Remote Scopist vs. Proofreader: Ashlie Pechin’s Career Shift

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Remote scopists are an valued part of the legal system.

Are you already earning a solid income with legal proofreading or transcription? Would you like to earn more? Did you know that many court reporters also use a remote scopist rather than editing their own raw transcripts? This specialized service requires more training, but scopists earn higher per-page rates. Scopists just starting out can earn $50,000/year. Rates are higher for experienced scopists with excellent reputations for reliability and accuracy.

If you are a legal document proofreader, your training and work in that field will make it easier to pivot to scoping
. After all, you already know a lot of the basics. Better yet, you may find that you already have proofreading clients ready to send you their scoping work, too. 

Think this sounds great, but you’re not sure how to become a remote scopist? Internet Scoping School (ISS)  can help. Creator Linda Evenson has over 40 years of scoping experience she built from the ground up. And she’s right there to help students succeed as they learn how to become successful remote scopists.

This is the fifth interview in my series of chats with working scopists. All have graduated from Internet Scoping School. If you want to know more about scoping in general, read our ultimate scoping guide. You can also check out our in-depth review of Internet Scoping School.

Ashlie Pechin was a legal proofreader when one of her court reporter clients suggested scoping. She did some research in legal proofreading groups, found Internet Scoping School,
and enrolled. Once she graduated, she  made the shift to higher-impact (and higher-paying) scoping work.

Ashlie, a mother of one,  lives in Texas, and is now the owner of AP Precision Proofreading and Scoping. She was first a legal document proofreader who trained through Proofread Anywhere. When I asked her to describe her work, she said, “I help shine and polish transcripts for court reporters.”

Hi, Ashlie! Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started working from home? 

I am a mom to a sweet and energetic little one, and I am also a wife. I first started working from home after I took the Proofread Anywhere course and became a proofreader. I came across that course through a website article that provided information on legitimate work-from-home opportunities, which seemed very difficult to find at the time. I had been searching for work that would provide me with more flexibility and freedom in my schedule. When I came across Proofread Anywhere, it felt right up my alley and I knew I had to give it a chance. I am so glad I did!

What originally drew you to the idea of a remote scopist vs. proofreader career, and what made you take the leap of faith to follow through?

I had been in the industry as a proofreader for several years when one of my favorite reporters asked me if I had ever considered scoping. I hadn't even thought of it at the time, but I am so grateful that she put that possibility in my mind. I liked the idea that I could grow in the industry I was already in, and that I could potentially increase my earning potential. I found Linda's course shortly after that, and after a lot of thought and research, I decided I was ready for a challenge. 

How did you first hear about Internet Scoping School for remote scopist training?

The course came highly recommended in many of the proofreading-related Facebook groups I belong to.

You graduated from Proofread Anywhere before enrolling in ISS. Do you feel that course helped prepare you for a transition to a career as a remote scopist?

I do believe it is possible to become a scopist without a proofreading background, but I am so grateful I had that background and experience. I feel very strongly that it helped prepare me for the transition to scoping. It also gave me a great foundation to build upon and the confidence to know that I could challenge myself and grow my career.

Remote scopists can set their own schedules as long as they meet client deadlines.

Has ISS helped you in your remote scopist career?  

ISS was an amazing course that absolutely helped me in my scoping career. Linda is wonderful and so helpful. By the time I completed the course, I knew I had the skills and knowledge to put myself out there as a scopist and feel good about the work I would produce. 

How supported do you feel by the ISS team now that you’ve graduated from their scopist training?

I feel very supported by the ISS team. Linda is always available to help when needed. We also have a great Facebook group full of graduates that are always willing to answer questions, give advice, or lend support through any struggles. 

What is your favorite aspect of life as a remote scopist?

I love that no workday looks the same which means the job never gets boring. I get the chance to learn about so many different topics and industries and things I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn about otherwise. I have also built some invaluable professional relationships. Most of all, I love that I can essentially create my own work schedule and the freedom that comes along with that, especially when it comes to being able to be there for my family. I am able to take my son to appointments when needed, and I never have to miss a sporting or school event. 

Technology is important for remote scoping. ISS can help you master it.

