How Can I Become a Media Broadcaster?

Explore the career requirements for a media broadcaster. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, salary, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Media Broadcaster?

A media broadcaster provides information to the public through various forms of media, including television, radio and the Internet. There are many different fields in which a media broadcaster can work. As a media broadcaster you can work as a newscaster, reporter, sports reporter, correspondent, commentator or broadcast meteorologist. Newscasters and reporters may work for local or nationally syndicated news stations or channels. As a media broadcaster in any field, you must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to relay information to your audience and to interact with and interview individuals.

The table below provides an outline of the general requirements for a career as a media broadcaster.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Journalism, mass communications, broadcast journalism
Key Skills Speaking, writing, editing skills, knowledge of technical aspects of broadcast, knowledge of how to use a microphone
Job Growth (2014-24) -9% for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts*
Median Salary (2015) $37,720 for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Media Broadcasting Jobs Are Available?

Media broadcasting is a large field that provides you with a multitude of career options. The first thing to consider is whether you'd like to work in television, radio or Internet broadcasting. Within each of these areas, there are numerous related jobs you can pursue.

If your preference is for sitting behind a desk and presenting the news, then you might be a fit for a newscaster role. This position can involve reading the news, presenting stories, conducting interviews and acting as general host to the broadcast. If you'd prefer to report on the news from the field, you might consider working as a reporter. This position can involve significant travel and you may need to broadcast from dangerous situations such as war zones or natural disasters.

You can also work in media broadcasting as a sports reporter, meteorologist or commentator. As a sports reporter, you'll work behind the desk, relaying scores and game information; you may also report from sporting events. Meteorologists report the weather and may be asked to broadcast either from a studio or from the midst of storms, which can range from the season's first snow to raging hurricanes. Commentators provide news analysis and opinions to viewers or listeners and generally work from their offices or behind a news desk.

What Training Is Needed to Be a Media Broadcaster?

Most jobs in media broadcasting will require you to possess a bachelor's degree. There are several degree fields that will directly prepare you for this type of work, including journalism, mass communications and broadcast journalism. By studying in these programs, you'll learn speaking, writing and editing skills. You'll also study the technical aspects of broadcasting, including how to use microphones, cameras and editing equipment.

To become a broadcast meteorologist, you must take coursework in journalism or communications in addition to studying meteorology or atmospheric science. You can find bachelor's degree programs in broadcast meteorology, or you can major in meteorology and choose a minor in broadcasting. Some meteorology departments offer broadcasting internships. You can also earn certification through the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist; however, you'll need a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science or meteorology to be eligible.

You can further prepare for a broadcasting career by working at your college or university's radio or television station. These jobs can give you hands-on training and improve your opportunities for employment. You can study broadcasting at the graduate level as well, though it is typically not required for most on-air broadcasting work.

What Salary Might I Earn?

Media broadcasters had widely divergent salaries as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Broadcast news analysts had a median annual salary of $65,530. The lowest 10% earned less than $27,370 and the highest 10% earned more than $187,200. Reporters - including those in broadcasting - earned a median annual salary of $36,360. Meteorologists working in television and radio had an annual mean salary of $91,870. The BLS notes that the job outlook for 2014-2024 is -9% for all reporters, correspondents and broadcasters.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Radio and television announcers relay music, news and sports commentary to their audiences. They also relay public service announcements and inform listeners and viewers of program schedules. Types of announcers include DJs, talk show hosts and podcasters. A bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcasting or communications is generally required to become a radio or television announcer. An internship or work experience at a college radio or television station is also important.

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians handle all of the electrical equipment used for various broadcasts and media productions, such as radio programs, television shows, movies and concerts. These technicians have a wide range of duties, including installing equipment, recording music or dialogue, operating cameras and adjusting lights They generally work in studios but can also work on-site at concerts and other large public gatherings. An associate's degree or a postsecondary certificate is sufficient for employment in this field.

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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