Captioning Jobs from Home: Create a Side Hustle

Have you considered captioning jobs from home? Maybe you have a busy schedule, or need to do something for your side hustle. It’s not as hard as it sounds!

closed captioning jobs for beginners

Learn more about captioning jobs from home in this article. We’ll cover what captioning is and how it works, the equipment needed, the skills required, and the benefits of captioning jobs from home.

Captioning Jobs for Beginners

If you’ve been working as a transcriptionist, you may want to consider transitioning into a closed captioner. Captioning jobs for beginners would be a great start if you’re looking to work from home and supplement your transcription income.

Have you ever been curious as to how it’s possible to show the words spoken by a character in a television program or film? That’s precisely what captioning work is all about. Basically, it involves generating text that is in sync with both audio and video files for display.

Closed captioning, often known as post-production captioning, is the process of providing interpretation and supplementary information to audiovisuals. As a result, closed captioning allows deaf individuals to read, understand, and follow what’s being said on a screen.

The job of captioning is somewhat similar to that of transcription. The major distinction is that, whereas transcribing produces a typed document, captioning divides the text into various frames for visual viewing.

In this post, I’ll help you discover reputable vendors to work with and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about working from home as a captioner.

How to get started as a closed captioner

Get the right training

Before you consider applying for subtitler jobs, you need to have some technical skills. Getting the right training is key to being successful in the closed captioning industry.

There are a number of captioner certification programs that provide instruction on closed captioning work and how it is done in post-production.

Working as captioner requires excellent written and spoken English skills, patience, attention to detail, and a detailed eye. You must be capable of understanding audio files in their entirety without distraction.

It’s important for captioners to have the ability to express themselves precisely while staying consistent with word choice or phrasing throughout a document that spans long periods of

Get experience as an audio typist

The more time you spend working with transcription services, the better your captioning skills will become. Transcripts are the basis of captioning work, so you should start by building your experience as an audio typist or transcriptionist first before transitioning into closed captioner jobs for beginners.

Aspiring captioners can volunteer to transcribe video files in order to gain valuable real-world insight and speed up their learning process. This will also improve your chances of getting captioner jobs.

Get the right gear

You’ve gotten the training and experience, but for you to handle close captioning jobs as a beginner, you’ll need to invest in the right gear.

You can caption video files with any equipment that’s capable of doing so. However, it is recommended to have the professional gear for best results.

Equipment needed to caption videos includes:

  • A computer or laptop with closed captioning software installed
  • Captioning keyboard
  • Foot pedal (optional)
  • Head set
  • External speakers (highly recommended)

You may also need to purchase video players for the audio files that you’re captioned, as some captioning services do not provide them.

Note: if this is your first time handling captioning jobs, it’s best to sign up with a professional captioner or agency so they can assist you in learning the captioning process.

Types of closed captioning jobs

Real time captioning

Real time captioning is live captioning that involves captioning audio files as they are being played.

You’ll need to have excellent typing skills, quick turnaround times, and accuracy in order to succeed at this job. This type of work also requires the use of special equipment such as foot pedals so you can keep up with speech. Most real time captioning jobs are done in courtrooms, at conferences or business meetings.

Post-production/offline captioning

Captioners who work with post production captioning need to have excellent typing skills and the ability to be accurate under pressure. You’ll also need experience working within a deadline. Post-production captioner requires less specialized equipment because you caption files after they’ve been shot.

Voice captioning

This type of captioner job is also referred to as “video description” and it’s a way for people who are blind or visually impaired to enjoy visual content. This makes voice captioners highly valuable in the video world, because many providers offer these services at an additional cost.

Where To Find Captioning Jobs For Beginners

There are several ways you can look for work as a captioner. The most common ones are through online platforms and offline avenues.

Sites that offer closed captioning services include:

Upwork – the largest online marketplace for captioning jobs that connect freelancers with potential employers

PeoplePerHour – offers captioner jobs at a fixed rate, either by the hour or per word count. It’s also great place to start if you’re just getting started in captioning work.

Freelancer – another freelance site where captioners can find captioning jobs for beginners

Rev – Rev is a transcription company that also hires closed captioners.

