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As you consider what kind of work at home job you want to have, maybe you’ve come across captioning.
What is it, and how does it work?
This guide is going to give you all the details you need to know to decide if captioning is something you might be interested in.
After all, there’s quite a bit of captioning work to go around, even if you want to work remotely instead of in an office.
So, it could end up being the right opportunity for you to make some extra money or even replace your regular job while having the flexibility to work on an adaptable schedule.
Closed Captioning Jobs from Home: What Are They?
Captioning is the art of transcribing the spoken words in TV programming or movies to the captions you can read on the screen.
Often, captions are in place to help those who are deaf or hard of hearing continue to enjoy the shows and movies they watch while understanding the language they might not be able to hear well.
As a captioner, you’ll need to have quick typing skills and be able to type accurately.
Listening skills are also a must, as you’ll be typing what you hear as you hear it.
To ensure accuracy, you should be able to quickly absorb everything you hear and transcribe it into a caption.
If you’ve worked as a transcriptionist before, then captioning should feel very familiar to you.
Because these jobs don’t usually require you to come into an office at work, you can find them in the form of remote jobs.
Different Types of Captioning
There are actually several different types of captioning, but some of them are high-level captioning techniques that usually aren’t reserved for people who work from home.
The ones you’ll see most often are closed captioning, open captioning, and real-time captioning.
Offline Closed Captioning
Closed captioning is sometimes called offline captioning or offline closed captioning.
That’s because it’s not captioning that occurs in real-time.
With closed captioning, you’ll listen to a show or movie and transcribe it as you listen, but this programming isn’t being shown to visitors as you caption it.
Instead, the production company will add your captions to the show or movie before it airs so that the captions are available to people when they watch it.
You also might hear of open captioning, which is slightly different.
While closed captions are ones you can turn on and off as needed with your TV, open captions stay on all the time.
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They’re ones that the production company keeps in place, so there’s no way to turn them off.
While these two types of captions are different for the viewer, they’re not different for the captioner.
You would transcribe programming the same way for either of them.
Real-time captioning is often thought of as being more challenging than closed captioning.
That’s because this form of captioning happens in real-time, as its name suggests.
Real-time captioners transcribe live programming, like sporting events or news programs, as they’re happening.
Viewers may see slight delays in what people are saying on screen to the words you caption because your captions will be a few seconds behind as you absorb what you hear and type them.
It’s necessary to be an incredibly fast and accurate typist if you want to do real-time captioning.
However, having this skillset can make you a lot more money than closed captioning can because it does require more skill and, usually, experience.
You won’t see as many jobs for real-time captioners to work from home, but they do exist.
Often, people who do real-time captioning freelance or work for production studios in person.
How to Become a Real-Time or Closed Captioner
What do you need to become a closed captioner or real-time captioner? Here are a few requirements you should have:
- Experience as a transcriptionist or captioner
- High school diploma or GED
- Excellent typing, computer, and listening skills
- A headset and foot pedal
- Captioning/transcription software
- A separate, quiet office space to work from
Each company that hires captioners will have its own set of requirements, but the guidelines above are the general ones you should expect to have before applying.
Some companies will have you go through a training process and/or take a test proving your skills before you can start getting paid work.
How Much Does a Closed Captioner Make?
How much you make as a captioner depends on where you work, how often you work, your experience and skills, and the type of captioning you do.
Remember we mentioned that real-time captioning pays more than closed captioning in general.
You can expect to make about $12 to $13 an hour for closed captioning, but real-time captioners make closer to $25 an hour or more.
When it comes to a full year of work, that’s about double the salary for a real-time captioner as a closed captioner.
Still, either type can give you a decent income, especially if you treat your work like a full-time job.
Captioning companies usually reward active captioners with more work than those who just sign on once in a while.
So if you continue to pick up jobs as much as possible, you shouldn’t find yourself with a shortage of work.
Real-Time and Closed Captioning Companies That Hire You to Work from Home
As mentioned, real-time captioning jobs aren’t as easy to come by if you want to work from home.
