Below is my interview with Caitlin Pyle about her flexible work from home job as a court transcript proofreader (working entirely from her iPad), and also a little info about how you can get started doing it as well.
After reading the interview, be sure to look at the comments down below this post and also browse the Facebook testimonials here.
I am blown away by the number of positive testimonials from readers who have come back to share their own success stories as transcript proofreaders.
Tell us a little about why and how you got started working from home.
It was all an accident, actually! I got fired from my last job and went to school for personal training.
Turns out, I didn't like it as much as I thought. I had already been proofreading for two court reporters for a couple of years, and all the proofreaders I knew just did it as a side gig, so I never thought it could ever be anything more than that.
But I did really good work with my clients and the referrals started rolling in and before I knew it, I had enough work to make up for the income from my old job — actually, it was double what I'd been making, but I'd only worked half the hours. It was really a dream come true.
Tell us a little about proofreading transcripts and what that involves.
All of my clients are court reporters. They go and “report” the job, whether it's a hearing, deposition, trial, etc. and use fancy software to transcribe it into English.
They send their final draft to me via e-mail for proofreading, and I return corrections back to them via e-mail in a PDF. I do all the work from my iPad on my own schedule from wherever I am at the time — I've proofread in airports, airplanes, trains, waiting rooms, the couch — and of course, from my nice, comfy bed. 🙂
What are the best things about working from home as a proofreader?
I totally dig the autonomy and flexibility.
I remember the first time I left the house at 11:00 a,m, to go to Costco on a weekday, how great it felt to be able to just make the decision to do my grocery shopping whenever I wanted to! No more fitting it in on my lunch break, or battling the after-5 crowds — I was free!
I also love the fact that there is no commute time, very few phone calls (clients do call, but it's very, very seldom) and extremely low overhead. Being able to fit in my household tasks, like laundry and cleaning, in between my transcripts is also great.
Is transcript proofreading a fairly lucrative industry?
If you know what you're doing, it can be very lucrative.
On the flip side, there are many transcript proofreaders who got started long before I did and are making next to nothing, or have to work a regular job and keep proofreading as a side job.
That could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe they just don't want to do proofreading alone for income.
Maybe they crave an office environment, or maybe they love listening to a particular radio show on a morning commute to the office… but maybe they aren't making money because they're using really archaic, slow, time-consuming methods with outdated technology that isn't allowing them to maximize their output and ability to take on more clients/work.
For me and the people I've mentored, we use an iPad, which is the fastest and most efficient, lowest-overhead method, and we know how to market ourselves, meaning we have been able to earn as much as we want.
Some of us want just a bit of extra money, whereas some of us want to ditch the desk job altogether and travel.
To give an example of how much we can earn: I'm able to read about 100 pages per hour, so if I read 600 pages in a day and if I charge $0.40 per page, that's $240 in one day.
But, for someone who, instead of using an iPad, chooses to print out the pages and then scan in each page with corrections, that tremendously slows down their output. It does take time to build speed and stamina to read 600 pages in a day, but it is entirely possible.
My maximum pages I read in a day is about 400, so that'd be an income of $160 per day, which is about 50% more than what I earned at my desk job twice the hours of work.
The earning potential can also increase if the pages are rush (say I bill rushes at $0.55 per page), or if the jobs just have fewer words per page, which means I can read even more than 100 pages per hour.
I didn't make millions of dollars, but I did earn over $43,000 (gross) in 2014, which isn't too bad for part-time work. I also took over three weeks of time off for various trips, including a week in Jamaica and a 7-day cruise!
Is it a hard industry to break into? How is this different from proofreading websites, books, or other texts?
Not if you know what you're doing! It definitely used to be harder to break into, because there was no formal education system or pathway to get into it.
It's definitely a lot easier to break into “traditional” proofreading, as I like to call it.
That's proofreading term papers, books, web content — but that kind of stuff is ridiculously low-paying and highly competitive. Just check out how many proofreaders there are on Fiverr, Upwork, and Craigslist. People will actually proofread, nay, even edit 1000 words of text for $5.
A proofreader's time is worth so much more than that, but most people who proofread have no idea that the niche of proofreading for court reporters even exists! In truth, proofreading transcripts is exponentially more profitable than “traditional” proofreading jobs, because court reporters are repeat clients.
