The other night, my hubby and I snuggled down to have some quiet time in front of the TV when it occurred to us that the closed captioning feature was activated on one of the channels. As we fiddled with the remote, I wondered: How do all the shows and movies get these captions? Better yet, is this a potential job opportunity that would allow me to work from home? After a little research, to my surprise, the answer was YES!
Not only can you work from home watching classic TV shows, movies, and YouTube videos, but many of these closed captioning positions also pay well. Talk about a win-win.
Where can you find these fantastic closed captioning jobs that allow you to work from home? No worries; we’ve done the research and the work for you.
Below, we’ve found some of the best companies that hire for closed captioning jobs that allow you to work at home.
What is Closed Captioning?
Before we dive into where you can find captioning jobs that allow you to work at home, we thought it might be helpful to get a quick overview of what closed captioning entails and what you could be working on in this position.
You might already know that closed captioning is the written descriptions that appear at the bottom of a TV screen during a show or movie. These captions help deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals understand the content of the program.
Businesses, TV broadcasters, and OTT platforms believe closed captioning is highly valuable because it helps their content reach more people.
Additionally, closed captioning allows TV networks to meet legal requirements for video accessibility. That makes jobs in this field necessary for the companies and an in-demand possibility for you.
Closed Captioning vs. Subtitles
Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing. Subtitles are the written version of spoken dialogue. However, the purpose of subtitles is to assist people who can hear the video but may need help understanding a foreign language or following especially fast speaking.
In contrast, closed captioning provides additional information to help people who cannot hear the video. Instead of simply providing the dialogue in written form, supplemental details such as background noises and other sound effects are included in closed captioning.
Working at Home as a Captioner: What You Can Expect
As a captioner, you’ll watch shows or videos (how fun is that?!) and type what you hear.
Closed caption jobs transcribe the spoken words (dialogues) and other sound effects in a show or movie (e.g., “clapping hands” or “doorbell rings”) into written words so that hearing impaired or deaf viewers can follow what is happening.
The companies then synchronize the text with the audio so viewers can easily follow what is happening as they watch.
To be successful as a captioner, you need a few things, including:
- A strong command of punctuation and grammar to accurately format the captions
- An eye (and an ear) for detail to accurately translate spoken words and sound effects
- Strong translation skills to convey both audio and visual elements in a scene
- Fast typing skills with high accuracy – some captioners can type around 225 WPM (words per minute)!
- Reliable internet connection and headphones
Types of Captioning
There are also two types of positions you should be aware of as you start your closed captioning work at home adventure:
- Offline captioning
- Live captioning (real-time captioning)
Offline captioners are what many of the companies below want. These transcribers caption pre-recorded TV shows, movies, or educational videos. If the program isn’t “live” on the air, it’s noted as offline captioning.
In general, recorded television programs are less demanding than live captioning because you can take your time transcribing the audio. And it offers the most flexibility, allowing you to set your schedule since the shows are pre-recorded.
Real-time captioners, on the other hand, provide captioning to live broadcasts. Think meetings, newscasts, events, speeches, conferences, court reporters, etc. These positions require that you type extremely fast and generally require a professional certification or schooling.
Companies frequently hire freelance closed captioning jobs as remote work; some even provide training or a “practice run” before hiring.
What Equipment is Needed for Closed Captioning Jobs?
Similar to transcription jobs, you’ll need a good computer, a dependable internet connection, and headphones. In addition, some companies may require you to use captioning software and pedals that connect to the computers.
12 Companies That Hire for Remote Closed Captioning Jobs
Ready to earn some cash watching TV? Sounds crazy, I know, but believe me, it’s all true!
Check out these companies hiring captioners below.
Aberdeen hires remote, real-time live broadcast captioners. For this position, you’ll need a typing speed of 180-220 WPM, two computers (one is a backup), three phone lines, and closed captioning software. You’ll need to pass a real-time captioning test with 98% accuracy to be hired.
- Aberdeen has a 3.7-star rating on Glassdoor.
CaptioningStar is a captioning company that hires real-time freelance captioners. There’s not much information on their website about the positions, so you’ll need to contact them for further details.
- CaptioningStar has a 5-star rating on Facebook.
