Ever heard of video captioning? It’s the process of creating transcripts for videos, which are then used to provide subtitles or closed captions. And just like any other job out there, being a freelance video captioner comes with its own set of challenges.
But if you’re up for the task and have what it takes, then this could be a great gig for you, especially as video only continues to grow in popularity.
So what does it take to be a successful freelance video captioner? These are 13 must-have traits if you want to make good money as a video captioner.
Table of Contents
#1 – Excellent Communicator
Excellent communication skills are essential for anyone who wants to become a successful video captioner. In this job, you will be responsible for providing accurate, real-time captions of speeches, conversations, and other audio sources. This requires not only a high level of English proficiency but also the ability to listen carefully and type quickly.
Furthermore, you must be able to maintain focus for extended periods and remain calm under pressure. As a result, strong communication skills are essential for anyone who wants to pursue this career. With experience, you can develop the necessary speed and accuracy to be a successful video captioner. However, without excellent communication skills, it will be very difficult to succeed in this field.
#2 – Discerning Ear
If you want to be a successful captioner, you need to be a good listener. That might seem like an obvious statement, but it bears repeating. Being a good captioner isn’t just about having fast fingers and being able to type quickly. It’s also about being able to understand the spoken word and translate it into text. And that requires active listening.
Good captioners can filter out extraneous noise and focus on the speaker’s words. They can also follow along even when the speaker is speaking quickly or using complex vocabulary. In short, they have the concentration and attention span of a hawk. So if you’re looking to become a successful captioner, make sure you work on your listening skills. They’ll be just as important as your typing skills in helping you succeed in this career.
#3 Understanding of Technology
To be a successful video captioner, it is essential to have a good understanding of technology. While the basic principle of captioning – translating spoken words into text – is relatively simple, the process of creating accurate and error-free captions requires a high level of technological expertise.
First and foremost, captioners must be able to operate specialized software that is designed for captioning videos. This software often has a steep learning curve, and captioners must be able to use it quickly and efficiently to keep up with the pace of speech.
Furthermore, captioners must be well-versed in the various audio and video formats that are commonly used for online videos. This knowledge is necessary to ensure that captions are properly synchronized with the video track.
Finally, captioners must be familiar with the technical specifications for closed captioning, such as font size and color, to create captions that meet industry standards. As you can see, having a good understanding of technology is essential to becoming a successful video captioner.
#4 – Detail-Oriented
Being a successful video captioner requires immense attention to detail. The ability to see small details and make corrections accordingly is what sets apart the best captioners from the rest. A single mistake can change the meaning of a sentence, which can confuse the viewers.
Additionally, accurate captioning is essential for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. They rely on captioning to understand what is happening in the video, so every detail must be accounted for. With such high stakes, it is clear why being detail-oriented is so important for anyone considering a career in video captioning. By honing their attention to detail, they can ensure that their captions are accurate and helpful for all viewers.
#5 – Strong Grammar Skills
Strong grammar skills are essential for anyone who wants to become a successful video captioner. This is because captioners are responsible for translating spoken words into written text, and they need to be able to capture the nuances of language to produce accurate captions.
Good grammar also makes it easier for viewers to follow along with the conversation, and it can help to ensure that the captions are properly synced with the audio track. As a result, captioners who have strong grammar skills are in high demand, and they can command higher rates for their services.
If you’re looking to become a video captioner, be sure to brush up on your grammar. It will be essential in helping you produce accurate and error-free captions.
#6 – Excellent Typing Skills
To be a successful video captioner, you need to have excellent typing skills. This is because captioners are responsible for translating spoken words into written text, and they need to be able to do so quickly and accurately.
The average person types at a speed of 40 words per minute, but the best captioners can type at speeds of over 200 words per minute. This allows them to keep up with the fast-paced dialogue in most videos without making any mistakes.
If you’re considering a career in video captioning, be sure to practice your typing skills. The faster you can type, the more accurate your captions will be.
#7 – Ability to Work with Deadlines
As a captioner, you will be working with deadlines regularly. To be successful in this role, you must be able to meet deadlines and work well under pressure. There will be times when you are given tight deadlines, and you will need to be able to maintain a high level of accuracy while captioning at a fast pace.
This can be challenging, but it is important to remember that your work is extremely important and can make a big difference in the lives of viewers who rely on captions. If you can work well under pressure and meet deadlines, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful video captioner.
