Broadcaster: Career Profile, Occupational Outlook, and Education Requirements
Research what it takes to become a broadcaster in television or radio. Learn about job duties, education requirements and job prospects to find out whether this is the career for you.
What Is a Broadcaster?
Broadcasters present news and other information via audio and visual media formats. A broadcaster might cover a variety of subjects such as politics, sports, weather and entertainment with a local, national and/or international focus. Unlike reporters and correspondents, they may be required to share their opinion on news stories and not just the facts. Although they may report on a variety of subjects, broadcasters will typically specialize in one subject. They may be required to conduct interviews with people who have more information on a story, as well as work with other experts and consultants in a particular field. Learn more about this career and get job outlook and salary information.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's Degree|
|Education Field of Study|| Communications |
|Key Responsibilities||Gather information; interview subjects or guests; shoot video footage; speak on air or on camera; post information to online platforms|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)|| 1% for broadcast news analysts|
-12% for reporters and correspondents
-7% for radio and television announcers*
|Median Salary (2018)|| $66,880 for broadcast news analysts|
$41,260 for reporters and correspondents
$33,220 for radio and television announcers*
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Broadcaster Do?
As a broadcaster you provide the voice, and sometimes the face, of radio or television programming. You can be a reporter, announcer, sportscaster or commentator. As a reporter in the field, you gather information, assemble a report and present the story for radio and TV stations. As a sportscaster, weather reporter, foreign correspondent or specialist you also convey information via the airwaves, often on location. As a news anchor, you introduce and present stories while sometimes offering commentary; however, broadcast news analysts are more likely to interpret news stories. As a show host, you star on a show that specializes on a specific area such as music, politics, health, sports, etc.
What Is My Career Outlook as a Broadcaster?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for news broadcasters are expected to decrease by 10% between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). The same source credits declining advertising revenues, corporate consolidation and the growing importance of online media for the decreased number of available jobs in the industry. Opportunities might be more abundant in small, local television or radio stations, and competition will be more intense in large metropolitan areas.
The BLS reports that median earnings for radio and TV announcers were $33,220, as of May 2018. Reporters and correspondents earned about $41,260, and median earnings for broadcast news analysts were $66,880. However, for all broadcast occupations, the salary range varies widely depending on location, duties and experience.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Broadcaster?
You can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Mass Communications, Broadcasting or a related field to gain a television or radio broadcasting career. These programs last approximately four years or 121-123 credits, including an internship or professional work experience. Common classes are in news reporting, broadcast writing, mass communication law and production. Concentrations or interest areas for specific jobs - such as sports, radio or online broadcasting - might also be available.
A bachelor's degree and some experience may open doors to an entry-level position in news, advertising or entertainment organizations, such as an agency or commercial station. Experience from an internship or collegiate job can increase applicants' chances, but broadcasters should expect to work their way up the ladder in order to reach the higher levels of this competitive profession.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
There are several related alternative career options for those considering a bachelor's degree, including writers and authors, public relations specialists and atmospheric scientists. Writers and authors produce written content for a wide variety of media, such as blogs, books or songs. Public relations specialists are responsible for creating a positive public image for their clients through media releases and marketing. Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, study the weather and climate. Meteorologists often report their findings through various forms of media.