- Page Content
- Should I Become a Broadcast Captioner?
- Career Outlook
- Steps to Become a Broadcast Captioner
- How Long Does It Take to Become a Broadcast Captioner?
- What Are the Requirements to Become a Broadcast Captioner?
- How Much Does a Broadcast Captioner Earn in the US?
- What Skills Does a Broadcast Captioner Need
- How To Get Job as a Broadcast Captioner
Broadcast captioners are court reporters who provide captions for television shows. They transcribe dialogues for television screens to help deaf people or people that have trouble hearing understand what is being said.
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Should I Become a Broadcast Captioner?
If you are interested in becoming a part of court proceedings without getting a law degree, then you can opt for a career as a broadcast captioner. The following guide will give you a better understanding of what you need to do to start your career.
|Post-secondary education or an Associate’s degree
|Certification and License
|Confidence, Ethics and Integrity, Administrative Skills, Effective Communication, Objectivity, Dependable, Punctuality, English Grammar Skills, Vocabulary, Punctuation and Proofreading, Follow Oral and Written Directions, Speed and Precision, Technical Skills, Listening Skills
|Annual Mean Salary – US (2021)
|Job Outlook – US (2021-2031)
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
There is no separate data available for broadcast captioners by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics but the data for a broader category of Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners is available. These professionals are projected to enjoy 1% growth in job opportunities between 2021 to 2031.
Steps to Become a Broadcast Captioner
You will need to complete certain steps to become a broadcast captioner.
You will have to get an Associate’s degree or a certificate after high school to kickstart your career as a broadcast captioner. Getting better education will certainly improve your chances of landing a job and career progression. The certificate or the degree you opt for should be in the field of court reporting.
Broadcast captioners and court reporters have a lot of similarities. This is why a lot of court reporters institutions also offer programs for broadcast captioners or caption writers. The NCRA, National Court Reporters Association has a list of schools that offer these programs on their website and you can go through it to pick the one that suits you the most. Some vocational or technical schools might also offer Associate’s degrees in Broadcast Captioning.
It is always advisable to go for voluntary certification to increase your chances of getting a job. You can get the Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) certificate from the NCRA. To get the certificate, you will need to sit through a written exam and also pass a captioning test of five minutes by typing 180 words per minute. You will have to complete continuing education requirements to renew your certificate every three years.
Some states might require broadcast captioners to get licensed or get state-issued certificates. In that case, you will have to clear those requirements.
Before beginning your career, it’s a better idea to first hone your skills in a field similar to broadcast captioning.
A lot of local as well as national media outlets regularly post job openings for captioners. Keep looking out for those vacancies to apply for jobs.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Broadcast Captioner?
The timeframe will vary as per the educational and training requirements. Normally it will take 2-4 years to become a broadcast captioner.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Broadcast Captioner?
- Meet educational requirements.
- Clear an educational program.
- Get a certificate.
- Clear state requirements, if any.
- Obtain practical experience.
- Apply for a job.
How Much Does a Broadcast Captioner Earn in the US?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 data, $ 65,240 was the mean annual income of Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners employed in the US.
What Skills Does a Broadcast Captioner Need
Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners all share similar set of characteristics and skills. From acquired skills to the one that they train for, broadcast captioners need to have both to progress in their career. The acquired skills are those that a person already has like punctuality, ethics, good communication, attention to detail, and persistence. Many skills are developed through training and certifications. These include use of steno machine, data entry, voice recognition skills to record content, maintaining keyboarding skills and typing 35 WPM with a low error rate. Other important skills include ability to have captioned at above 150 words per minute and record verbatim proceedings while maintaining confidentiality.
How To Get Job as a Broadcast Captioner
If you are looking to start working as a broadcast captioner then it is important to acquire certain skills.
- The first step to enter the field of broadcast captioning is to develop your typing skills and acquire training by enrolling into a specialized program.
- With time build your experience, looking for internships or entry-level position to add to your resume.
- Create your portfolio by recording videos and adding captions to them.
- To enjoy career growth, the best way forward is to advance your skills by obtaining advance certification through NCRA.
- There are many ways to find job as a broadcast captioner which includes expanding your social circle and meeting people from similar field, joining different court reporting associations, and searching for vacancies of job portals.
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