#8 – Organizational Skills
Organizational skills are important for any freelance captioner. This is because captioners often work with a large volume of videos, and they need to be able to keep track of all their projects. Additionally, captioners need to be able to organize their time effectively to meet deadlines.
There are many different ways to stay organized as a captioner, but one of the most important things is to use a project management tool like Asana or Trello. This will allow you to keep track of all your projects in one place and ensure that you are meeting all your deadlines.
If you’re looking to become a successful video captioner, be sure to brush up on your organizational skills. This will help you keep track of all your projects and ensure that you are meeting all your deadlines.
#9 – Ability to Work Independently
As a captioner, you will be working independently most of the time. This means that you need to be self-motivated and able to work without supervision. To be successful in this role, you must be able to focus on your work and produce accurate captions.
There will be times when you are working on complex projects that require a lot of concentration. During these times, it is important to be able to block out distractions and stay focused on your work. The last thing you want is to make a mistake in your captioning because you were not paying attention.
#10 – Patience
Patience is a virtue for any captioner. This is because captioning can be a slow and tedious process, and there will be times when you have to rewind and listen to the same section of dialogue multiple times. Additionally, captioning can be challenging, and you may not always understand what is being said.
When you are feeling impatient, it is important to remember that accuracy is more important than speed. If you rush through your work, you are more likely to make mistakes. Therefore, it is important to take your time and be patient when captioning.
#11 – Understanding of Closed Captions
As a captioner, you must have a strong understanding of closed captions. This is because your job will be to create accurate captions for videos, and you need to know how to format them correctly. Additionally, you need to be familiar with the various styles of captions and how to create them.
If you are not familiar with closed captions, there are many resources available to help you learn. The National Association of the Deaf has a great guide that covers everything you need to know about captioning. Additionally, some many online courses and tutorials can help you learn more about captioning.
#12 – Familiarity with Various Video Formats
As a captioner, you will need to be familiar with various video formats. This is because you will often be given videos in different formats, and you need to know how to caption them correctly. Additionally, you need to be able to convert videos into the correct format for captioning.
There are many different video formats, but some of the most common ones are MP4, MOV, and AVI. To caption these videos, you will need to use a tool like CaptionHub or Mag-Player. These tools will allow you to caption videos in any format and convert them into the correct format for captioning.
#13 – Ability to Use Captioning Software
To caption videos, you will need to use captioning software. This software is designed to create accurate captions for videos, and it is essential for your job. There are many different captioning software programs available, but some of the most popular ones are CaptionHub, Mag-Player, and Captionate.
You should take some time to learn how to use captioning software before you start your job. This way, you will be able to caption videos quickly and accurately. Additionally, many software programs offer free trials, so you can try them out before you buy them.
FAQ – Video Captioner Must-Have Traits
What are some additional must-have traits of successful video captioners?
Some additional skills include the following: willingness to learn, great organizational skills, and the ability to work independently. Captioning videos requires a great deal of concentration and focus, so captioners must be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to meet deadlines and juggle multiple projects at once while maintaining quality standards.
What are some common challenges that video captioners face?
Some common challenges that video captioners face include: working with poor audio quality, dealing with tight deadlines, learning related software tools, working with different file formats, and captioning a wide variety of video content types (even in the same language).
Do you need to speak multiple languages?
No, you don’t need to speak a different language to be a successful video captioner. Many video captioners only speak the English language. However, it is helpful to be able to speak more than one language, as this can make it easier to work with a wider range of clients.
What type of training is required to be a video captioner?
There is no specific training required to be a video captioner. However, many captioners have a background in English or Communications. Additionally, captioners must be able to type quickly and accurately.
What’s the difference between transcribers and video captioners?
Transcribers create transcripts of audio files, while video captioners create captions for videos. Transcription is a more general term that can refer to any type of audio-to-text conversion while captioning is specific to video files.
What’s the difference between subtitles and captions?
Subtitles are written in the same language as the video’s audio track, while captions can be in a different language. Captions also include important sound effects and non-verbal communication such as laughter or applause, thus providing accessibility features to those who do not hear the audio but want more than just a mere transcription of the video content.
What are some video platforms that use video captioners?
Some well-known online video platforms that add captions include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube. Some of these add captions automatically for their customers; some contract out transcription services or captioning services to add subtitles, while others may hire an online video editor or video producers to generate captions during video post-production services.