Transcriptionist vs. Captioner: What’s the Difference?

While the aim of transcriptionists is to create an accurate transcript of the English speech heard, the aim of captioners is to recreate the full audio experience for non-hearing viewers which includes capturing the English speech, any singing, and using atmospherics to describe the music and sounds integral to the …

Captions vs. Transcripts

What is a captioner?

A captioner, also known as a stenocaptioner, is a professional who employs a stenotype machine to create captions for television programs and motion pictures. Captioning is considered a specialized type of transcription.

There are two primary types of captioning:

Since real-time captioning requires more skill than offline captioning, real-time captioners frequently earn more money. The majority of captioning is done to assist those who are hard of hearing or deaf and cannot otherwise hear the audio of what is being watched.

For each frame of the video, captioners break down their transcribed captions into smaller sections of text that will be time-coded with the audio to match. The captions are then displayed at the bottom of the video screen so that viewers can read them while still viewing the video.

What is a transcriptionist?

An expert who converts recorded audio files into document or text formats is known as a transcriptionist. Medical, legal, and general transcriptionists are the three most prevalent categories of transcriptionists. Podcasts, videos, webcasts, lectures, talk radio shows, insurance adjustment transcriptions, and other general transcription assignments are some examples. Many transcribers work with simple text files like Microsoft Word documents.

After listening to the recording, these experts type what they hear onto the document. Text-to-text transcription, which typically entails converting one media file to another, is another service provided by some transcriptionists. Many transcriptionists rely on VR editing software that auto-transcribes recordings. The transcriptionist will then edit the recording for accuracy.

Examples of industries that use the services of transcriptionists include:

How are transcribing and captioning similar?

Because both transcription and captioning involve turning audio into text, they are comparable. Both captioners and transcriptionists pay attention to what is being said on an audio or video recording, and then they translate the audio or video into readable text.

Additionally, when performing their jobs, transcriptionists and captioners must follow particular style manuals and rules. Depending on the type of job being captioned or transcribed, these style guidelines and rules will change. Additionally, both categories of experts frequently employ technology to speed up the transcription and captioning process.

Both captioners and transcriptionists typically have flexible schedules, which is another similarity between their jobs. Many transcriptionists and captioners work from home so they can fit it around other commitments or at their preferred times.

Differences between transcriptionists and captioners

The work of a captioner and a transcriptionist differs in a number of ways. The most important differences include:


For instance, real-time captioners frequently earn significantly more money than offline captioners. Additionally, transcriptionists who work for large companies like hospitals frequently earn more money than those who work for smaller businesses or as independent contractors.


An associate’s degree or certification from a transcriptionist program is typically required for jobs as a transcriptionist. If a transcriptionist works in a specific field, like the legal or medical fields, they frequently need to have specialized knowledge regarding the terminology, morals, and rules in that field. Additionally, transcribers need to possess a variety of hard skills, such as knowledge of industry-specific systems, documentation, and research. Additionally, they must understand how to format and use software and transcription programs.

Typically, captioners require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in stenography, court reporting, transcription, or a related field. Numerous programs, including those provided by community colleges and vocational schools, offer courses for a career in captioning. A degree or certificate from a program that has been accredited by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is preferred by the majority of employers for captioners.

A lot of captioners also work toward certifications that reflect their level of expertise. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification is the most popular of the various certifications that the NCRA offers. Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) are two additional certifications. Candidates for these certifications must maintain a certain level of proficiency, such as the ability to type 180 words per minute (wpm).

Job duties

Depending on the type of work they do and where they work, transcriptionists and captioners have different responsibilities. Here are some of the common duties of each role:

FAQs about transcriptionists and captioners

Frequently asked inquiries about careers as transcriptionists or captioners include the ones listed below:

What are the benefits of transcription?

There are several advantages to using transcription for this kind of recording. Primary benefits include:

What are the benefits of captioning?

Some of the most noticeable advantages of captioning include the following:

What industries most commonly hire captioners?

Here are some of the most typical fields where captioners are employed:


Is transcription easier than captioning?

While transcription files start at about 45 cents per minute, captioning files start at about 54 cents per minute. Remember that captions require an additional syncing step and have extended deadlines. If you enjoy straightforward typing, you may prefer transcription.

How much can you make as a captioner?

In the United States, a Captioner’s annual total compensation is estimated to be $49,458, with an average salary of $37,054.

How much money do you make as a rev captioner?

For captioning, the rate of pay is $0. 54 to $1. 10 per audio/video minute. Rev’s top captioners make an average of $1,570 per month. Foreign subtitling work pays the highest rate at $1. 50 to $3. 00 per audio/video minute. Rates vary depending on the language you write subtitles in.

Is captioning a good job?

It is the most lucrative and difficult transcription job there is. Court reporters are a common line of work for real-time transcriptionists, but this is not a position that can be performed remotely.

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