If you proofread books or websites, your clients only have content when they choose to produce it.
Court reporters, on the other hand, transcribe legal proceedings for a living, so they have work a lot more consistently than your traditional proofreading client would — and they generally earn more money, too, so you earn more as well.
What methods have you found most effective for getting new clients?
To be completely honest, I used to think it was getting plugged in to a larger agency, but I've since changed my opinion. Simply doing good work to earn referrals has undoubtedly been the best way to get clients.
That's one reason I love this kind of work. You do a good job, and that good work actually markets for you — and the best kind of marketing is the kind you don't have to do yourself. 🙂
You can create testimonials automatically when you continuously do a good job for your clients. They will start talking and handing your name out when they hear of anyone needing a good proofreader.
What sort of training and qualifications would others need to break into this industry?
I get this question a lot! So often, in fact, I actually created an online course on my website, ProofreadAnywhere.com, called Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice to help others become transcript proofreaders.
It's definitely an art, and it's so much more than being able to spot spelling and grammar mistakes. You've got to have a very good eye for detail and that knack for catching errors.
Most people who have this gift describe errors as “popping off the page” at them. That's not something I can teach, either — you have the talent, or you don't.
Many people think you have to have perfect grammar to be a proofreader — but as a transcript proofreader, you're reading spoken words that were transcribed verbatim, so if someone speaks with improper grammar, you can't fix it!
So that's cool for me, because I actually don't have perfect grammar myself!
I don't even have a degree in English, which is another common misconception about this kind of work. My degree is in communication, but I've always had a knack for spotting errors and inconsistencies in a variety of texts.
Patience, the willingness to work hard, and the guts to take action are also paramount. While I can provide all the tools and resources for starting up, I can't catch errors for you and I can't do your marketing for you.
Tell us more about your course and how it can really help people get started doing what you do.
I can't stress it enough: knowing what you are doing is crucial to making it in this industry and good solid training from a seasoned pro is absolutely the fastest way to get there.
Based on my own experience, I am certain of that, too — it took me three years to start earning a significant income from proofreading, whereas I've seen my students start doing it in less than a month!
So when you get proper education and mentoring, your learning curve is so much shorter.
Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice was built to be an A-Z roadmap for all things transcript proofreading. Nothing else like it exists anywhere else on the web or in print.
Before now, people would have to wing it and stumble around in the dark for years (like I did) before making any money, or they stall out and never learn the most efficient ways to do the work or how to best market oneself to actually turn a good profit.
In the course, which is completely self-paced, you start off with the very basics of what a transcript is, and progress through to harder material, including practice transcripts and how/where to find clients.
The course is incredibly thorough and exhaustive in its attempt to cover (literally) everything I've ever come across in my career as a transcript proofreader.
Students are also given access to a closed Facebook group where the mentoring is more personal.
Students can post screenshots of jobs they're working on for feedback from other students, ask questions, and I'm always posting alerts to new and tricky things that show up in the transcripts I read.
The course spans 2-4 months, with most students finishing in about 8-10 weeks.
At the end of the course, students take a multiple-choice final exam, after which they complete a manually-graded exam transcript. Students have to receive at least 90% to pass and receive their official certificate and certificate number.
Courses Are 50% Off Now Through December 30th
The Court Transcript Proofreading course and the General Proofreading course are both 50% off now through December 30th. So if you are interested in becoming a proofreader (either professionally or as a side-gig) this is the best time to sign up and get savings off either of these two popular courses.
Go here to read more about both of them to decide if you think they would be for you.
Caitlin Pyle started proofreading transcripts for court reporters in 2009. She lives in Orlando, Florida. She also writes a travel and lifestyle blog called The Work Anywhere Life.
