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Working from home has two great benefits:
flexibility and opportunity, whether you are working as a side hustle to get rid of debt or to contribute to your family’s finances.
Guess what?! You can get started on a side hustle today that will earn you an extra $250 – $1000+ per month working as a captioner.
Today I’m going to tell you all about working as a captioner and show you the exact steps you need to take to get started with this work from home job!
What is captioning work?
As I was doing research for this article, I was quickly confused between captioning and transcription. They seem really similar, but I found out that captioning is actually a specialized form of transcription.
Captioning work is the process of displaying text on video (television, online videos, or other media). You may be familiar with the CC that you see on your television screen which means “closed captioning”. This is to provide written or interpretive information.
2 Types of Captioning
Offline Captioning is done with pre-recorded videos. This could be television, movies, youtube videos, or anything else that is pre-recorded. Offline captioning is not done during live events.
Real Time Captioning
Real time captioning is done during live events. Everything from news broadcasts, sporting events, live television events, and anything else that might be taking place live. Real time captioning is an intense job as you can imagine!
It requires the highest levels of speed, accuracy, and time commitment. You will have to be available during the live event. Since this is a more demanding field of captioning it also pays better!
How much does a closed captioner make?
Captioners are paid by the video minute. If you are just starting out a 20 minute video may take you 90 minutes to complete. But you will only be paid for the video minutes. This is why it’s important to be fast and accurate!
With the proper certification, experience, speed, and accuracy it is estimated you can earn between $55,000 – $60,000 per year. If you are working as a Real Time Captioner you could earn up to $100,000 per year.
Captioning Training and Practice
National Court Reporting Association has training and certification information for the captioning and court reporting industries. You will find information on schools, certificate programs, and job opportunities.
Places to Practice
These places are actually for practicing transcription, but I think it will be helpful practice for captioning since they are closely related. This can give you an idea of what to expect before you jump in! You could even try typing your favorite TV show or Youtube video as a practice.
StenoSpeed.com This is a great site for beginners. Their download files range in speed between 40 wpm – 230 wpm. You will need to download RealPlay to play the files.
Listen and Write Sign up and log into this site to keep track of your progress. You can type directly onto the site to find out your speed score, and find out how you improve over time. There are a wide range of levels available to practice.
Express Scribe Practice Transcription Files This has a free software program you can download with PDFs available to check your work. However, there is no way to keep track of your timing.
Beginner Captioning Jobs
Rev.com is a great place to start for beginner captioning. You don’t have to have a certificate to get started so it’s a great way to find out if this is work that you like. Rev.com has the lowest pay rates of the companies featured here. According to their website, they pay $0.40 – $0.75 per video minute. The average monthly earnings is $240 with top earners making $1570.
Online Captioning Jobs and Careers
Abeerden – This company works with a variety of networks (BET, A+E, ABC Family, NBC Universal, just to name a few). You can earn $75 per hour for real time closed captioning. You need experience and a speed of 180 – 220 words per minute.
Caption Colorado – This company will hire new captioners who have just completed training! Requirements: 98.5% accuracy, 225 words per minute speed, general news and culture knowledge,
Caption Max – This company hires remote location real time captioners. You will need experience and an Associates Degree or Bachelors Degree in Court Reporting.
Vanan Captioning – This company hires remote location captioners with experience. They have an online chat that is very helpful if you have any questions. There is a 3 step hiring process to determine your skills as a captioner.
Vitac – This is a well known company for closed captioning. They hire remote real time captioners and hire all positions as employees instead of freelance/independent contractor. You will need 2 years of experience to qualify for a job with Vitac.
Where to Find Online Captioning Jobs
Indeed – Indeed is a FREE search engine and a great place to find remote jobs of all kinds. They often have remote captioning jobs in their search engine.
The best way to find a remote captioning job is to type “Captioning jobs” in the search bar and “Remote” in location bar.
CLICK HERE to start your search!
FlexJobs – FlexJobs is a paid search engine that costs $15 per month. They have high quality and reliable jobs posted for remote captioning jobs.
You can also find other FREE resources through FlexJobs blog to help you find remote work.
Upwork – Upwork is a place to find freelance job opportunities. They have several opportunities for remote captioning positions. Many are working for bloggers, youtube channels, and other types of social media.