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BROADCAST CAPTIONER CAREER PATH

If you have ever watched television or streamed a video or movie with closed captioning enabled, you were able to do so thanks to the work of a broadcast captioner. Those working in the broadcast captioner career path are responsible for using technology to capture and transcribe audio — including spoken text and descriptions of background noise.

WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED FOR BROADCAST CAPTIONER CAREERS?

There is not a universal pre-requisite to obtain employment as a broadcast captioner. Further, there are no widely available broadcast captioner training programs at this point in the U.S.

Generally, candidates for these types of roles must have completed a two-year court reporting degree or certificate. Training programs that emphasize speed and accuracy, and those accredited by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), are likely to be viewed more favorably by potential employers.

Those already working in the broadcast captioner career path may be able to advance in their current roles by pursuing additional credentials such as Certified Communications Access Realtime Translation Provider (CART), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) or Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) certifications.

WHAT DO BROADCAST CAPTIONER JOBS ENTAIL?

Broadcast captioners transcribe audio into writing, sometimes in real time. This enables people with hearing impairments to follow along easier with news reports, emergency broadcasts, sporting events, press conferences, TV shows, movies and more.

The transcribed text appears on the screen as the audio is played. Accuracy is critically important. Captioners must be detail-oriented; possess excellent listening skills; and have a solid understanding of English vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Broadcast captioner responsibilities include using stenotype machines to produce real-time or offline text (for programs that do not air “live”). These machines are the same types used by court reporters, which is one reason earning a court reporting degree can be beneficial for aspiring broadcast captioners.

WHY CONSIDER THE BROADCAST CAPTIONER CAREER PATH?

Broadcast captioner jobs are sometimes freelance roles, but captioners are usually employees of national captioning companies. This is a fast-paced role with little room for error, something that is reflected in compensation arrangements. Generally, starting annual salaries for broadcast captioners in the U.S. are in the $70,000 to $75,000 range. Those with significant experience under their belts can earn a six-figure broadcast captioner salary. 

MACCORMAC COLLEGE’S COURT REPORTING PROGRAM PREPARES STUDENTS FOR BROADCAST CAPTIONER CAREERS

MacCormac College offers an accredited two-year Court Reporting degree program, which includes instruction in all of the key functions broadcast captioners are expected to have mastered before seeking employment. In addition to courses designed to help students improve their English language skills, the program teaches speed-building skills, shorthand theory, stenography and more.

All students enrolled in the court reporting program also complete supervised internships. This provides an opportunity for students to put their training to work and gain valuable on-the-job experience while still in school. In turn, this improves students’ confidence and employability after graduation.

If you want to learn more about broadcast captioner responsibilities or about training to become a broadcast captioner, contact us today. When you’re ready to turn your future employment goals into reality, apply online!