@realwaystoearn #proofreader #proofreadanywhere #workathome #workfromhome #freelanceproofreader #proofreadingservice #wahm #wahd #workfromhome2022 #workfromhome2023 #workfromhomejobs ♬ Island In The Sun – Weezer
78 thoughts on “Make Up to $43,000 Yearly as a Court Transcript Proofreader”
Hello Caitlin! I found your Proofreading Course last year and was intrigued as I believe this is something I would really enjoy and be good at. The question is…you mentioned that you can earn (or earned) $43,000.00 working on a part-time basis in 2014? If that is part-time earnings, well how much can one possibly make on a full-time basis? I would love to be able to work at home with my own business as my life has consisted of being an educated stay at home mom and raising our 2 children. Our children’s lives have been Private school and a sacrifice as my husband has worked many long hours and continues to do so. While our son Joshua has proven to be responsible while away in college and has done pretty well with adjustments such as school and work, Thank God..our daughter Sarah has had to deal with special health care needs and ongoing medical visits all the while she’s been in school. She’ almost eighteen and I would love to provide things that she has needed and had to go without. Thankfully, she’s in a great high school for the Arts but very demanding. She’s a Junior and her Conservatory is Sculpting. I’ve been on burn out and going crazy trying to find something worth my while and money as I too have dreams and goals financially so that we can enjoy our lives.
I don’t usually respond to this type of thing, but this “proofreading of court transcripts” really caught my eye. I was a medical transcriptionist for a number of years and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a very challenging field, is ever-changing, and always interesting. I have also thought that court reporting for trials, depositions, etc. would also be very interesting, but “proofreading” is something I do with everything I read, and yes, the errors do seem to “jump off the page” at me.
Working from home and making extra money is certainly appealing and the course you offer sounds like it would be very helpful to anyone wishing to get into the field.
I really appreciated everything you said about familiarizing oneself with this specific type of proofreading through a course, and since you are the individual who developed it and have mentored others in its use, sharing with them the “ins and outs” of the business, I think it’s only appropriate for you to be able to “set your price” for the course. It sounds phenomenal.
I’m definitely going to check into your course and see if it’s something that would be feasible for me to do. I’ve often thought about being an “editor/proofreader” for books (novels specifically but not exclusively) as I do read constantly and see many errors…don’t understand how they are missed. (LOL, LOL)
Thank you, Caitlin, for your insights into the world of “proofreading court transcripts”; it’s very enlightening.
It sounds like you already have put your eagle eyes to good use, Brenda! 🙂 Especially with your background in transcription, you have to be used to staying on top of good grammar and punctuation. You might be interested in the free 7-day intro course to give you more information on proofreading court transcripts! You are always welcome to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions!
Thank Caitlin — Appreciate your response; however, I’m going to have to put this on “hold” for the time being. Other things, such as my health, must take first place right now. I will definitely keep your course in mind.
That’s completely understandable! I’m always available if you have any questions.
Thanks very much, Caitlin.
Wow! I have been wanting to try legal transcription for a while, but this “jumped off the page at me” as something I might like a LOT more! I have been a medical transcriptionist since 1999 and loove my job! I can hardly wait to get started on your freebie course (luv da freebies, yes!). I am always impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of those who so graciously share what they had to struggle to get for themselves. You true entrepreneurs are my heroes! Thank you, Caitlin, and again thank YOU, Anna!
You’re welcome, and good luck to you! I hope you find that this is a good career path for you!
Hi Anna, I would like to get started with such type of work…. How should I go ahead?
I’m pretty interested in doing this, as a side job, how would I go about getting started or applying?
Could you please do another article concerning this without interviewing someone? This was not helpful to me and especially if I am just starting out without a great deal of money purchasing something from someone else. Thank you.
I have an odd question… I have social anxiety and issues dealing with people in person and over the phone. Is it possible to find clients via email/Internet or some way less intimidating for me? I am concerned if I take your course, I will find out later that I am too introverted to be able to use my new-found skills. Thank you.
Yes — there are tons of ways to do this online. We place a big focus on social media, too. In my own business, I also hardly ever had to speak on the phone with my clients — 99.9% of the work was done over email. If you have the same issues with putting yourself out there online, it may not be a good fit for you, though. This is not the kind of business where you can put up a website then sit and wait 🙂 You do need to be proactive, but it doesn’t have to be on the phone or in person. Hope this helps 😀
Yes, this was so helpful. I am relieved to hear this, and it definitely sounds like something I could do. Thanks!