3. 3Play Media
This company acquired Captionmax and hires independent contractors as real-time captioners and transcribers in English and Spanish. To apply as a captioner with 3Play Media, you will need excellent listening and typing skills, and you’ll need to pass a background check. However, once hired, you’ll receive weekly checks for your work.
- 3Play Media has a 3.8-star rating on Glassdoor.
4. Caption Media Group
Caption Media Group hires US-based closed captioners with two years of experience. They don’t have a career page on their website, but you can check sites like LinkedIn and Indeed for openings.
- Caption Media Group has a 4.5-star rating on Indeed.
CrowdSurf hires freelancers from around the globe to transcribe audio clips into text documents. To start on CrowdSurf, you’ll need to create an account and pass a brief assessment. Once that’s complete, you’ll begin working on transcription tasks.
As you prove yourself on the platform, you’ll be able to work on higher-paying tasks like captioning. In this freelance role, you can work anytime, and you’ll receive payment per task. This is an excellent place for beginners to try out captioning and transcription jobs.
- CrowdSurf has a 2.5-star rating on Glassdoor.
6. Daily Transcription
If you’re a transcriber, captioner, or subtitler, check out Daily Transcription. To apply as a captioner or subtitler, you must live in the US or Canada and have prior experience or be a graduate from a course. In these roles, you’ll work as a freelancer, and payments are made weekly by check.
- Daily Transcription has a 3.7-star rating on Glassdoor.
Rev is one of the more popular closed captioning sites. Their application is straightforward, and you can apply to multiple positions under the “captioning” umbrella. Positions on Rev include transcriptionists, captioners, subtitlers, and translators.
Each position has its own application process, so apply to one or all. Rev hires beginners who can pass a grammar test and provide a satisfactory closed captioning sample. Payments go out weekly via PayPal.
- Rev has a 3.5-star rating on Glassdoor.
Aside from the great captioner positions available, TransPerfect looks like a fun place to work. They embrace the idea of mixing business with pleasure, and the overall company culture seems warm and inviting.
Be sure to check out this opportunity and investigate the other positions they offer. Along with their current freelancer and internal positions, TransPerfect has a general freelancer application so you can register with the company for current and upcoming jobs.
- TransPerfect has a 3.1-star rating on Glassdoor.
9. Vanan Captioning
Vanan Captioning hires freelancers for translation, closed captioning, open captioning, offline captioning, video captioning, and more. According to their website, they provide captioning services for platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook. There isn’t much information about these roles on their website, so check out Indeed and Glassdoor for reviews.
- Vanan Captioning has a 4.7-star rating on Glassdoor.
VITAC hires in-person and remote (location-based) captioners for real-time captioning and offline closed captioning jobs. There are different requirements for the various roles, and the full-time positions offer benefits to employees. To find the remote positions on their site, look for the keyword remote in the job listing.
- VITAC has a 2.5-star rating on Glassdoor.
11. Capital Captions
Capital Captions is another excellent option for remote professionals seeking work with a closed captioning service. Make sure to take the time to thoroughly read the job requirements before applying.
- Capital Captions has a 5-star rating on Indeed.
12. Classroom Captioning
Classroom Captioning is definitely worth checking out if you’re searching for captioning jobs. They offer real-time captioning jobs. You need to have a typing speed of 180+ words per minute and be CART certified to be hired. If you’re looking for remote work as a captioner, check their job listings to see what’s currently available.
- Classroom Captioning has a 5-star rating on Indeed.
Looking for More Closed Captioning Jobs? Try These!
If you’re seeking closed captioning work, online job boards are another great place to look!
Type in “closed captioning” or “transcriber” in the search section, and voila! A list of possibilities. Check out these awesome boards for closed captioning jobs at home, and let us know what you find:
Another way of finding captioning work is by posting a job yourself. Check out marketplace sites and post your pay rate and position. Here are two possible places to start:
Closed Captioning Jobs Wrap-Up
Finding closed captioning jobs that allow you to work at home (remember you could work more than one!) can be a rewarding and stable source of income. If you love to type, like watching movies and videos (um, who doesn’t?), and enjoy flexible scheduling, then closed captioning jobs are the way to go.
Need more jobs like this? Check out this article for more remote typing jobs!
Did you check out any of these positions? Score a job? Have questions about these jobs? Let us know below!
Originally published February 4, 2019. Content updated January 2024.