15 Best Captioning Jobs for Beginners

captioning jobs

Anyone that watches a TV show or movie or some video on YouTube has surely seen captioning at work. I mean, you’ve seen the subtitles on the video in English or another language.

And you might have believed that these subtitles or captions are made by some software. No, they’re not. This work is done by humans like you and me.

In fact, captioning jobs are rather simple. They rank among the best online, work-from-home jobs that you can get in 2021 and beyond.

The reason is simple: there’re more and more videos coming out nowadays for advertising and vlogging on YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms.

And then there’s the large entertainment industry that needs to caption their videos for all sorts of viewers.

As a matter of fact, you too can find a captioning job as a beginner, if you’re interested. This job is very easy to learn. And some practice can make you perfect. Additionally, closed captioning jobs for beginners pay well too. 

There’re several companies that’re willing to hire you as a captioner. However, you might not know about these. That’s nothing to worry about. Because in this article, I will be discussing all about captioning jobs for beginners.

Therefore, continue reading as I will be presenting a full guide on how to enter the wonderful field of captioning jobs as a beginner and make a lot of money.

Therefore, if you’re interested in captioning jobs, here’s the best way to start.

Steps to Become a Captioner

The first thing that you need to do is follow these simple steps to become a captioner. And that would help you to make a career in this field or become a successful freelancer.

Generally, these are steps that all beginners take before becoming a fresher captioner at some organization.

Take a Captioning Course

There’re several free and paid courses in captioning that you can take. These courses will teach you basic to advanced captioning.

And if you’re fluent in a foreign language, you can go for the advanced level training because that way, you can make more money when you begin working as a captioner.

Some of the places to get free and paid courses include Coursera, Udemy, Rev and FutureLearn.com. These courses are online. Therefore, you can do them during your spare time.

Some free captioning courses also provide certificates. You’ll require such a certificate when you apply for captioning jobs as a beginner.

Get the Necessary Equipment

captioning jobs for beginners

Yes, before you start training for free or paid online captioning courses, there’s some equipment you’ll definitely require.

Surely, you would have some of it at home. If not, it’s possible to order the stuff online through Amazon or buy it from a good store.

Here’s what you will require:

1. A good PC or laptop

2. High Speed Internet connection

3. A pair of superb headphones or earphones that provide very clear audio

4. A foot-pedal to pause and start videos

5. Silent place at your home to use as an office

This equipment will also prove handy when you actually start captioning jobs from home. Other than that, it will be very useful when you’re actually learning captioning.

Normally, the gear that you require for captioning is the same as you’ll need for transcriptions. Therefore, if you know someone that does online transcriptions or captioning, seek their advice on what equipment to buy.

Test Your Skills

You can download some mock tests online to test your skills as a captioner. That would help you to assess where you stand as a beginner in captioning, before applying for jobs.

Testing is simple: all you need to do is download videos that these websites offer and use the equipment and skills that you’ve got from the course. This also helps you know your own speed at captioning.

Understanding Captioning

Normally, all videos for which you will provide captioning services is known as Closed Captioning.

In simpler terms, Closed Captioning is a post-production service for audio-visuals. It is done to help people that don’t understand a specific language to understand what’s being said through subtitles in their native language.

Closed Captioning also helps people that have hearing problems to understand all the sounds and dialogues without the actual need to listen. 

Actually, captioning is a series of words or descriptions that goes with a scene of picture to effectively convey what a specific dialogue means. It is also useful for people that don’t wish to hear the audio but instead prefer watching video on the Mute mode. 

There’re two main types of Closed Captioning jobs that you can find easily as a beginner.

Types of Closed Captioning Jobs

captioning jobs from home

Basically, there’re two types of captioning jobs that’re available to every beginner. In fact, I would suggest that you try your hand at both, if you’re serious about making enough money from this field.

Offline Captioning Jobs

Offline captioning is the most common form of giving captions to any video. That’s because a video producer would want to check that all captions are correct and require no changes before they’re released for viewing to the public.

As a captioner, you will get a video and have to watch it scene by scene. And give captions for various dialogues and music. 

To do so, you will need to master time coding during your online captioning course. That’s because every dialogue will feature at a specific time during the video.

And your captions have to in sync with what’s said. You shouldn’t give a caption before or after the specific scene that you’re captioning since that qualifies as poor post production processes.

Real-Time Captioning Jobs

Real-time captioning is a bit difficult and technical too. It involves giving captions to live streaming videos. Therefore, you need to be superfast while giving captions. There shouldn’t be a delay of more than two seconds after any words are spoken.

There’re several instances where real-time captioning is used. These include news telecasts, religious sermons, sports commentaries, events that’re live streaming and lots more.

Therefore, you need to be not only fast with your keyboard but also accurate. That’s where your superb headphones will prove handy. 

Actually, real-time captioners earn a lot more money than offline captioners. For example, a real-time captioner can earn as much as $50 to $75 per hour. In stark contrast, offline captioners would earn only $10 to $30 per hour. 

However, I’ll emphasize that real-time captioning requires superb skills. Therefore, the best thing to do is begin as an offline captioner till you have enough experience before moving on to real-time captioning.

