How To Find Work From Home Closed Captioning Jobs

How To Find Work From Home Closed Captioning Jobs

Typing is one of the most popular ways to work from home. Job seekers see it as an easy way to earn money while watching their kids. And while work at home data entry jobs are few and far between, there are alternatives. One possibility is to find work from home closed captioning jobs.

In its way, captioning is much like transcription – you’re typing up what people say. It’s more specialized, however, especially if you caption live television, which requires much greater speed and accuracy than preparing captions for recorded shows.

Accurate captioning is vital, as it allows hearing impaired people to enjoy television and movies at home. Some people with good hearing also like having the captions on, especially if the room is noisy.

What Are The Types Of Captioning?

There are two basic types of captioning jobs out there. While they require similar skills, one is much harder than the other.

Offline Closed Captioning

Offline closed captioning is where you’re likely to start if you have little or no experience. There are still rules to learn, such as how you cope when people talk over each other, and what you do about background noises.

Sometimes you will have a script to start your captioning, and then add the time codes to it so that everything matches up. Other times you will transcribe first from the show, then add the time codes in.

You will also need to learn how to use time codes. These help keep the captioning aligned with what’s happening on the screen. Captioning that gets ahead or behind what’s actually being said is annoying to the audience.

On the plus side, offline captioning can be highly flexible work. This depends in part on the company, but some will allow you to decide when you work rather than set a schedule for you.

television

Realtime Closed Captioning

When you see closed captions on the news and other live television shows, that’s done by more highly trained closed captioners. It’s a good job for people with training in stenography, and you will likely be expected to use stenography equipment. This allows their typing speeds to go as high as 200-300 words per minute.

You have to be fast to do realtime closed captioning. Ideally, the words should appear within two seconds of being spoken, with very few errors. If you’ve ever watched a live show with captions, you may have seen how the captioner will sometimes go back and make rapid corrections. They need to do so for accuracy, but they risk losing track of what’s being said if they have to make corrections too often.

And of course, realtime captioning means you work on the schedule of the shows you caption. No flexibility there.

You cannot afford any distractions if you are doing realtime closed captioning. This is not a job for someone who is also watching the kids or has to deal with other noises while they work. Distractions are a bad idea even if you’re captioning previously recorded shows, but they’re disastrous if you’re working live.

What Training Do Work From Home Closed Captioning Jobs Require?

While not all companies require training or experience for work from home closed captioning jobs, it’s a good idea to get training first. Training will help you get off to a better start, as you’ll know what you’re doing. The better prepared you are, the easier it is to earn money.

Training also means you may qualify for better paying jobs. If a closed captioning job doesn’t require training or experience, odds are that the pay is very, very low.

If you’re already trained in transcription, you’re a good part of the way there for captioning. You’ll need to learn how to use time codes, but you’ve learned how to type rapidly. You’ll still need stenography training for some positions, as that requires a different set of skills.

Court reporting and stenography training are also very helpful. Some court reporting schools also offer training for captioning. You will be trained on stenography equipment, which will allow you to write the captions much more quickly than you could type them otherwise. This training may take 2-5 years.

How Much Do Captioning Jobs Pay?

The pay rate for captioning varies quite a bit by company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups captioning with court reporters, and gives a median income of $55,120 per year or $26.50 per hour. You will not earn that much as a beginner, so don’t set your expectations that high right away. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm

Glassdoor lists captioner salaries starting as low as $8 an hour. Many companies pay on production, so it is possible to earn less than that when you’re still learning the job. This number is probably more realistic when you’re just starting out.

computer with speakers

The reason it’s difficult to figure out exactly how much you will earn is because many work at home closed captioning jobs pay on production, not hourly. As of this writing, Rev states that they pay $0.45-$0.75 per video minute. When you’re new, this means a very low hourly rate, but gets better as your skills improve.

Realtime captioning pays better than offline captioning, due to the challenges involved and training required.

What Equipment Do Captioners Need?

You will need to set up your home office with the right equipment before starting captioning work. Many work at home captioning jobs are freelance, and so you will need to start out with enough equipment to get you going. If you’re a regular employee, your employer may provide equipment to you.

