Broadcast Communications Degree Programs

A degree program in broadcast communications may qualify you for a career in television or radio. Learn about the types of programs available, career options and professional organizations, as well as what you might earn in the field. Schools offering Digital Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Broadcast Communications Graduates?

Studying broadcast communications typically entails both the writing and production aspects of televised and radio broadcasted media. Upon the completion of this program at the bachelor's level you may be able to pursue a career as a studio camera operator or broadcast technician. Studio camera operators are responsible for maintaining fixed shots of the subject, while following the instruction of the director regarding switching angles or panning the camera. Broadcast technicians are in charge of preparing and maintaining the equipment that records the media as well as the equipment that transmits said media to a forum, such as a radio or television station. Studying broadcasting at the associate's level can prepare you for a career as an announcer on television or radio, where you would have to present the news or other content to a viewing or listening audience.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Camera OperatorsFilm/Video EditorsRadio/Television AnnouncersAudio/Video TechniciansBroadcast Technicians
Degree Required Bachelor's degreeBachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Some postsecondary training or associate's degree Some postsecondary training or associate's degree
Certification Certifications offered Editing software certification N/A Certification available Various certifications available
Key Responsibilities Running live cameras for television, film/digital cameras Taking analog film or digital video and rendering sound and dialogue together Reading the news live or working without a script on live interview programs Troubleshooting camera or sound equipment issues and repairing the problems Monitor and adjust live camera, video and soundboard equipment for television or radio
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2%* 18%* -14%* 12%* -6%*
Median Salary (2015) $49,080* $61,750* $30,960* $41,440* $37,490*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Broadcast Communications Programs Are Available?

Broadcast communications programs are somewhat rare at the associate's degree level, but many schools offer similar or related degree programs. Other programs you can consider are associate's degree in broadcasting, radio-television broadcasting or communications with a specialization in broadcast communications. If you want a more advanced degree, you can enroll in a 4-year bachelor's degree in broadcast communications with specializations in television and video production or broadcast news.

What Will I Study?

The above degree programs teach the fundamentals of writing for print and electronic media, radio and television production and mass media. In addition to taking traditional courses, you have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in labs, working with television and radio production equipment, reading the news and more. Many degree programs include an internship component where you could work at a television studio or radio station under the supervision of broadcasting professionals.

What Kinds of Jobs Could I Get?

You could pursue a career as a news writer or anchor, camera operator, radio personality, television producer and more. Because the television and radio industries rely on ads to pay for their services, you could also be involved in advertising, either in the production of commercials or in placement of ads on television and the radio.

Your job duties might include writing or editing copy for a news broadcast, reporting the news, hosting a radio show or directing a television show. You may find jobs at a television studios, recording studios or radio stations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiled a list of jobs that are common in the broadcasting industry. Some of the job titles on its list include:

  • Assistant producers
  • Video editors
  • Producers
  • Announcers
  • Program directors
  • Reporters
  • Broadcast news analysts
  • Radio operators

What Organizations Could I Join?

Nationally recognized broadcasting organizations offer member benefits like career development services, national conferences and training sessions. Membership with these organizations could look good on your resume. Some options are the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and the National Association of Broadcasters.

How Much Money Could I Earn?

In 2015, the BLS reported that camera operators earned a median annual salary of $49,080. Film and video editors earned $61,750; radio and television announcers, $30,960; and audio and video equipment technicians, $41,440. Broadcast technicians, who held 30,100 jobs in 2014, earned $37,490.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you would like to work in the realm of film and television, you could consider becoming a producer or director. Producers and directors are responsible for creating and managing the visual direction and budget for a production. If being an announcer is closer to a field you'd like to pursue, you can also consider becoming a reporter or broadcast news analyst, where you would research information on news topics and relay that information to the public. Another similar career in film and television would be pursuing animation or multimedia art. As an animator, you would help produce special effects or animations for a wide array of visual media. All these career choices require a bachelor's degree to pursue.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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