How To Become a Caption Writer

You need to have exceptional spelling, transcription, and translating skills to become a caption writer. Below are instructions on how to become a caption writer.

  • Job understanding. You need to write technical writing effectively so you can follow speeches closely. Accuracy and typing speed is vital, but you can learn it through constant practice. You can get information about the captioning profession through the National Captioning Institute (NCI).
  • Training. You can have a career in caption writing even though you don’t have a degree as long as you master the English language. You can enrol in an English proficiency class or in a court reporting school because they offer education to people who want a career as a caption writer. There’s a list of licensed court reporting schools with broadcast captioning programs on the website of The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
  • Practice.  Making captions of your favorite movies is great practice. Eventually, it can be your actual work. Just choose your favorite movies to write captions so you’ll enjoy while you’re learning. Besides the dialogue of the actors, make captions of accents, non-verbal reactions, and sound effects. It’s easy to make captions of romantic or drama films because the phase and the dialogue are slow. Observe how often the camera cuts away because you might make captions of fast pace films in the future.
  • Be certified. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that certification will help court reporter and caption writer aspirants land a job in their respective fields. The designation of Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) is offered by the NCRA to its members. The certification requirements include a written examination and a 5-minute captioning test of at least 180 words every minute. If you’ll become a CBC holder, you need to take 3 continuing education credits in every 3 years.
  • Work experience. You can hone your writing skills as a feature writer, web content writer or any related profession before you engage yourself as a caption writer. A relay operator job or a court reporter will help you learn to writer accurately and quickly while listening. You can also start your career as a captioning assistant.
  • Job application. As soon as you are certified, you’ll easily find work in national and local broadcasting networks and media companies. You’ll transcribe live speeches or make captions of pre-recorded programs. You have an edge if you know how to speak foreign language for you might do Spanish or French language captioning.  In translating a foreign language, keep in mind that you’ll paraphrase rather than doing verbatim.

There are also related freelance works available for caption writers. Like, you can apply as a medical transcriptionist where you need to transcribe medical terms and medical cases in paper while listening to your client, who’s a doctor. There are many career opportunities when you acquire the skill of a caption writer. The demand of a caption writer today is high especially that most people today are having a career while working at home. Employers love work at home people because it’s economical and the transaction is fast.


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