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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-time captioner inputs the captions phonetically (transcription or speech sounds) on the steno machine, and the sounds are then translated into English words by the computer using a special dictionary created by the captioner. During a live broadcast, the captions are entered as the program progresses, much as a court reporter transcribes a trial as it progresses. The input data is sent along telephone lines to the broadcast point, where the caption codes become part of the television signal.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree




Faster than the Average
Personality Traits


Hands On


Career Ladder

Experienced Real-Time Captioner

Entry-Level Real-Time Captioner

Court Reporter