Applying for Captioner Jobs

The third step and most obvious step now is to apply for the best captioning jobs as a beginner. Here’re some simple steps to follow that could help you to find these jobs. 

Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile

Yes, a superb LinkedIn profile that identifies you as a captioner is absolutely essential if you wish to make a career in this profession.

Highlight all your certifications, especially the ones that clearly mention that you’ve taken a course in online captioning. And include the fact that you’re a native English speaker.

If you speak any foreign languages, include those as well along with the level of your fluency. Generally, online captioners in a foreign language require native level fluency. And your language has to be relevant for the employer too.

List Your Skills

The best thing to do is list your skills and create a Resume that would be necessary for an online captioner job as a beginner. One of the most important skill is communications.

You need to comprehend what’s said and convey that in the right language to the audience. Usually, it would be the same words as said by the character in a video. However, in some instances, you might have to make your captions a bit simpler to understand, if the video owner so demands.

The second most important skill is your typing speed. You’ll have to mention what’s your typing speed to a prospective employer. That’s because all captioning jobs come with strict deadlines.

That means, you’ll have to provide captions for an offline video within a set time. And within two seconds of the dialogue for a real-time video.

Skills in Foreign Language

If you’ve superb, native level or expert level skills in a foreign language, you can list these too on your Resume. That’s because a lot of video producers look for people that can provide captions in foreign languages for their non-English speaking audiences.

And lots of foreign language video producers need someone that can provide captions in English too. Actually, providing captions for foreign videos or in a foreign language can help you earn a lot more money than other captioners.

Best 15 Captioning Jobs for Beginners

Now I will list the best 15 captioning jobs for beginners. As a matter of fact, you can apply with any or all of these organizations to get your first captioning job.

However, I would recommend you to avoid complex captioning jobs from home till you get adequate experience in this field.

1. Netflix

Anyone that watches videos would testify that Netflix is one of the best platforms. Therefore, you can try for a work-from-home, online captioner jobs with Netflix.

However, getting a captioner job on Netflix isn’t all that easy as one would imagine. You will require superb educational qualifications and enough experience in captioning to even apply for such a job.

However, it is very simple to go round this handicap and still work for Netflix. And that’s by working as a captioner for any Netflix partners that provide videos.

That way, you can collect a lot of certificates and letters of recommendations from these partners and eventually apply at Netflix.

Netflix generally hires you by region. Now here’s something to bear in mind. Even if Netflix is streaming in your region, their partners and Netflix itself might not have jobs for that particular geographic area.

Therefore, look for Netflix partners that do provide jobs in your area.

2. Visual Data

Another superb place where you can get a captioning, work-from home and online job as a beginner is Visual Data. You can visit their website and look for vacancies.

They generally have positions for trainees, interns and experienced captioners. You can apply at the beginner level. You can expect a pay of about $20 per hour or 50 Cents per minute, depending upon the nature of work and the level of your skills.

3. Zoo Digital

Zoo Digital operates from Sheffield, London in the UK and from Los Angeles in the US. They also welcome fresher captioners to join their team. However, since this is a very popular venue for captioners that’re beginning their careers in the field, you may have to wait sometime for your application to get accepted. 

4. Deluxe Entertainment Group 

Deluxe Entertainment Group provides offline captioning services for movies, TV shows, advertisements and assorted videos. Therefore, they’re one of the best places to try for a captioning job for a beginner.

5. LinkedIn

freelance captioning jobs

LinkedIn is the single-largest portal that helps professionals in various fields to network. And there’re countless companies that also mark their presence on LinkedIn.

As a matter of fact, LinkedIn accounts for at least one hires every six seconds in the world. If you create a killer LinkedIn profile as I mention earlier, you could find a captioning job for beginners from this portal too.

6. Captioning for YouTube Videos

You can apply for captioning jobs for YouTube videos through any job boards such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, ZipRecruiter.com and Monster.com, among others.

Generally, these would be short-term assignments for a vlogger that has a YouTube channel and wants to provide them captions or subtitles.

7. Vitac 

Vitac offers captioning services to some of the topmost TV networks of the world including The Discovery Channel, BBC America, Food Network C-SPAN, CNBC, and CNN, among others.

They have offline and real-time captioning jobs. You can visit the Vitac website and apply for their captioning jobs as a beginner. In fact, they consider beginners for some of their offline jobs, if you’ve the necessary skills and qualifications.

8. Aberdeen Broadcasting Services

To work for Aberdeen Broadcasting Services, your typing speed should be about 100 words per minute. And you must be ready to work from home on fulltime basis.

Before you apply for a captioner job as a beginner at Aberdeen Broadcasting Services, fine-tune and hone your typing and listening skills.

According to various online sources, they pay a whopping $75 per hour. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, apply for translation and captioning jobs which fetch more money.

9. Rev Captioning

Rev is yet one more company where you could find excellent, online captioning jobs from home for beginners. Additionally, Rev also offers transcription and translation services along with rev captioning jobs that makes it ideal for beginners that have expert or native level fluency in a foreign language. 