What do you find the most challenging part of this career?

I am not the most technologically savvy person, so I would say the most challenging part for me was learning the software. To be honest, I am still learning new ways I can use the software to help me be a more efficient scopist. Thankfully, the software itself has so many great training videos, and their technical support is wonderful. The ISS Facebook group is another amazing resource when it comes to the software. There is always someone more tech savvy than myself to help when I have a question. 

Did you have a clear earnings goal when you started as a remote scopist? If so, have you reached it, or do you have an idea of when you will?

I had an idea of the minimum income I'd like to earn each month. Thankfully, I have consistently surpassed that and even raised my minimum monthly income goal. 

I noticed you work full-time. About how long after graduating from ISS did you have a full roster of clients that allowed for full-time remote scopist work? 

One bonus of having been a proofreader before becoming a scopist is the fact that I had a client base already. That allowed me to transition some of my proofreading clients to scoping clients. Word of mouth and recommendations go a long way, as well. I would say I was a full-time scopist within a month or two. 

Being a full-time work-at-home mom definitely has its challenges. My son is in school now, which makes it much easier to get my work done during regular work hours. However, when he was home, I managed to get my work done by mainly working during nap times. I was also able to work while he was independently playing. 

It wasn’t always easy to juggle being a mom and working from home, but it was always worth it because I was able to be there with him and not miss out on the early years with him, for which I will be forever grateful. 

If you could change/add one thing to the course, what would it be and why?

Something I might add to the course is that I think it would be really neat if there was a mentorship program with the course. Something like a group of reporters who are willing to work with new scopists and provide them with real feedback to help them grow their skills and confidence before putting themselves out there and taking on work. I was lucky enough to have a reporter who was very kind to work with me in that way, and it helped me to not only become a better scopist, but it also helped to work with someone who knew I was a new scopist. She gave me grace while I was still figuring out the software and making sure I was doing my job properly, while also giving me invaluable feedback.

How flexible is your career as a remote scopist? Does it leave you the time you want for parenting, family, and the rest of life?

It is extremely flexible the majority of the time. There are times when I am working on trials or rush jobs where I have a little less flexibility. But for the most part, I have the time I need and want to focus on family and a good work/life balance. 

Before you enrolled in PA, then became a remote scopist, did you have a career, and, if so, what was it?

I wouldn't call it a career, but I was a personal trainer. I loved it and I loved helping people, but it didn't give me the flexibility that proofreading and now scoping have given me. 

In your opinion, is scoping generally a good work-from-home career option for stay-at-home parents?

Absolutely! It can be difficult if you have little ones running around while you are trying to work, but if they go to school or day care or you have help with them during your chosen work hours, then it is an excellent option. Even if they aren’t in school or day care, there are ways to make this career work with little ones at home, and being there for them and with them makes it all worth it. 

Any advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming a remote scopist?

If you have an interest in scoping and you have an excellent grasp of grammar and punctuation and enjoy a challenge, I say go for it!

Can you share 3-5 top benefits of becoming a remote scopist?

  • Flexibility to choose your own work schedule
  • Freedom to travel and be your own boss
  • Being there for your kids and family
A career as a remote scopist allows moms like Ashlie flexible time with their families.

Thank you, Ashlie!

Ashlie Pechin used her career as a legal transcript proofreader to launch her remote scopist business. With Proofread Anywhere and Internet Scoping School, she found the tools she needed to get started and pivot when she was ready.

Are you interested in seeing how ISS has helped others become remote scopists? Read the other interviews in my remote scopist series, including this group interview with three scopists. I've also interviewed Chelsea Stock , Darcy Thornburg, and Lyndsi Martel. All are graduates of Internet Scoping School. Each used ISS and its online Facebook community to create successful scoping careers.

Still not sure if scoping is for you? Read our review of Internet Scoping School and get a feel for who Linda Evenson is.

Linda also offers a free Intro to Scoping mini-course to help you decide. This email series will give you a week-long sampler of information on life as a scopist. At the end, you’ll have a better idea whether you’d make a great remote scopist. 

Are you considering making the shift and becoming a remote scopist? Have questions we haven’t answered? Want to know more? Comment below and get the conversation going!

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