8 In-Demand Subtitling and Captioning Jobs That’ll Earn You Good Money (Even If You’re a Beginner)

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In this post, we’ll cover 8 in-demand subtitling and captioning jobs that you can do to make more money online and 7 do not involve transcribing videos and are beginner-friendly. 
Let’s get started.

Subtitling and captioning videos is not an easy task, it takes roughly 8-20 minutes to manually caption 1 minute of video from a transcript.  

Do the math.
How long do you think it takes to create a subtitle or caption from scratch?
Let me know in the comments below. 

In this article, I will use the terms subtitles and captions interchangeably, they are similar but have some slight differences.
If you’re in the U.S the word caption(s) is widely used while if you’re in Europe and the rest of the world subtitles is very common.

If you prefer to watch the video as you read the article, here’s a tutorial video to help with that.

8 In-demand Subtitling and Captioning Jobs

1. Captioning Videos Without a Transcript (From Scratch)

These are the most common subtitling and captioning jobs you’ll find when you search the internet, job boards or if you use captioning sites. 

Transcribing videos is not easy and neither is captioning. 

Captioning is 2-4 times the amount of work that a transcriber does and therefore when you get a job that requires you to transcribe and caption videos, ensure that you factor your time wisely.

Captioning involves creating readable, accurate, and synchronized captions that make the viewing experience enjoyable without distortion of meaning.

Captioning videos without a transcript, involve typing out a transcript and then captioning or captioning videos as you transcribe.

Make sense? 
You can choose your workflow but personally, I prefer captioning from a transcript.

Here’s a sample job posting on Upwork that requires creating an SRT file that matches the timings of the video

Creating an SRT file

2. Captioning Videos From a Transcript

Although these jobs are rare, they present as some of the best captioning jobs freelancers can do online.

I prefer to subtitle and caption videos from a transcript because;

  • Clients provide ready transcripts (no corrections involved)
  • To save time on transcription and concentrate on captioning.

It takes roughly 8-20 minutes to caption a one-minute video from a transcript and the factors that influence how fast you caption include:

  • The number of speakers
  • How fast the speaker is speaking
  • Whether the captions are required for open captions or not
  • The amount of synchronization required, etc.

Want to learn how to subtitle and caption videos? Take this course.
Getting Started With Video Captioning.

Here’s an example of an Invite Only job posting on Upwork
that required captioning videos from a transcript.

captioning videos from a transcript

3. Quality Assurance or Quality Control (Q.C.) for Captions.

Q.C jobs are on the rise due to automatic transcription and captioning. 

Generally, these jobs involve fixing grammatical, punctuation errors, proofreading or synchronization of text to the audio.

A little synchronization error can significantly result in loss or distortion of meaning and for people that love watching videos with subtitles and captions on, it’s annoying. 

The common jobs I see relate to YouTube’s Automatic Captions with clients requesting synchronization, punctuation and general quality assurance. 

Here’s a sample job posting that required proofreading of subtitles of a tv show.

Subtitle Proofreading of TV Series

4. Open-Captioning Jobs

Open captions are captions that are burned permanently into the video and cannot be turned on or off unlike closed captions.

These jobs are on the rise especially due to most social media sites not playing videos with the sound turned on. 

According to a study done by Verizon Media and Publicis Media, 80% of consumers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available. 

Open-captions don’t need turning on or off, therefore, this is an added advantage for video creators and marketers trying to pass their message through social media videos.

To create open captions you need to have the video and respective closed caption file. 

Depending on the client’s requirements, you may be required to do caption placement and styling to ensure that no content on the video is obscured by the open captions.

Here’s a job posting that required burning-in of subtitles to 6 videos.

burning in of subtitles to video

5. Translating Subtitles.

Jobs that require translating already prepared subtitles are on the rise and this is due to the number of people creators want to reach with their content. 

The world is changing fast and most people are interested in learning languages, cultures and enjoying video content from different parts of the world.

Ever since the Tv Show La Casa De Papel was released it has been a hit, not only due to the storyline but its success can also be attributed to the availability of subtitles and captions for viewers from different regions of the world. 

If this was not the case, then it would be difficult for viewers to understand all the action. 

To get hired for jobs that require translating subtitles you need to be conversant with the original and target language and vice versa.

Some language pairs that are common are English – Spanish, Spanish – English, etc.

Here are some job postings that require translating subtitles

translating subtitles - English SRT to French

6. Converting Subtitles To Different Formats

You can get hired to convert subtitles to different formats.

Most text-based captions files (SRT, VTT) are easy to create and they are the most common.

Normally, clients require either styled captions or quality assurance of captions and converting captions to a format that is supported by the video player that they’ll be uploading the files to.

VIDEO: How to Easily Convert SRT to VTT or VTT to SRT

A selling point when applying for work is to know where clients will be hosting their videos and provide different caption formats for their content. 

For example, if a client hosts videos on YouTube, SRT subtitles will suffice while on Vimeo, VTT subtitles are recommended.

Here’s a tool that you can use to convert subtitles to different formats.

Convert Captions and Subtitles to Different Formats. 

7. Embedding Captions.

Embedded captions are captions that are available as a sidecar in the videos.

What this means is that the subtitles will be embedded in the video but not open-captioned.

They can be turned on or off when you’re viewing the video and although these jobs are not very common, they offer an opportunity for beginners and experienced captioners to make quick money.

Here’s a video of how to Embed Multiple Captions to A video

8. Ripping Captions From Videos 

Embedded captions can be ripped from the video into individual files.

Normally, jobs that involve ripping captions and subtitles from videos are offered by clients that either doesn’t know how to do it or don’t have the time to do it.

Ripping embedded captions can be done using a free subtitling software like Subtitle Edit.

Here’s how to rip captions and subtitles from videos using Subtitle Edit.

Want to learn how to subtitle and caption videos? Take this course.
Getting Started With Video Captioning.

In conclusion, you can get hired by clients for different types of subtitling and captioning jobs even if you’re a beginner for these jobs,

  • Captioning Videos From Scratch
  • Captioning Videos from a Transcript
  • Q.C. of already written captions
  • Open-Captioning Videos
  • Translating Subtitles and Captions
  • Converting Subtitles and Captions to Different Formats
  • Embedding Subtitles and Captions
  • Extracting or Ripping Subtitles and Captions from Videos.

Over to you, what job will you apply to first? Let me know in the comments.

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8 In-Demand Captioning and Subtitling Jobs For Beginners

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