Rev allows you to work on your own schedule as long as you can meet their deadlines. And you can pick the type of online captioning job that you wish to do. They do caption work for YouTube videos, movies, ads and TV shows.

Rev pays your money weekly through PayPal. However, to work with Rev, you will require a good typing speed and fair knowledge of captioning for offline videos.

10. Caption Max

Caption Max provides captioning services to some of the largest entertainment companies of the world. These include Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, and NBC Universal, among others.

Here you can find amazing jobs as a beginner in captioning provided you showcase your skills according to their standards. They offer both, offline captioning and real-time captioning services.

Generally, beginners can expect up to $15 per hour for offline captioning jobs and $25 per hour for real-time captioning jobs. They pay you on a monthly basis.

11. Vanan Captioning

online captioning jobs

Vanan Captioning provides captioning services for Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Facebook and lots of other platforms. In fact, they provide captioning services in as many as 100 languages.

You can visit Vanan Captioning website to apply for their jobs online. And if you’re fluent in a foreign language, there’s a lot more money to be made. For some languages, Vanan Captioning pays as much as $100 per hour.

12. SpeechPad

SpeechPad is another excellent company to jumpstart a career as an online, work from home captioner. They provide captioning services in English and a wide range of foreign languages too. As a beginner in captioning, you can expect a pay of $2.50 per hour.

And more if you can provide captions in a foreign language or from another language to English. However, even as a beginner, you’ll have to pass a test and display superb captioning skills to this company. They pay higher for premium captions- $5 per hour. They pay you twice every week.

13. Capital Captions

UK-based Capital Captions operates worldwide. They do a lot of captioning work for Sky News. And they’re also into doing captioning for hearing impaired. They pay $25 per hour for expert captioning, even if you’re a beginner.

And more if you’re fluent in some foreign language. Capital Captions prides itself on superior quality videos. Therefore, your captioning needs to be at least 99 percent accurate. They offer offline and real-time captioning jobs for beginners.

14. 3Play Media

Boston-based 3Play Media pays about $25 per hour for offline captioning and more for real-time captioning. According to their website, 3Play Media processes more than 10,000 videos every month.

Here you can also find work to give captions in foreign languages and for hearing impaired persons. They offer audio description services, which you can also do.

They offer a lot of vacancies for beginners, especially if you’re a native English and Spanish speaker.  Generally, the don’t hire on their payrolls. Instead, you’ll be hired as a freelancer to work for 3Play Media.

15. Freelancing Platforms

You can find a lot of freelance captioning jobs for beginners on various freelancing platforms such as FlexJobs.com, Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com and Guru.com among others. To get these jobs, create a superb profile on any of these freelancing platforms.

One thing about captioning jobs for beginners on such platforms is that you’ve to bid for work, quoting your price and submit a project for the buyer to consider. Therefore, study how the process of bidding on a freelancing platform works.

Other Ways to Online Captioning Jobs

Then there’re some other ways that you can also get captioning jobs as a beginner. One of them is on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Here you would have to give captions to their videos and ads in a different language or even English.

The other way is if you know some YouTuber personally. You can offer them to do their captioning jobs for practice, till you get superb experience.

Craigslist sometimes carries vacancies for part-time captioners for YouTubers and other video producers who require the work only on short-term basis. You can apply for these as well. However, check the credentials of the person or organization offering such work.

Median Pay for Captioning Jobs for Beginners

The median pay for closed captioning jobs for beginners is around $15 per hour. Considering that you’ll work for eight hours daily, you can make $120 per day.

According to Payscale.com and Salary.com, the median pay for a captioning job for people with some experience is $70,000 per year. However, this pay would depend on your skills as a captioner.

According to some websites, a beginner can earn 40 Cents to 80 Cents per minute for every video they provide captions. However, as your experience grows, you can expect a monthly pay of $2,500 per month, which increases as you move on to the expert level.

Qualifications to Become a Captioner

offline captioning jobs

Actually, there’re no specific rules to work as a captioner. However, a high school certificate would prove useful when you do a course to learn online captioning. Additionally, you would have to prove that you’ve native level or expert level skills in English language. 

And if you’re going to sign-up for captioning in a foreign language too, you’ll have to prove that you’re a native speaker of that language. That’s because captioning requires excellent skills in the colloquial form of the language.

Fulltime or Freelance Captioning Jobs

Generally, all captioners begin as part-timers because they lack experience. And over a period of months, they move on to fulltime positions. That’s because captioning isn’t easy.

You need to listen to the audio, sync it with the time tab and give the captions. Unless you have enough experience as a trainee or intern or even as a beginner working for some company, taking a fulltime job in captioning isn’t possible.

In Conclusion

You could try any of these 15 best captioning jobs for beginners. However, the most important thing is to do a course. A lot of persons that’ve enough experience with transcriptions also go on to become captioners.

However, there’s a vast difference between transcriptions and captioning. For example, transcriptions involve making a concise recording of what you hear. On the other hand, captioning is writing out the full dialogue as said by the character in the video and describing the music or ambience where necessary.

You can make a successful career as a fulltime captioner once you have enough experience as a beginner.

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