If you do find them, you’ll probably need to meet more requirements than you would as a closed captioner.
Still, it’s not impossible to find live captioning jobs if that’s what you’re looking for.
Most of the places below offer only closed captioning work, but you can continue to check for jobs featuring both kinds of captioning:
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Rev is one of the leading companies with which to find captioning and transcription jobs.
Some of the reasons people love to work with Rev so much is that the company offers flexible scheduling (basically, sign in and pick up jobs as you wish), weekly pay with PayPal, and a variety of different kinds of captioning work.
You can apply online and then complete a quick skills test to make sure you have the grammar skills necessary for the work.
Then, you’ll be able to pick what tasks you want to complete and get paid for them.
Teleperformance provides several different services to businesses, including customer support, social media management, and consulting.
Depending on the needs of clients, you can sometimes find captioning jobs with the company.
These work from home positions do require you to have at least some relevant captioning experience and go through the paid training during the onboarding process.
Some people may be able to start working if they can pass a skills test, even if they don’t have experience.
CaptioningStar is one of the few places that does hire real-time captioners to work from home,
To apply, you’ll need to complete the online form and attach your resume for consideration.
Although all the requirements aren’t listed on the website, the site does state that you’ll need to have the experience to be considered for a role.
Aberdeen Broadcast Services is another place that looks for real-time captioners to caption live broadcasts.
These roles are reserved for people with exceptional typing skills of at least 180 WPM and high accuracy.
You’ll also need real-time closed captioning software and two computers (one is for backup so that you can always have a working computer).
The company also states that you need three phone lines and a backup internet service.
Captioners work between 4 PM and 2 AM on any day of the week, but it’s unclear how scheduling works.
Find captioning work with Caption Media Group, a company that provides closed captioning, subtitling, and other similar services.
Use the contact form on the site to get more information about open captioning jobs you can do from home.
ASC Services has several different types of captioning jobs available for remote workers, including newsroom (real-time) captioning and closed captioning.
There’s also a lot of transcription work available, so you may be able to fill in your time with transcription work too.
These positions do require experience, so make sure you send a resume that reflects the prior experience you’ve had.
Some roles also require transcription or captioning equipment and software for your home office.
NCI is a provider of various captioning services, including closed captioning and real-time captioning.
You can help with captioning services as an independent contractor, but the company also has a caption quality specialist position available sometimes.
In this role, you’ll monitor live captioning to ensure that it’s accurate and working correctly.
The position’s schedule is relatively flexible.
CaptionMax has employee roles for captioners with several benefits, including dental and medical insurance, paid time off, and 401k with company matching.
There are also independent contractor positions for remote real-time captioners.
These jobs require you to have an associate degree in captioning or a similar program or certification.
CaptionCall sometimes has openings for remote workers to become caption agents that caption telephone calls for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
You’ll need to live within 45 minutes from one of the company’s call centers to get hired on as a remote worker.
A high school diploma or GED and some captioning experience are requirements for all applicants.
VITAC’s services include captioning, transcribing, and subtitling.
You can be an offline closed captioner, real-time captioner, or real-time technical services provider for the company.
You’ll receive paid training and varied schedules that are somewhat flexible and include weekends, nights, and some holidays.
The company also includes benefits like direct deposit and health insurance, as you’ll be considered an employee rather than a contractor.
Get Started as a Work at Home Captioner
The places above are some of the best companies we know of to find captioning jobs to do from home.
However, you’re not limited to just using those sites.
There are several more out there, but many of them just don’t advertise or look for captioners all the time.
Still, you can use the internet to find other remote captioning jobs.
Indeed, for example, is one excellent place to find work at home jobs in a variety of industries.
You can also check other job search sites like ZipRecuiter or SimplyHired.
There’s also Upwork and other freelance marketplaces that you can browse to find captioning jobs to apply for.
Finally, there’s always Google.
When you search for captioning jobs on Google, you’ll find a list of relevant positions that Google finds for you with a link to apply.
Hopefully, these ideas lead you to the work at home captioning job you’ve been searching for!
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