Closed captioning is one of the lucrative online-based jobs that can help you make tens of thousands of dollars per year from the comfort of your home.
Unlike other digital skills like graphic design, programming, or video editing, closed captioning doesn’t require you to spend months learning and trying to acquire the skill. In a couple of weeks, you can become a professional closed captioner.
Since you are looking forward to making money from closed captioning jobs, this post will provide the basic piece of information you need to get started. You will understand the key responsibilities of a closed captioner, how to become one, and the online platforms where you can find real close captioning jobs.
What Are Closed Captioning Jobs?
Closed captioning jobs are performed by people who are charged with the responsibility of writing the text that appears during a video or recorded live event. For example, a closed captioner writes subtitles for films and television shows.
How Much Does A Closed Captioner Make?
A closed captioner can earn as much as $50,000 to $60,000 annually when working for a major network or film studio. However, you need to amass some years of experience as a professional closed captioner before you can be eligible for this kind of salary offer. As a beginner, you can earn between $25,000 to $30,000 per year.
Types Of Closed Captioning Jobs From Home
Although closed captioning has a straightforward job description, there are different areas of specialization in the field. Here are the various types of closed captioning jobs you can find online:
Captioning For YouTube Creators
This one is very common. There are millions of YouTube creators who have to write captions and subtitles for their videos before publishing them on YouTube. Sometimes, these creators outsource this job to professional closed captioners. You can actually get hired remotely by YouTubers, and it’s arguably the easiest way to find closed captioning jobs online.
Real-Time Captioning For Online Classes
As of today, there are experts who create online courses and hold virtual training. As a closed captioner, you can help these online tutors to write captions or subtitles for their recorded teachings. Like YouTube creators, you can always find online tutors via social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Captioning For Audio Files
Sometimes, closed captioners are not charged with writing subtitles for videos. They are sometimes responsible for transcribing speech to text. You will have to listen to audio files and convert what you hear into written content.
Aside from writing captions, closed captioners can also edit the captions or subtitles written by other captioners. This means you can work as an editor, and you don’t always have to write captions from scratch.
Many broadcast stations usually work with closed captioners to write subtitles for live events that are being broadcasted. Broadcast captioners also earn more money than other captioners because large media organizations are hiring them.
What Skills Are Required To Be A Closed Captioner
To be a competent closed captioner, here are the certain essential skills you must possess:
- Good Command Of English
Knowing how to speak English fluently is important for closed captioning jobs. Remember, if you are writing in English and can’t completely comprehend the information you want to transcribe, you won’t perform well. You should have a good command of the English language even if you currently don’t live in an English-speaking country.
All closed caption jobs require accuracy all the time. While captioning, there should be accuracy in spelling, context, and grammar. For example, if someone says “many lives were lost”, and you mistakenly write “lots of lives were lost”, you are obviously not accurate. The essence of closed captioning is to enable the viewers of the visual content to read exactly what is being said in the videos.
- Typing Speed
You need to be fast at typing. For instance, if you have a truckload of videos to caption and you aren’t typing fast, you won’t meet deadlines. This would make you appear incompetent and you will lose a lot of potential clients.
- Good Listening Skill
You must be able to listen clearly to the speech in videos or audios in order to write captions accurately. Hence, have a flair for listening. Don’t listen in a hurry. Take your time to painstakingly listen to every word and sentence that is being spoken. That’s how you become competent at captioning.
What Tools Or Equipment Are Needed For Closed Captioning Jobs
Closed captioning is unlike some technical occupations that require you to have a bunch of tools and gear while working. Nevertheless, here are the few tools you need for your closed captioning jobs:
Closed captioning is done digitally. Hence, you need closed captioning software, not pen and paper. There are various captioning software that you can use on your PC to make your job easier, faster, and hassle-free. Some of these software are free, while some are being paid for. But whichever software you use, ensure it does the job effectively and efficiently.
As a professional closed captioner, you can’t use your smartphone or tablet for the job. What you need is a laptop. Your laptop will be used to install the closed captioning software. But thankfully, the good news is that you don’t need an expensive laptop for this job. You don’t need a MacBook Pro worth thousands of dollars. A $250 PC can be used for closed captioning with ease.
Since listening to the speech before captioning is key, you need a headset to enhance your listening experience. Remember, you aren’t a DJ or a music producer, and you don’t need an expensive headset for your closed captioning jobs. A high-quality headphone for less than $30 would get the job done.
How To Become A Closed Captioner
The first step to becoming a closed captioner is by developing your typing skills. Usually, close captioners have limited time to complete their tasks. This means anyone unable to type fast and accurately won’t perform competently, let alone impress clients. You can start improving your typing skills by using typing test websites to measure your speed and accuracy.
