Having a career in closed captioning can be both fun and rewarding. While working in closed captioning for television shows, you will learn to pay attention to detail, type faster than you ever thought possible and watch TV all at the same time.
Search out companies in most metropolitan areas in the United States that outsource closed-captioned television shows to television and production companies. To get a job at one of these companies, try using an online job search engine like Craigslist.com or Monster.com to find closed captioning jobs in your area.
Learn to use a stenography machine if you want to pursue a job in online captioning. Despite the name, online captioning has nothing to do with the Internet. It is usually used for live shows such as sports broadcasts or the news, because it happens in real time. Online captioning requires the knowledge and use of a stenography machine. Off-line captioning is much easier to learn and break into. These shows are pre-recorded and captioned at your leisure. There is plenty of time to rewind, pause and rework sections that are confusing. There should be absolutely no errors in off-line captioning.
Practice your typing before you go in for a job interview in captioning, as they will probably give you a typing test. To get a job in closed captioning, whether online or off-line, you will probably be required to have a typing speed of at least 70 words per minute, but usually more. A great place to take practice typing tests online is at TypingTest.com.
Practice your grammar and accuracy before going in for your first closed-captioning job interview. You may be given a test based on current programming and tested on how accurate your typing and grammar are. Pay close attention to the spelling of characters' names and geographic locations when you are typing.
When you score a job in closed captioning, the pay can be lucrative, but the constant typing may be difficult on your fingers. To avoid getting carpal tunnel syndrome once you've been hired, always type with an ergonomic keyboard and wear arm braces at work to help strengthen your joints.
Prior transcribing experience may help you get hired.
Previous knowledge of closed captioning computer programs is beneficial. Being bilingual is an asset, as many production companies hire captioners to translate and subtitle movies.