You can get paid for watching TV.
Pinch yourself, no one is pulling your leg, this is not a cruel joke – you can grab your favorite blanket and settle in for some entertainment as you pay.
The world rarely works in such surprising ways.
But in this case, it’s true — even though you may not have much wiggle room as far as what you see.
You can earn money by transcribing audio from television shows, movies and other media as a closed captioner, from the comfort of your living room. Or your kitchen counter. Or a wine bar on a beach somewhere. (Hey, just an idea).
With this kind of flexibility and freedom, who cares what’s in the tube? If your ears are pricked and your typing speed and accuracy are on point, read on to learn more about this sound-too-good-to-be-true job opportunity.
What’s it like to work from home as a captioner?
Working as a captioner is, in some ways, exactly what you might expect. You watch and listen to video programs and type subtitles.
But once you start digging into the world of captioning work, you’ll soon discover that there’s more to it than writing dialogue for actors.
For example, there are two main types of captioning tasks available. The first is Offline Closed captioning, where you type transcripts of pre-recorded shows at your own pace.
But you can also find job ads for it Real-time captions, which replicate something as it appears on television in real time — are, as you might expect, a touch high on the stress meter. For that reason, most real-time captioning jobs require extensive experience and perhaps even specialized education, sometimes using a professional. Stenotype Like a court reporter.
Offline closed captioning This is the most flexible option, allowing you to set your own time and transcribe audio at your convenience. Of course, the more captioning you do and the more skilled you become at the process, the more you can earn, since these jobs are usually paid on a per-video-minute basis. (More on that below.)
Offline closed captioning is also more accessible, with many entry-level, freelance roles available to novice applicants without a college degree, let alone experience as a stenographer. So for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on those locations.
How to qualify as a closed captioner and what to expect
While you may not need a bachelor’s degree to become a captioner, some skills will come in handy. Attention to detail, fast and accurate typing, and general ease around the computer are a must. This is helpful if you are a bit of a lip reader!
You will need some basic tools to start captioning work, A working computer, a reliable internet connection and possibly a A quality pair of headphones – Especially if you’re dealing with neighborhood kids. (Or from that beach bar we were talking about).
Some captioners are an investment Foot pedal This makes it easy to slow down, pause and playback audio, leaving your hands free to continue typing; Some add a second monitor so they have more screen space to watch shows and use captioning software at the same time. But all of these are relatively small, one-time costs and may not be necessary depending on the specific location.
So, let’s talk turkey: How much do captioners earn?
According to RevOne of the leading captioning companies, You can make captioned videos for 40 to 75 cents per minute, which can add up to $1,500 per month for top earners. That means your total pay doesn’t depend on the amount of time you spend working, but rather the total length of the final captioned video — which is why your listening and typing skills are so important. The less time you spend on each video, the more you can make overall.
Remember, however, that cash turnaround is not instantaneous; It takes a while to find a position, get hired, and get all your paperwork in order, and then you might have to wait a week or two for a paycheck even after you start.
Where to find closed captioning jobs
So, ready to put those Mavis Beacon lessons to work?
As you may have noticed in your commute, you can increasingly find telecommuting positions listed on traditional job websites or platforms, such as Indeed and Monster. The same goes for captioning jobs — just type “transcription” or “closed caption” into the search box.
You can also target some site-specific positions through companies such as Vitak or Caption MaxLarge captioning companies who mostly hire captioners to work full-time in their brick-and-mortar offices (in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis, respectively).
But some remote locations may get shuffled into the mix, so it’s worth a look.
You can also visit the following resources for more work-from-home captioning options.
A captioning service based entirely on a network of freelancers, Rev is a great place to get your start as a captioner. The gig is uber-flexible — you probably need little more than the laptop you’re using to read this post — and you can start in 48 hours.
Better yet, you actually are to do Choose what you will work on when you are with Rave. The lineup of captionable content includes “classic TV shows, modern movies” and “educational videos,” and take on the projects you want to do. Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually pay for your next discord session.
When it comes to remote work of all stripes, Flexjobs is a solid board and captioning gigs are no different.
Although it doesn’t have a dedicated “captioning” section, you get plenty of hits when you search for the term — and you can even filter the results by their level of telecommuting-friendliness (“some,” “most,” or “100%”).
Is closed captioning not right for you? Need something with a little more flexibility… or listening to the same line of speech a few times less?
Happy binging – er, earning!
Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) The Penny Hoarder, VinePair, SELF, Ms. Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The Write Life, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog, Santander Bank’s Prosper and Thrive, and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality.