Getting Started in Closed Captioning As a Court Reporter

Most people know that closed captioning allows the hearing impaired to follow along with television programming, but did you ever wonder how the service is actually provided? Closed captioning professionals translate hours of recorded programming into captions, usually from home, and also translate live television.

The median annual salary for court reporting is between $70,000 and $80,000. The skills involved in closed captioning are very close to those of a court reporter, and some people who attended court reporting school transition into closed captioning work.

If you’re a court reporter in New York City who is interested in closed captioning work, here is what you need to know.

Shared Skills

Court reporters and closed captioning professionals must perform very similar tasks. They must be able to write, using a steno machine, a minimum of 225 words per minute and must be able to transcribe dialogue in real time without missing any words.

Both court reporters and closed captioning professionals must also spend time learning the software programs associated with their fields and prepare for jobs by learning any technical vocabulary that may come up.

Changing Careers

If you went to court reporting school but are now interested in getting started in closed captioning, look into a New York career institute that offers CART training with specialized closed captioning courses. CART stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation.

CART prepares students for using steno machines and real-time translation software to create transcriptions of live dialogue. Even if you’ve already gone through CART programs, you will still need to attend additional courses focused on closed captioning. Alternatively, if you haven’t completed your court reporter program yet, consider adding some classes in closed captioning, so you have flexibility to move between the jobs when you graduate.

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