How to Become a Closed Caption Writer

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Closed caption writers are transcriptionists that type written copies of spoken words and sounds on television and movie programs. These writers perform work that is similar to that of a court reporter and they also need to use special equipment in order to carry out their assignments. Most closed caption writers work in real-time, which means that they transcribe words as the program is airing. The pay for closed caption writers varies by the assignment, however, the average annual income for these professionals is about $52,000.[1]


Closed Caption.jpg

Flickr: dno1967
Education Associate's or bachelor's degree[2]
Starting pay $25,710[3]
Median pay $52,460[1]
10 yr growth Average[4]
Related professions Medical transcriptionist, ghostwriter, court reporter
Author Selena Robinson
 

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Contents

Closed Caption Writer Job Overview

The work of closed caption writers involves listening carefully and then reproducing accurate written records of what is said in movies and television episodes. Individuals who become closed caption writers need several skills, including manual dexterity, exceptional typing ability, and active listening skills.[2] To keep up with the pace of the spoken words on the programs, closed caption writers use stenotype machines that enable them to type up to 225 words per minute.[5]

Closed captioning is a service provided for individuals who have hearing problems or disabilities. When closed captioning is enabled on a television, viewers see words on the screen that express what is being said on the program.[6] Depending on the job, a closed caption writer might also be called a broadcast captioner. Those who work primarily in the service of the hard-of-hearing and the deaf may become Communications Access Real-Time Translation (CART) reporters who offer closed captioning services in several settings, including colleges and conferences.[1]

Closed Caption Writer Education

To become a closed caption writer, individuals need at least an associate degree from an accredited college. Generally, schools do not provide closed caption writer degree programs, but students may learn these skills by studying to become court reporters. Since these professions both make use of a stenotype machine, the skills learned in these courses transfer to closed caption writing easily. Along with learning how to operate a stenotype machine, closed caption writing students also receive instruction in using voice recognition software and dictation machines.[2]

Closed Caption Writer Training

After completing their required education, closed caption writers may decide to pursue additional courses to improve their skills and increase their chances of getting hired. Closed caption writers may also obtain licensure, which can be helpful when searching for work. Professional reporting organizations offer certifications such as Certified Broadcast Captioner, Certified Real-Time Reporter, and Certified CART Provider.[5]

Using Closed Captioning to Teach Reading

How closed captioning can help children learn to read

Also See: How to Become a Ghostwriter, How to Become a Speech Writer, How to Become an Editor, How to Become a Copy Editor, How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Caption_Writer_Your_Career_and_Salary_Questions_Answered.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://education-portal.com/become_a_caption_writer.html
  3. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm#tab-5
  4. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/court-reporters.htm#tab-1
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Closed_Caption_Writer_Training_Frequently_Asked_Questions.html
  6. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/closed-captioning