Last updated on July 8, 2023
|Captioning Weather for WVTM, Birmingham|
Many years ago, I let my certifications lapse when I went back to school to earn my college degree. Life changed and I ended up having to go back into court reporting. I didn’t need the certifications to get hired but I did need the certifications to participate in the External Degree Program through the NCRA (or whatever the current name is) at the University of Alabama.
I retook the tests for the certifications and went on and received my B.A. degree from the University of Alabama in interdisciplinary sciences five years later. I was able to deduct the costs of getting my college degree as part of my business expenses because I received C.E. credits for the classes. When you consider I traveled to Israel, Italy, England, Australia, and New Zealand as part of my college degree, I took tons of money off my income taxes, so I have never been one to complain about the costs of C.E. credits or membership. It’s paid for itself.
However, I do think things continue to slide in the wrong direction. Pay per hour is less than I earned for the first show I captioned with no experience. A few years ago, I got worried when the bottom fell out, and went back to college and received my Master’s degree in Creative Writing. I started writing books and continue writing, hoping to someday make a living from them.
While that hasn’t happened yet, without the flexibility that captioning offers, I would not have been able to do that. Not only that, but I was able to adopt two children from Asia as a single mom and homeschool them—because captioning paid well (especially back then) and gave me flexible hours working at home.
Captioning also gave me skills for writing I wouldn’t otherwise have. And to maintain those certifications, I have done online classes that will help me with writing—Microsoft Word, Photo Elements, and a copyediting course. The money I spent on the courses wasn’t that expensive, I think around $80 each, and I did them from home. I also deducted them for tax purposes.