Do you have to live in a certain area, to receive work from a court reporter, or can this be done anywhere? I ask this question, because sometimes you have to live in certain areas for work at home positions.
Hi, Bridgett! You can work anywhere. My husband and I were able to travel to South America for a year because I can take my work wherever I go! Because the majority of communication is done through e-mail, as long as you have internet connection, it will not matter where you live. 🙂
I am interested in doing this. Is there a certain ipad you need, like ipad pro, or ipad air2
You can read more about what I recommend for iPads and why on my blog post at https://proofreadanywhere.com/why-do-you-recommend-an-ipad-which-one-should-i-get-why-what-if-i-dont-like-apple-what-if-i-already-have-an-android-can-i-work-on-my-laptop/. Feel free to check out the other FAQs on my blog or send send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions!
This sounds very interesting thanks for the article and tons of insightful comments as well. I wonder if this would work for someone in Canada though. I don’t know if these jobs are of demand here. That is what I really need to know before checking the course out is if I have a chance being that I am in Canada and this might be more lucrative for somebody in the USA. 🙂
Hi, Lee Ann! We do have several proofreaders in Canada — actually, I’m working on interviewing one of them now. She has a few clients in Canada and several more in the US. You can bill in USD and be paid via PayPal. What matters most to clients is that you do an excellent job. If you cannot properly punctuate a sentence or leave obvious errors untouched in a job you’ve done for a client, you won’t be able to keep that client regardless of where you live. Hope this helps 🙂 Feel free to reach out to me if you have any other questions. email@example.com
Is there an app for proofreading for a tablet? I don’t know anything about ipads or tablets, my husband is looking into getting a tablet for me and I would like to use the tablet for this instead of an iPad, don’t know what app to use, or how it works. thanks!
Hey, Kristel! Check out this post for some alternatives and for the reasons we recommend the iPad over other tablets. It really does the best — and fastest — job, but if you’re willing to deal with the cons of other tablets, you have some options. https://proofreadanywhere.com/why-do-you-recommend-an-ipad-which-one-should-i-get-why-what-if-i-dont-like-apple-what-if-i-already-have-an-android-can-i-work-on-my-laptop/
Thanks! It is possible to be successful with this with two small kids at home? Or do I need hours at a time of silent time?
I wouldn’t recommend it if you have no quiet time ever 🙂 We do have lots of homeschool moms making it work, though — check out this post: https://proofreadanywhere.com/how-flexible-are-proofreading-jobs/
This sounds like something I would enjoy doing. I’ve always been a great proofreader for people and friends and family are always asking me to do it. My question is, once you pass the course and you have the certification, how do you get in contact with people to proofread for them? Thanks!
We don’t publicize exactly how to find clients (people would literally take it and attempt to use it without having a clue what they’re doing … Speaking from experience :-)) but rest assured a very large module in the course is dedicated to finding clients — we help you with everything. I’m on my cell right now, but if you head over to http://www.ProofreadAnywhere.com, I have an extensive FAQ section. Click FAQs, and one of the more recent posts on the first page is called “Does the course help me find clients?” — click that one 🙂 there are a lot of other FAQs there, too, so feel free to browse and comment on them if you need something clarified.
Seeing all the positive testimonials here is tempting me to try the course. I must admit, although I like writing, I’ve always been better at correcting other people’s work than at the creative stuff. I am just wondering if any students from other countries have taken this course and how the job situation is for them? (Because I’m not in the US).
Hi Stefannie! We really mean it when we say “Proofread Anywhere” 🙂 Check out this FAQ: https://proofreadanywhere.com/what-if-i-dont-live-in-the-united-states/
Hi Caitlin, thanks so much for replying! I’m from the Philippines, so it’s nice to see that mentioned in the article. I might decide to give this a shot after all. Every little source of income helps 🙂
Dream Warrior: I can see why you call yourself that. You are at war with everyone else’s dreams and probably your own. I have finished the course and am in my first month of working with clients. Thus far, I have earned over $500 with just 2 clients and recently acquired a third client. Caitlin’s course gave me a new lease on life because I can see the possibility now of quitting the job I hate and staying at home to work. Her course is everything she says it is, and more. I LOVE the course, I LOVE the work, and I think I’m even a little bit in love with Caitlin for helping me make my own dreams a reality. 🙂
Caitlin’s course is the real deal! I’m still at the beginning of the practice transcripts, but the support and encouragement from all the other students is fun and inspirational. I’m confident I will get there, too! 😀
I’m one of those who found Caitlin from here. I enrolled early in April, but I have not completed the course because life keeps getting in the way. Having two jobs is also not helping matters, however I am determined to finish it and build my dream business. It is not easy and Caitlin never promised a handout. It is also not logical to expect her to give away her life’s work for free. A detailed course, a vibrant community that supports each other, shares in successes and failures..what’s not to love? If you’re not ready to put in the blood, sweat and tears, don’t bother.
