAP! 

Compare the cost of this course to going back to school for an MBA, or even court reporting school (average of $25,000 to $57,000 for a two-year program).

On average, students finish the course in about two months’ time or less, depending on the time you’re able to put in each day, and they’re able to get clients quickly after that, enabling them to earn money quickly and recoup the cost of the course fee and any equipment they buy.

Repeat overhead costs are super low, too — paper, printer, not even a car is needed!

One-time course fee, one-time purchase of iPad (if desired) and any software and you’re set — just don’t forget to pay your internet bill!

4) Court reporters are repeat customers.

That’s right! If you’re good, your reporters come back to you again and again. My clients even ask me if I’ll be working on vacation — they hate having to use another proofreader.

Work hard on your development in this course and before you know it, you’ll be indispensable.

You save them lots of time, too — the best reporters know they need proofreaders to really be good. You proofreading their jobs frees them up to do more reporting, for which they earn more money.

A side benefit of your clients being repeat customers is that they’ll start sending referrals your way, too, which is the best way to build your business. Your clients literally start marketing for you!

5) It’s flexible!

This kind of work is great for night owls, too! Clients often stay up and work late into the night. I often receive jobs at two in the morning!

There’s also no need to request time off, either, since you’re your own boss. Just let your clients know you’re heading out for a few days or a week, and let them know when you’re back.

Lastly, unlike traditional careers, you never have to be in a certain place at a certain time — all of your work gets done whenever you want to do it.

Our Take

There you have it — don’t even think about trying to change my mind! I am a huge nerd and I will forever be loyal to transcripts and the court reporters in need of an eagle eye! 🙂

If you’ve been reading my blog, ProofreadAnywhere, you know how much I love what I do. But I don’t love it because what I read is always exciting or enamoring in some way, I love it for what it allows me to do with the rest of my life.

Do you proofread transcripts? If you do, I bet you’ll agree with me that it’s one of the best ways to earn an income.

Your Turn

Want to get into this lucrative proofreading niche and proofread transcripts for court reporters? Check out my free 7-day proofreading course to learn how you can get started!


Onward with excellence!

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  1. Thank you Caitlin. Looking forward to my next lesson.

  2. Caitlin, I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and experience. I am becoming more excited to complete the class as soon as possible. In having worked many WAH positions being stuck in a geographical area or in my home office behind my desk, I’m excited about the opportunity of freedom to proofread outdoors, in the park, on the beach, or even on my patio!

    1. No problem!! Yep, as long as you aren’t distracted, you can really proofread anywhere!

  3. Hello Caitlin!
    I read that you are planning on coming down to Cuenca, Ecuador. Well, I just wanted to let you know that I am living in Cuenca right now, since seven months ago and will be a great pleasure to have you as our guest. Please, let us know when you will be traveling…

      1. That is great! and since time flies, that is just around the corner! well, let me know how many of you and whether you need assistance from the airport on. (Are you arriving in Guayaquil?) so we can arrange transportation, etc. We are only three (My wife Betty, our cat Fiorella and myself) and have two guest rooms with a shared bathroom. We are in the southwest of Cuenca (just 20′ of the centro, by bus), sector “Control Sur” near Baños. I am a Spanish Instructor for the ex-pat community and Betty teaches Dance-therápy and slow aerobics. Looking forward to meet you.

    1. This is second time this morning I’ve heard anything about Cuenca, Ecuador. Why Americans going there?

      1. 1) It’s beautiful, 2) the weather isn’t nearly as hot/cold as other areas, 3) they use the US dollar and you can live quite inexpensively there.

        1. Hi,
          What language do they speak in Cuenca? What’s to do there?

  4. Nice connection there, Caitlyn. Seems as though there’s some good networking opportunities out there as well. Hope you all get to meet and have a great time! I couldn’t agree more with Sabrina above. I’ve looked into many WAH opportunities as well and none seem to be a better fit than what I’m reading into here. I feel that there is just so much more flexibility here. No need to be pinned behind a desk at home and near a phone, fax machine, etc. Now that you’ve broken down the earnings, per page, I can really see the advantages to this line of work. Thanks again for sharing and all that you do.

    1. It can really add up! It’s best to focus on being really, really good before trying to build speed. Court reporters do the same thing before they progress to the next speed in school. The main focus is always mastery 🙂 Putting that as your #1 priority will reward you.

  5. Caitlin, I appreciate your good heart to share your knowledge and experience. I am becoming more excited to complete the class as soon as possible though am a fresher and do not know where to get customers or how to start but am very much interested on this job. am gifted in spotting errors so i thought this will be my great oppotunity. thank you so much Caitlin hope one day will be like you.

    1. Amina, I am going to be open and honest with you — you are not a native English speaker, and I do not recommend taking my full course. Please do not invest money in the full course.

  6. Each day after I receive your email I am more convinced that I can do this! Once again, I really appreciate your introductory course to “get our feet wet”, so to speak. 🙂 Looking forward to taking your course!

