Real-Time Captioners


Real-Time Captioners


Real-time captioners, also known as broadcast captioners, operate a computer-aided transcription (CAT) stenotype system to create closed captions for use in live television broadcasts, in classroom instruction, or in other scenarios requiring live translating or interpreting on the computer. Computer-aided real-time translation, or CART, refers to the use of machine steno shorthand skills to produce real-time text on a computer. Generally, captioning systems use a modified stenotype machine connected to a computer. The real...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Previous court or field reporting experience is highly recommende



Digital Media


Personality Traits



Earning power for real-time captioners is dependent upon many variables and is often region-specific and a product of "what the market will bear." In large captioning organizations, real-time captioners can make anywhere from $30,000 for a recent graduate in training to $75,000 or even higher for those experienced and tireless workers who always volunteer for extra hours, overflow work, etc., a...

Work Environment

Real-time captioning for television broadcast is not a nine-to-five job. While many reporting jobs require erratic hours, broadcast captioning is done seven days a week, around the clock. Real-time captioners producing captions for television broadcast will likely work nights, weekends, or holidays, as directed. Shows can air at 5:30 in the morning, at midnight on a Saturday night, or during Th...


The development of automated voice and speech systems—the computer programs that automatically convert speech to written text—may have some effect on the court reporting field, but there are no current systems that can accurately handle multiple speakers, and it's unlikely that such technology will exist in the near future. Therefore, captioners and court reporters will be in demand for years t...