Joining Proofreadanywhere, working my way through the course requirements, and being part of a supportive group has changed my life already. It has helped me focus on what’s important to me in my life. I am working through the course material while handling my full time job and helping my family but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Caitlin is awesome and wants nothing but the best for her students and she has created a positive forum for all of us.
I am loving all these positive testimonials! Thanks for sharing!
Wow, it’s sad that DreamWarrior felt the need to be so rude, but as I remember reading in the 7 day introductory course, Caitlin blogged about that if you weren’t serious and committed then it wasn’t going to work for you. Sounds as if someone wanted an easy-peasy money maker and sorry, but that’s just not how things are done. I’m just now through module 5 and SO glad I am doing this as I even had my daughter sign up! It will help her get though college AND pay for her upcoming wedding easily, and Caitlin and Tillie helped me through some craziness in my life for a few weeks with some understanding. Love this great opportunity that I’ve shared it with 5 other friends !
The proofreading course is fantastically done. It requires significant work, but the support network is beyond compare. Caitlin is the real deal. I am so glad I decided to do her course and cannot wait to complete it.
I am quite pleased with this course, and AMAZED with the amount of information, the content, and the support that has been provided by Caitlin. The course curriculum has almost doubled since I began. And yes, perhaps someone was thinking “info-mercial fees”, or a do now, pay later deal, but life does not work that way. When I went to nursing school, there was no pay as you go option, and NOBODY promised a job after graduation. I had a choice to choose a “lay-away” plan (so many payments, over time, and then receive the course), or suck it up and pay in full. I have enough faith in myself to know I can complete this course, that I will find work that will pay the bills, and that I made the right choice here. I believe Caitlin to be genuinely sincere and caring, and I hope to be one of those proofreaders of whom she will be proud. Thank you Caitlin for this opportunity!
Too bad it was a “waste of time” for you, Dream Warrior. But it’s not fair to blame Caitlin because it didn’t work out for you. She’s very clear about what’s involved. Fortunately, I am happy to say it wasn’t a “waste of time” for me. I completed Caitlin’s very detailed and instructional course in about two months and am now proofreading for 4 court reporters while still working full-time. When I first purchased the course I felt that she wasn’t charging enough for it. So I was glad when she increased the course content and fee because I definitely feel it’s worth it. Because of this amazing course, I am now on my way to paying off old debt. I hope to make this my only source of income once that’s taken care of.
Thanks a million Caitlin…I am so happy for your continued success!
As someone who has taken the course and has been able to build a thriving business, I can wholeheartedly say that this course is completely worth it and works IF you work it, IF you’re willing to do the work. Dream Warrior sounds like someone who probably thought they’d get something for minimal to no effort. So, my question to you is what did YOU do? Your post seeks to place blame on Caitlin for your failure, but the only person responsible for that is you.
Well said Keisa! That was exactly my thought…they were expecting something for nothing. Would love to know what they did to make this work but I doubt there will be any response.
Caitlin, there are always going to be haters. They are typically the ones that don’t “get it their way.” I jumped on your course a couple of days before the price increase. You were generous to alert others of the increase; like you said, you could of done it without any notice. I love the course. You and Tillie have been very gracious and pleasant every time that I have e-mailed you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise.
