Bachelor's Degrees in Broadcasting: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about three types of jobs you could pursue in broadcasting. Read on to learn more about career options, along with salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Broadcaster

We see them on television news programs, sports shows, we hear them on the radio and the internet. But broadcasting is more than a face or a voice. On air broadcasters depend on directors in the broadcasting booth. They need broadcast technicians behind the cameras or handling the sound booms. Sports and news depend on video editors to instantly be able to produce out cuts for viewing within moments of filming.

The broadcasting field can be divided into three main areas, which are news, production and technical operations. The table below outlines the general requirements for three career options.

News ReporterVideo Editor Camera Operator
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Communications, Journalism Broadcasting Broadcasting
Training Required Internship No training required No training required
Job Growth (2014-2024) -9%* (All reporters and correspondents) 18%* (All film and video editors) 2%*
Median Salary (2015) $36,360* (All reporters and correspondents) $61,750* (All film and video editors) $49,080*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do With a Broadcasting Bachelor's Degree?

If the path that you choose emphasizes broadcast news, you might consider a career as a news reporter, anchor, analyst or writer. If you focus on production, you may work behind the scenes as a producer, video editor or director to help prepare newscasts for broadcast presentation. Broadcast managers generally coordinate all the activities for a radio or television station.

If you choose to work in the technical area of broadcasting, you would likely operate equipment, such as cameras, lights and microphones for radio or television. Video equipment technicians, videographers, camera operators and technical directors are common positions on the technical side of broadcasting. Other job titles found within the areas of broadcasting include computer graphics operator, field reporter, production coordinator, audio engineer and corporate video producer.

With your bachelor's degree in broadcasting, you could pursue additional career paths in advertising, marketing and sales of electronic media. You might also consider a career in documentary production, telecommunications research or education. With an advanced degree, you could work as a broadcasting professor at a college or university.

What Advancement Opportunities Would I Have?

Although it is not generally required, certification can demonstrate mastery of certain broadcast skills and expand your employment options. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) issues several different certifications for professionals in broadcast engineering, which are valid for five years each. SBE offers eight engineering certifications, two operator certifications and one broadcast networking certification. Requirements vary but generally consist of either passing a proficiency exam or meeting experience and licensing requirements in the field. In addition, SBE offers several continuing education options for career advancement, including local chapter meetings, workshops and educational courses.

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation also offers several training programs for professional development, including a Broadcast Leadership Training Program, Media Sales Institute and Connections Mentoring Initiative program. In addition to training and certification programs, broadcasting professionals may enhance their employment options and earnings potential by relocating to larger markets. However, you may need several of years experience to qualify for high profile or highly technical jobs in major metropolitan areas.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

Salaries in the broadcasting industry vary by occupation, geographic location and level of experience. Full-time salaried employees generally receive standard work benefits, while those working part-time or for smaller employers may not receive any benefits.

As of October 2016, Salary.com states that broadcast technicians earned a median salary of $45,689, and production assistants had a median salary of $29,646. In addition, camera operators earned a median salary of $39,052 and producers' median salary was $47,185.

According to PayScale.com, news anchors are among the highest-paid employees in the television broadcasting industry, with a median salary of $57,676 as of 2016. Film and television producers are also among the top-paying occupations, with a median salary of $67,407. News reporters have a lower median salary of $38,976, according to that site, although reporters' salaries can vary considerably.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Alternative career fields need a bachelor's degrees to start within the entertainment industry. Music production, video or film editing, script editing, writing, acting and other production fields covering music videos, internet or motion pictures are all related. Production technicians are also viable such as cameramen, sound technicians and special effects coordinators. In all of the entertainment career alternatives, you will be required to put in long hours, plenty of hard work, and need to have excellent knowledge in your chosen craft.

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:

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