Curious about closed captioning jobs? It's exactly as you might have guessed –creating the television and video captions for the hearing impaired.
While it may seem like something fairly easy to do, it's harder than you'd think and it's something that you can't really get into without some schooling. Still, it's an industry that can pay well and may also allow you the luxury of working from home!
Today I have a list of companies that hire for work from home closed captioning. Next to each company, I've tried to include some additional information.
If you're not familiar with how captioning works, you'll probably be surprised by the high words per minute requirements for each company. Captioning is generally done with a stenotype machine (something court reporters use) and if you are trained to use one, it is possible to type well over 200 words per minute.
Before we get to the companies, I want to break down for you the two different types of captioning:
Offline Closed Captioning
People who do offline closed captioning transcribe pre-recorded TV programming and/or movies (things that won't be airing live). To be successful as an offline captioner, it's important that you type fast, have great English skills, are very comfortable using computers, and have a good understanding of time codes.
A time code is defined as, “A coded signal on videotape or film giving information about such things as frame number, time of recording, or exposure.”
Offline captioners may transcribe a program first (listen to it in it's entirety while preparing a script), and then use the script for captioning. Sometimes there will already be a script prepared for the transcriber to use.
Real-time captioning involves live programming. This is closed captioning for news broadcasts, sporting events, or anything taking place live. As you can imagine, real-time captioning involves a great deal of speed and skill and because of this, it's known to pay far better than offline captioning does. In fact, some real-time captioners make upwards of $100K per year!
Just as it is with offline captioning, you'll need to be fast and accurate, and you'll also need to have stenographic skills because real-time captioners typically use stenographic shorthand while working.
To get into this line of work, you'll have to have been trained at a school that offers captioning courses. Many court reporting schools do offer degrees and certifications in captioning.
Companies That Occasionally Offer Closed Captioning Jobs
#1 – Aberdeen
Aberdeen pays up to $75 per hour for real-time closed captioning from home. You need to have experience in captioning with a speed of 180-220 words per minute. Most of the captioning you do for them will require you to have some knowledge of Bible/Christian terminology.
Go here to check for openings at Aberdeen.
#2 – Caption Max
This company hires both realtime and offline captioners. It looks like the offline captioners have to work from the Caption Max office, but realtime captioners may work from home. To be considered, you must have attended a court reporting school and have a minimum of an A.A. or B.S. in Court and Conference Reporting or satisfactory completion of other 2-year equivalent program.
Go here to check for job openings at Caption Max.
#3 – Caption Media Group
Caption Media Group occasionally has openings for US-based closed captioners with a minimum of 2 years of experience. They handle all kinds of captioning — everything from films to corporate materials. The company website does not appear to have a Careers page where you can check for openings, but you can sometimes find the listings on Indeed when they're hiring.
#4 – ASC Services
This company has regular openings for at-home workers. The job description sounds more like transcription than captioning, but if you have an interest in transcribing entertainment and news broadcasts, this company may be an option. They do require three past years of experience in transcription before they will consider you.
Go here to check for openings.
#5 – Vitac
Vitac is one of the more well-known captioning companies. Many of their positions are in-house, but they do hire remote realtime captioners as well. However, to qualify for a remote position you have to be trained and have experience in captioning. Another thing that's interesting about Vitac is that their captioners are employees of the company, not independent contractors. This is a little unusual because most of the captioning jobs I find are independent contractor positions.
Go here for more information on captioning jobs at Vitac.
#6 – National Captioning Institute
NCI (National Captioning Institute) has regular openings for court reporters and voice writers with experience to work at home. This company offers benefits (insurance, etc.) and paid training to their workers. To qualify, you must have at least an Undergrad degree, HS diploma plus three years related work experience, OR training/certification in court reporting or voice captioning.
Go here for more information on captioning work at NCI.
#7 – Rev
This is one of the few companies that will hire beginners for closed captioning work. However, the pay is not great compared to what you would earn doing this for one of the other companies that insists on experienced and/or trained workers. According to Rev, you will earn $0.40-$0.75 per video minute. Paid weekly, via PayPal.
Go here for more information on captioning jobs at Rev.
2 Places to Find Closed Captioning Jobs
#1 – Indeed
I frequently find online captioning jobs posted at Indeed, one of the most popular job search sites.
You can go here to browse now and see what companies are currently hiring captioners.
#2 – FlexJobs
FlexJobs is a popular job search site specializing in remote, flexible work that I've often used for research. FlexJobs promises 100 percent scam-free job postings. I have seen several remote closed captioning positions posted there before.
There is a fee of $14.95 to sign up for a membership and gain access to all the listings, but you can set your account up so that it does not automatically bill you monthly if you just want to try it for a month to see if it's worth paying for on an ongoing basis.
Go here to browse closed captioning positions on FlexJobs. Note you won't be able to see the names of the companies unless you are a paid member, but you can get a good idea of how many positions are open.
Where To Get Trained
If you don't already have the training and certification you need to qualify for the above jobs, you'll want to check out the National Court Reporting Association website (NCRA).
From what I've gathered, this is a good, reliable online resource for anyone wanting to break into the court reporting and captioning industries. You can find information there on schools and certification programs as well as employment opportunities.
Don't Think Captioning Is For You?
Then be sure to check out this massive list of 100 transcription jobs. This is a related field that's a little easier to get started in.
Good luck to you!