Really sorry you feel that way. You are referring to an email I chose to send regarding the enrollment fee increasing. If I were a money making machine, I wouldn’t have given anyone time to enroll at the lower price; I would have just raised it without notice. I didn’t tell anyone not to email me with negative feedback, I simply asked people to treat me like a human and to try to understand exactly why I chose to increase the fee for my very effective program that I’ve worked very hard to build. I more than doubled the content of my program, but less than doubled the fee, and I had every right to do so. In response to the increase, I had received several rude emails stating it was unfair for me to raise the fee. Meanwhile, students who complete the program and take action with their new skills have been able to earn thousands of dollars (even in the first month) and that by itself proves it’s very much worth the investment. I also spend a lot of time “disqualifying” people, that is, telling them NOT to enroll, who do not have what it takes. I am VERY upfront and thorough, and I ask everyone to honestly answer the eight questions on our enrollment page before enrolling so they know exactly what they are getting into.
No, I cannot “shut everyone up,” but I will always tell the truth
Don’t waste your time on this! I am sorry I ever got roped into this. All she did was turn it into a money making machine for herself and then tells everyone not to email her with negative feedback. Waste of Time and hard earned cash. You can’t shut everyone up Caitlin!!
That’s ridiculous. The moment I began the course I knew that it was worth every penny. When she emailed us announcing all of the additions she was giving it, I was floored by how much more we were receiving. The increase in cost is not only fair, but sensible. If countless hours are spent making new lessons and crafting new worksheets, the value of the course as a whole increases. To not alter the price is irrational. Caitlyn has always been more than cordial with me. The course is worth all the time and money I’ve spent on it. Sending hate mail is unacceptable and leaving misleading comments is unfair to the people who, having stumbled on this article, may have found exactly what they’ve been looking for. I know I did.
I signed up when the course was still in PDF format. When Caitlin introduced the current web-based video/module format, she increased the price (rightfully so) and could have denied my access until I paid the difference. She didn’t do this, and instead grandfathered me in to the new program. She would not have done this if she was only interested in turning the venture into a “money making machine.” She cares about her students, and it’s evident from the amount of time and effort she takes to keep it going.
Caitlin’s course is the only one I’ve found so far that offers truthful advice that can effectively be used to get a freelance proofreading business off the ground. I chose to take a chance and sign up for the course, and am glad I did. What you see is truly what you get, and that’s saying something in this age of Internet.
Dream Warrior: thanks for looking out!
I finally remembered how I found Caitlin – it was you! I purchased the course. I don’t know how I thought I would fit it in my schedule, with working full-time and blogging, but I’ll get around to finishing it eventually :-). Caitlin put together a detailed course, and an active and VERY supportive Facebook group with people who have completed the course and are now making money as proofreaders! Thank you for this post!
Thanks for your feedback, Cam!
I have been looking for something at home! I am just curious how legit this is? I have had a share of “to good to be true” work from home company’s! I am a certified medical transcriptionist and certified coder! I am a”give it to me straight ” type person! Is this legit? How hard is it to find jobs? How much does this cost?
Hi Smiley! This is definitely not too good to be true. There are plenty of ups and downs, and this type of work is not for everyone. You need a tremendously accurate eye for detail and ability to spot errors. For more information on the course and the cost, head over to http://www.ProofreadAnywhere.com and click “Take the Course!”
Much gratitude Caitlin Pyle, I am looking for work, am in college and would be glad to proofread transcripts, kindly advice
Hi Caitlin, I really enjoyed this article. I REALLY need to start proofreading, because I REALLY need to make some money. I am an English major. Since reading your story 7 days ago I have been trying to find work like yours; and nothing. Can you help? Please! Please! Please! Where can I find jobs??
Hi Cindy! Have you ever proofread a transcript before? If not, I would not recommend looking for work until you’ve gone through training of some kind, whether it’s my course or not. Transcripts are much, much different than proofreading a book, magazine article, master’s thesis, or any other sort of proofreading. There are many rules of thumb you need to know before just going out to find transcripts to read — an English degree is great, but you don’t learn to proofread transcripts in college, unfortunately. Being a good transcript proofreader is about so much more than knowing your grammar.
I don’t advertise exactly how and where to find clients to the public, it’s reserved for students who commit to learning how to do the work first. That’s not to be mean or anything, I just know from experience that by making it public knowledge where and how to find clients, a lot of people with “regular proofreading” experience and/or English degrees would be out there trying to find work proofreading transcripts without actually knowing the many intricacies of a transcript — basically, it’d be setting people up for failure. The reason I created the course is to set people up for success with all the tools, knowledge, practice, and resources they need to know how to do the work … and where to find the work.