Moreover, you need to get the necessary closed captioning equipment. Get a laptop, install a captioning software, and remember to get a headset as well. You are expected to use these tools for practicing during your learning phase.
If you find it hard to learn on your own, then it’s best to buy an online course or sign up for virtual training on closed captioning. Hopefully, this will enable you to learn from professionals instead of trying to figure it out yourself.
Lastly, it’s advisable to get certified. Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) is one of the most credible certificates closed captioners can apply for. It’s a credential from the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Getting this certificate will verify you as a skilled captioner capable of working in high areas of closed captioning, such as the field of broadcasting.
10 Best Closed Captioning Jobs From Home That Pay Well
After your learning phase, and you feel confident enough to start looking for gigs as a captioner, here are 10 amazing websites you should consider:
This is a freelance closed captioning company that pays captioners $0.50 to $0.75 per minute. If you caption a video of about 10 minutes, you can earn a minimum of $5. Imagine captioning about 5 to 10 videos every day. That’s a significant amount of money to make as a beginner. You can make as much as $1500 monthly and turn the job into a stable part-time income stream.
The best thing about signing up with Rev is that there is no restriction on the number of projects you can accept. You can undertake as many gigs as possible, increasing your earning potential.
Crowdsurf is another credible platform that is always looking forward to hiring new closed captioners to convert audio to text. You get paid for each assignment you complete.
As soon as you sign up on the website as a freelance captioner, you will have to create a special profile which the hiring team will assess within 24 hours. If you pass the assessment, you will be given access to multiple closed captioning jobs.
If you are looking for the best closed captioning jobs, you should check out this website. With thousands of paid captioners working for the platform, Vitac is considered one of the leading closed captioning service providers across the United States.
However, the company does not usually offer remote job opportunities. They are known for recruiting in-house captioners since they mainly handle real-time captioning. Freelancers only get hired by Vitac once in a while.
Captionmax offers both freelance closed captioning jobs and in-house appointments. You will be paid based on the number of completed projects. When it comes to recruiting captioners, this platform is relatively strict.
To get hired, you must have the necessary criteria, such as solid writing and editing ability, the capability to transcribe audio to text accurately, and some years of experience on the job. Some experience in video editing will also give you an edge.
Aberdeen offers legit closed captioning jobs from home, providing an hourly rate of $75. But before you can get hired, you must have previous years of experience in captioning. You will also be required to work very fast, captioning at a rate of 180 – 220 words per minute.
If you are a beginner, this may not be the best company to start your closed captioning career with.
6. Caption Media Group
Caption Media Group is a reputable company that provides closed captioning services to the producers of TV shows, videos, movies, and other kinds of pre-recorded visual content.
Occasionally, the company announces vacancies for experienced closed captioners, offering the opportunity to come on board. You must reside in the United States and have at least 2 years of experience before you can apply for the job.
Vanan is arguably the biggest provider of closed captioning services. The company works with some of the most popular media brands in America. However, this means that they only sometimes recruit beginners.
To be eligible for recruitment, you must possess at least 3 years of experience in closed captioning, and you must also be competent in time management. You can find both remote and on-site jobs on Vanan.
8. VIQ Solutions
VIQ Solutions is another fantastic platform that provides some of the best closed captioning jobs online. But sometimes, you may be offered only transcription gigs, which is still similar to closed captioning.
The good thing about transcribing audio is that you won’t need a captioning software. All you have to do is listen carefully and write exactly what you hear using Microsoft Word or notepad.
9. AI Media
AI Media is a well-known closed captioning service provider in the US. They offer a vast number of closed captioning jobs from home, enabling you to work as a freelancer. You can also be given audio transcription tasks, helping you to earn between $27 to $42 per hour.
To get started on this platform, you need to sign up as a member and create a profile. Once you complete your registration, you can apply for available jobs and wait to see if you are eligible. All eligible applicants are usually given projects to complete within a short time.
10. Impact Media
There are numerous freelance closed captioning jobs on this site. By offering various types of captioning services to multiple brands within and outside the United States, Impact Media constantly needs to hire the skills of experienced closed captioners.
You don’t need a college degree or some fancy certificate to work with them. Instead, you will be given an assessment test to prove your competence. If you pass the assessment test, you will be considered competent enough to work for the company.
Quick Summary: Closed Captioning Jobs That Pay Well
As much as formal training is not required, you can’t become a professional closed captioner without undergoing some form of learning exercise. This is where online courses come in.
There are several online instructors who have created different closed captioning courses to help beginners. If you find a course that will teach you everything you need to know about closed captioning, enroll for it as soon as possible. That’s how you start building your wealth of knowledge before applying for closed captioning jobs.
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