The first thing you will need is a computer. Some companies want you to have two computers, to ensure that you have backup. This way it’s not a complete disaster if your computer fails; you just go over to the spare.

You will also need high speed internet, and possibly multiple phone lines. The exact requirement varies from company to company. Many jobs are done entirely online which used to require a connection over the phone.

Headphones are a must. Don’t use ear buds – you want high quality, over the ear headphones. Any background noise in your home will be a distraction that slows you down.

If you do offline captioning, you will probably want a foot pedal. If you do realtime captioning, you will need stenography equipment. It’s often best to look at jobs before buying equipment, as employers may have a preference or may provide equipment to you.

Companies Which May Have Work From Home Closed Captioning Jobs

Aberdeen

Realtime closed captioning jobs at Aberdeen may pay as much as $75 an hour. This is for the highly experienced captioner who can type at 180-220 wpm. Jobs transcribing video clips may also be available. Their jobs may require familiarity with Biblical and Christian terminology.

ASC/Morningside

ASC/Morningside doesn’t so much do captioning as they do transcripts of news shows and such. Not all positions are home based, so pay attention to the location before applying. At least three years of experience is required, along with a bachelor’s degree in English or journalism.

computer and keyboard

CaptioningStar

CaptioningStar looks for experienced, freelance, realtime captioners. They offer closed captions, broadcast captions, live captions, and open captions to their clients.

Captionmax

While many of the captioning positions at Captionmax are located in their office, they have some contractor positions that can be done remotely. These positions are for realtime captioning, and require that you have experience and your own equipment. An A.A. or B.S. in Court and Conference Reporting or satisfactory completion of other 2-year equivalent program is required. You should also have NCRA certification Certified Broadcast Captioner or equivalent.

Daily Transcription

Subtitler/captioner positions with Daily Transcription require previous experience in the field. You also have to sign a NDA before testing for the position. They also have transcription positions available. Applicants must live in the U.S. or Canada.

They allow you to create your own schedule, which is great if you need flexible work. You get work based on the time you select on the scheduler.

They also state that they pay more than Rev. Their top transcriptionist earns $250- $950 per week.

Dotsub

Dotsub offers freelance captioning positions. On their application, they’re interested if you are bilingual, have a medical or legal background, are familiar with technology, or are a sports fan. Some positions involve subtitle translation.

GoTranscript

GoTranscript mostly offers transcription services, but they also offer captioning services. Positions are freelance. The average transcriptionist earns $150 per month, with the top earner at $1215 per month, according to their site.

They do not require experience, but you must have good English skills. You can even retake the test a few days later if you fail the first time.

NCI

NCI may have both in-office and home based captioning jobs available. Some positions are for independent contractors, but employee positions may be available as well. Stenography experience may be required for realtime captioning positions.

Rev

Rev offers a variety of freelance positions, including captioning, subtitling, transcription and translation. Captioning pays $0.45-$0.75 per video minute and they state that the average captioner working for them earns $240, with top earners going up to $1570. You do not need experience to work at Rev.

Rev is completely flexible with their freelance captioners. You decide when to work and how much you work. It may not be open to all locations, however.

Vitac

Vitac starts out work at home captioners as part time employees. There may be the opportunity to become full time later. One job title to look for on their board is Voice Captioners. This work is done using speech recognition software. They say the hours are flexible, but to expect this to include nights, weekends, and holidays, which means you may need to be flexible for them.

If you are selected to work for Vitac, they may have you travel out to Denver, Colorado for onboarding and initial training. Full time employees may qualify for benefits.

What About Other Typing Jobs At Home?

If you’re looking for typing jobs at home and have decided that captioning isn’t for you, consider transcription jobs. The skills needed can be similar, with a few differences, as you don’t have to prepare the transcript to keep up with the show.

Some kinds of transcription, such as medical transcription jobs, require training before you can look for jobs. This is due to the specialized vocabulary and formatting required.

Others require no special training, but it can help. You may want to consider a course such as Transcribe Anywhere to learn what is expected in a transcription job.

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