Netflix – captioning jobs for beginners are available at Netflix.

The subtitler is responsible for creating English subtitles or captions in a timely manner so viewers can follow along with the dialogue and action of the show being captioned. This job is ideal for those who have excellent typing skills, attention to detail, and an eye for editing.

Wherever captioners are needed, Netflix affiliated companies will be ready to hire captioners.

Aberdeen Broadcast Services

Aberdeen are always on the lookout for highly qualified live real time broadcast captioners who are trained and have experience in the closed captioning industry. Their working days are Monday through Sunday from 4PM to 2AM. To qualify to join the team, you’ll need to pass their test with 98% accuracy.


This is another great company that offers subtitling/closed captioning jobs. The positions can either be in house or remote.


New York based CaptioningStar has been in business since 2006. They are always on the look out for qualified captioners to join their team.


Captionmax has captioning jobs for beginners and advanced captioners. Some of the available open positions involve translation. Ability to speak more than one language can be a plus.

Offline avenues that can help you find captioning work include:

Local captioning companies

Hearing specialist offices.

These places often need captioners to create materials for their clients who have hearing impairment or those with special needs, such as children and adults in the education system. This is also a good opportunity if you already work at an office job but want something more rewarding on your side hustle.

Local captioning companies are also a great place to start if you want more stable work and a steady income. They often provide regular hours with fixed pay, but it may require some time before you’re fully trained in the job. It’s best to sign up for captioning jobs from home through agencies or local captioners that have hiring programs in place.

Closed Captioning FAQs

Who is a closed captioner?

A captioner is someone who uses special software to create captioning for live television programs, films, and other forms of video. Captioners use a foot pedal to sync the captions with what’s being said so both hearing and non-hearing viewers can follow along.

How do I become a closed captioner?

You can get captioning jobs at home if you take training courses and become certified. Certification is the only way to make sure that your captioning skills are up to industry standards.

Go here for captioner certification

What equipment do I need to work as a closed captioner?

To caption, you’ll need a computer with software like Express Scribe Pro (or another captioning software). You can either purchase or rent the captioning equipment you need.

How do I caption using Express Scribe Pro?

You’ll load up your video and use keyboard shortcuts (or a foot pedal) to type what’s being said into your caption file. Closed captioners often streamline their work by working with transcripts that have already been created for them.

What skills do I need to caption?

You’ll have fluency in English and a strong grasp of grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, vocabulary usage, and terminology. You’ll also be comfortable with technology since you’ll use a computer program like Express Scribe Pro.

Do you need a degree to be a captioner?

You’ll likely need a high school diploma or GED, but you can go on to pursue college courses and even get captioner certification.

How fast do you have to type to do closed captioning?

A typing speed of about 180 to 200 words per minute. At least 98% accuracy

What are the captioning job requirements?

The captioner’s software will tell you where to put pauses, speaker identifications, and other information in your captioning file. You may work with transcripts that have already been created for you or use your own transcript while captioning.

What are the captioner’s job benefits?

You can caption from home and make good money working only a few hours per week! You’ll be paid for every hour you spend captioning, so it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you work.

Do I need to know sign language if I want to caption?

No, captioners only type what they hear.

Why is captioning jobs from home beneficial?

Captions are helpful for everyone – whether they’re deaf, hard of hearing, or simply in loud environments where it’s difficult to hear something clearly. Captions can also be used to help ESL learners.

Do captioning jobs from home have disadvantages?

As with most things, captioning does come with some downsides. It’s not likely that you’ll get rich doing this kind of work since there is a lot of competition in the captioning field.

It is a good idea to get captioner certification before working as a closed captioner since it can help you stand out from other applicants and earn more money.

You’ll need an education if you want to continue with captioning work beyond entry-level jobs or when starting your own business, but captioning jobs from home are a great opportunity for beginners.

The captioning software you use will have its own unique keyboard shortcut system, so it’s important to become familiar with this before taking captioner certification courses or working as a captioner at home.

Go change the world!

Captioning jobs from home are a great opportunity for beginners. It is not likely that you will get rich captioning, but it is an excellent way to earn some extra money if you have the time and want to make a difference in your community by captioning programs for people who cannot hear them well or at all.

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