It’s your choice, of course, if you’d like to continue looking for work without having learned the ropes, you can. But your chances of success are much, much higher if you invest in the education to do it the right way from the beginning. I sure wish there’d been a course to help me when I was getting started. Instead of 1-3 months (the average time it takes to complete the course) it took me THREE YEARS 🙂
Thank you for sharing your success and knowledge with us! I’ve read through your 7-day course, and I’m considering ordering the full course.
However, I have a few questions:
How difficult is it to compete for jobs with transcript proofreaders who have years of proofreading experience for court reporters? (I’ve been checking out proofreader’s ads, and their stated experience seems intimidating. )
Do agencies frown upon a lack of formal education and experience?
Also, how often do you encounter reporters who insist on having their documents edited and sent to them in a particular way? For instance, in Word instead of using the Annotate app and a PDF? Or some other way they prefer?
Thanks for your time and expertise!
Years of proofreading experience doesn’t mean they are good 🙂 I’ve read behind proofreaders with decades more experience than my five years and they miss stuff left and right. Also, unless they have taken my course (which very much counts as formal education ;-)) they have no formal education in transcript proofreading, because the course I’ve built is the first-ever course in transcript proofreading. Everyone else got their start by learning from so-and-so or winging it. Students who complete the course can proudly say they’ve completed a full course in transcript proofreading and even include the title of the course (Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice) on their resumes. However, in my 5+ years in the business, I’ve never even been asked for my resume or asked to prove anything — not even agencies have asked, even when I’ve volunteered to “audition”. It can happen, though, so the course includes exactly how to include it on your resume, just in case. Most of the time, reporters give me a shot, and it’s not long before they see that I know exactly what I’m doing, and that I do it well.
I’ve only been asked to do a job in any other way other than the way I do it by one reporter, whom I actually won over to “my side” with annotated transcripts eventually. She wanted me to write an errata sheet — I still used iAnnotate, but sent the corrections to myself and then went through and typed up an errata sheet using that file. Now, all of my jobs are on iAnnotate. I’ve never been asked to use Word. All of those methods are so time consuming. Usually if someone asks that you print out and scan in pages, they simply don’t know that the iPad method exists and that it’s just as good, if not better. It’s easier to look things up, which I think makes more people likely to actually look things up instead of pass them by. Some reporters still request those kinds of things, but the vast majority are satisfied if you do the work well and they can understand your corrections.
Hope this helps 🙂 Let me know if I can help you with anything else!!
Thank you very much for your detailed reply!
You’re very welcome 🙂
Wow, thanks so much for sharing the post, Melissa!
Thanks for this post. I didn’t even know that this WAH job opportunity existed or that it could be such a good way to make a living. The class sounds like a good introduction to learning more about this field. We shared this post on 1099 Mom so others could learn about it.
I have been reading this since it was first posted and find it very interesting. I have been working from home for many years already and have one fairly decent job I have been working since 2005 however I would like to have something else. I love to read and I am very detail oriented. I did a little bit of proofreading by request a number of years ago however it was nothing formal. Just wondering if I could really do this… Thank you for sharing this with us Caitlin and Anna.
Hi Teri! Sounds like you absolutely could “really do this” !!! 🙂
Thank you Caitlin! You are so wonderful and so positive. I think I am going to look over your website again and make my final decision. I am really 100% leaning towards doing this. I think I would really like it. 🙂
Fantastic!! Let me know if I can help with anything 🙂
Once again thank you for your post. 🙂 I have been reading over your website and everything looks great. I have a question for you if you don’t mind. In your opinion, who would be a good candidate to get into this line of work? By good candidate I don’t mean the perfect candidate because I think you covered that pretty well above. But with the least amount of skills and know-how. Does that make sense? Likes what would be the least amount of skills someone could have and still do this successfully? Maybe that’s a better way to say it. hee-hee 😉
Hey Teri! Really the only two things that you HAVE to have in order to learn this are 1) an eye for error and 2) the drive/willingness to do the work to really learn the course material. If a person just wants to work from home, but has no eye for error and/or isn’t willing to put in the work it takes to get good at a new skill, I wouldn’t recommend the course. It is a real course with real work to do 🙂 If you have those two things, though, you’re probably very aware of them. Errors pop off the page at you and make you want to (politely, of course) smack the person who wrote it, especially if it’s in a book or magazine 😉 And I guess a third thing would be that you have to BELIEVE in yourself and not let bumps in the road derail your success. Learning any new skill is going to take time and the smartest people know it’s not going to happen overnight!! Hope this helps!!!
