Fraser Sherman reports:
"Closed-caption writers provide the subtitles that make TV dialog comprehensible to people who are deaf or hearing impaired. Someone who works as a caption generator can find closed-captioning jobs in other fields too, such as transcribing spoken words for online courses. You don't need a formal degree in this field[,] but you need the skill to transcribe spoken words fast and accurately...Closed-caption writers use the same stenotype machines as court reporters. You can take classes to become certified or acquire an associate degree. The typing speed required should qualify you for most closed-caption jobs...People who are deaf aren't the only ones who benefit from the services of caption writers. AI Media says loss of hearing is a spectrum: [P]eople who still have some degree of hearing may benefit from closed-captioning on their TV or streaming media. Even people with no hearing loss can benefit if they're watching in the midst of noise, or if, say, they want to watch in bed without disturbing their sleeping partner. The Federal Communications Commission says that with a few exceptions, cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors and other 'multichannel video programming distributors' have to make closed captioning available for their transmissions. The caption author has to make their work meet federal standards. Even if you work in fields that don't have to meet FCC rules, the standards are a good guide...Closed-caption writers need to be detail people, AI Media says. If you're working under FCC rules or providing complex instructions in a technical video, accuracy is a must. You need a good understanding of grammar and language as well. It helps if you can work well under pressure. The Rev captioning service says that if you're working with pre-recorded material[,] you'll have some lead time, but not a lot. If you're the caption generator for a live event, you'll have to transcribe accurately with no certainty what the next words or sounds will be. With live material, you also can't rewatch a scene to fix transcription errors. Most caption writers rely on the same equipment court stenotypers use to take accurate transcripts. Zip Recruiter says stenotypists [use] machines that type in symbols, capturing spoken words in a mechanical shorthand. While there are no formal educational requirements for caption writing, expertise with the stenotype machine is essential. The New York Career Institute says the same classes and courses court stenographers use will provide good training for caption writers as well. Some court stenographers branch out into caption writing. To learn the skills you need, you can take classes in stenotyping, both online and in person. Stenotype certification proves you can translate dictated words at up to 180 words per minute. An associate degree requires 225 words per minute. Degree programs also offer specialization in closed-caption work."
Related: Closed-caption writing can be applied to video calls. Rooms To Go explains how to set up a professional background for these.
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