Broadcast captioners use computer software and stenotype machines to provide a text version of the audio programming of television shows or news broadcasts.
According to the website PagerankStudio.com captions are created during a broadcasted program. Caption codes become part of the television signal which is a vital service for hearing impaired individuals who must be able to read a text version of spoken words.
Broadcast captioners produce real-time text during an actual program but sometimes they work on offline text television programs that are not live broadcasts. Especially with real-time captioning the job can be stressful because captions of spoken words must be generated within seconds.
The website degreedirectory.org says that individuals who want to pursue a broadcast captioner career must complete an associate's or bachelor's degree or a certificate program in court reporting that has been approved by the National Court Reporter's Association (NCRA). They can attend classes in person but distance-learning programs are available. In order to complete the program successfully they must be able to type quickly and accurately and also serve in an internship.
It is recommended that individuals satisfy the requirements for a credential such as a Certified Broadcast Captioner by passing an examination. Most broadcast captioners work full time for captioning companies which then contract with broadcasters to caption both live and recorded programs. However some broadcast captioners work on a freelance basis.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment outlook for broadcast captioners is excellent because of recent federal telecommunications laws. Annual earnings for this profession range from approximately $25400 to $89300.