  7. Caitlyn, thanks for the great site and all the info. I’m seriously thinking about taking the course. I proofread all day anyway! (A sometimes annoying proclivity!) Some questions:

    If the court reporters are checking our work and hiring us on the basis of our accuracy, why are they not just proofreading it themselves? Also, are they paying us out of their own pockets?

    I read somewhere that we also need to purchase software in order to do the proofreading. How much does this software cost? I’m trying to get an accurate tally of the total investment for this venture.

    I do not have a degree in anything. I never went to college. Proofreading has always been a passion, but do I have a chance to make this work?

    Thanks for your help!!!

    1. Hi Alice, yes — court reporters do pay out of their own pockets when you work with them individually. Not all court reporters have time to proofread, or — let’s be honest — the skill, so we really come in handy. We use iPads and a $10 app called iAnnotate. Check out our FAQs section: https://proofreadanywhere.com//category/faqs/ I have FAQ articles for the “no college” issue and more details on iPad + iAnnotate.

  8. Hi, Caitlin!
    I just finished reading this awesome article and Catie, your third responder, above, took the words right out of my mouth when she said, “Each day after I receive your email I am more convinced that I can do this!” This is exactly how I feel! Also, your second responder, above, Kelley O’Connell, says it all, “I’m so pumped!” So, Yes, I will definitely become one of your students–eventually, just as soon as I figure out how to obtain the cash for your training, plus for the mini iPad you recommend. If all goes well, I’ll probably graduate within the first half of 2016–and already working full-time as a transcript proofreader, like you and all your other successful grads! This is a career worth more than the cost of the training. Completely doable!

  9. Hi Caitlin,
    I took your advice, bit the bullet, and finally got a website, now to design it!! I can’t wait to start working in this filed and I hope I can afford to take yours or the other course you recommended on your blog. I’ve been enjoying this mini-course and look forward to each email daily! Since the new one isn’t ready yet, the website listed below is just my old one, my blog (totally different subject) but I hope to share the new one soon.

  10. I was a court teporter for 10 years. I am now a substitute teacher and am interested in proofreading.
    Gabriella Damonte

  11. I’m very interested but before I continue down this path, I’d like to know if any of the proofreading can be done on paper or if it’s all online. In other words, can clients ever give you printed paper that you can mark up with a pen and return or not?

    1. Certainly! Some reporters do prefer that method still, and the course does include a lesson covering that type of proofing method.

  12. HI Caitlin, I just signed up for your general proofreader course. Can one do court transcript proofreading after completing this course, or is it necessary to take the transcript proofreading course?

    1. Hi, Purnima! If you want to do transcript proofreading, you would need to take the Transcript Proofreading course. The niche of transcript proofreading is very technical, and there is a lot more involved that isn’t covered in the General Proofreading course. 🙂

  13. Do you have a list of people that have taken your course. I am looking for experienced proofreaders.


  14. It's good to know that proofreaders are paid per page. That seems to benefit the client and the reader. Especially if they have a lot of pages.

  15. What type of equipment will I need to get started? This sounds exciting. I've always enjoyed reading. The thought of being my own boss excites me. I must admit that I'm scared lol. Or nervous should I say. I think that I may take a chance and do it. I'm single with no children or husband or pets. So no distractions.

    1. Wow, that sounds like the perfect environment! As for equipment, you only need a laptop with an internet connection 🙂 I prefer using an iPad, but a lot of our students prefer using laptops.

  16. I will be starting real soon. I have a stomach bug right now that my employer is giving me real grief about. I need to fire them.

    Coming dear!

  17. Hi Caitlin—do you have to be a fast typist?? I've never had clerical job. I also would like to know if there are certain pay sites that don't send info to the government??

    1. Hi Trina, there isn’t a lot of typing involved in proofreading. You do need to know how to research and use editing software to annotate documents.

  18. I like what I have learned so far. I need to get my new laptop installed, which will be the hard part in my house, then I can start on a website. I have been using my cellphone for everything for the last several years. As I am not computer savvy. I grew up way before computers.

  19. I’m looking at Day 5 of your free proofreading course, but not till after lunch! I’ll also look into the freebie you sent me in another email.

    Blest regards,

  20. Hi,
    Where can I find the cost of the course so I know how much to save?

  21. Hi, this is great direction. Is there a central database court reporters use to find proofreaders? Like Upwork maybe but for proofreaders specifically?

    1. The course teaches you marketing skills and provides the resources for finding jobs and court reporter clients. You could check out Facebook and find all kinds of job ads for transcript proofreaders there.

  22. totally loving all your material. thank you Caitlin. I can't wait to get started. saving saving!!! need a laptop and then tuition. focused!! Mish xxx

  23. What is the difference between a scopist and legal proofreader?

    1. Scoping is when a court reporter uses CAT software to edit and “translate” their work into English on the transcript. Busy court reporters often use scopists to do this job for them and either proofread the end results themselves, or they use proofreaders to do the job for them. A scopist is not a proofreader, and a proofreader does not need CAT software to proofread. Check out this article for more information https://proofreadanywhere.com/scopist/

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