Thank you, it helps tremendously. I’m sold! I do believe I can do this. I just wanted to be sure before I plunk down the money for the course. A few times I have gotten caught up in things only to find out they were not what they appeared to be. I think many of us can identify with that one. 😉 I am currently taking a Spanish refresher course for my current job. However this one has been more at the forefront of my mind. I do see things in magazines, articles, and books as well and my response usually is, “hmm that’s interesting” lol as I stop for a few seconds and then move on. I do believe that I can really do this!! Thank you so much for your time and attention to this thread and answering so kindly.
you are so welcome, Teri!!
I don’t know anything about the legal profession, but I do have experience in proofreading. Will I qualify?
Yes! Actually, most of my students have never had any legal experience. If you have a sharp eye for detail and error, are a hard worker, and are willing to learn, you can do the course.
I am currently taking courses at my local community college to earn a certificate as a medical coder. Is it possible to do both medical coding and court transcription proofreading? Also, is the court transcription proofreading profession strictly entrepreneurial or is one able to work with agencies to obtain jobs? Selling myself is not my strong suit so I want to make sure I have the facts before I make a leap.
Hi jacostello! Yes, an agency is where I first found work as a transcript proofreader beyond my two clients I had from working in a court reporting office. They tend to pay less, but getting plugged in with one could land you referrals from the court reporters that work for that agency, on top of work you do with the agency — and you can set your own rates with individual reporters. So it’s one of the top things I recommend is to get plugged in with agency.
So happy to see Caitlin over here today. She is an inspiration to the work at home crowd. If you don’t see the job you want, make it!
I 100 percent agree, Angie! 😀
Awww, y’all are sweet. Thank you so much for supporting me!
Thank you, Anna for presenting this information. And thanks to Caitlin for sharing. I have some informal training thanks to a former court reporter but I am very interested in the training that you have put together. Thank you both for paying it forward.
You’re very welcome! Happy to answer any questions.
Thank you, Caitlin (and Anna)! I have a background in the legal profession (I was a legal admin. asst. for 2 years and a paralegal for 7 years for a major international corporation). I’ve been a SAHM for 9 years now and don’t want to go back into the grind of the legal profession, but would like to find a way to make decent money from home. This sounds like something I would be very interested in! I was wondering about proofreading court transcripts because, as you said, court reporters record everything verbatim and you can’t correct what was said. I’m curious about what you are correcting? Is it basically spelling errors and punctuation? Also, you speak of using an iPad, but could you use any tablet or a laptop, or is there something specific about using an iPad? Also, curious about why you send your corrections back as a PDF file? I would greatly appreciate your help with my questions! Thank you so much for providing this information and helping others!
Hi Layne! Court reporters type up to 280 words or more a minute and as a result can up mix words easily very (See?) spell check doesn’t catch those things, either, because the words are often spelled correctly, just switched around. They sometimes leave dollar symbols off amounts, missing numbers, attorneys’ names spelled incorrectly/inconsistently, their own name could be spelled wrong (yep), wrong date, wrong year, completely wrong witness name altogether… ALL KINDS of stuff besides spelling. In fact, spelling mistakes should never happen because they’re supposed to spell check before sending it to a proofreader. Some of them don’t, and they get a nice talking-to (gently, of course) from their proofreader (me!).
We prefer iPad because of the app iAnnotate PDF. It is available for Android as well, just isn’t near as good as the iPad version. We send back PDFs so reporters can see exactly where on the page their mistakes are — iAnnotate makes it easy to make corrections in red, yellow, whatever colors, making it easy for them to see.
Hope this helps 😀