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How Can I Become a TV Broadcaster?

Becoming a TV broadcaster requires education and experience in the journalism and broadcasting fields. Learn about the degrees you might pursue to become a TV broadcaster, explore the different types of TV broadcasters, and get info on internships.

What Is a TV Broadcaster?

A TV broadcaster presents information related to such topics as news and sports, and they might also be responsible for planning a show's creative content. These professionals may work for news programs and help research important stories to discuss as well as provide commentary about different events. They might also develop questions for interviews, read scripts and announce program information, such as commercial breaks. Sometimes they attend events to promote their employer. The table below provides some additional details:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Journalism, Mass Communication, Broadcast Journalism
Key Responsibilities Research and deliver stories, interview people, engage with audiences
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10% decline (for all reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts)
Mean Salary (2018)* $64,820 (for all reporters and correspondents working in radio and television broadcasting)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Earn a Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is the most commonly required education for broadcasters (www.bls.gov). You can earn your bachelor's degree in a closely related area like journalism or mass communications. In some programs, you can also declare a concentration in an exact area of interest, such as television broadcasting, broadcast news or sports reporting. Degrees specifically in broadcasting may be more common in 2-year formats. If you pursue a broadcasting associate's degree program, you can often easily transfer to a 4-year program upon its completion.

As a student in a broadcasting associate's degree program, you'll learn about the foundations of communicating information via radio, television and even Internet broadcasts. Required courses teach you about the functions of broadcast news and the role it plays in today's society. You'll also learn about broadcasting careers both in front of and behind the camera, such as news anchoring and production, respectively.

Bachelor's degree curricula can differ depending on whether you're studying broadcast journalism or mass communications. Broadcast journalism programs may focus on such specific broadcasting skills as information gathering, news writing and editing, program selection and production. They also teach about different types of television broadcasts, such as news, sports, weather and technology. Mass communications programs may offer a broader view of journalism and news reporting via courses in print journalism, advertising and general media functions. Other relevant required or elective courses for both program types may include audience analysis, media law and ethics, research methods, investigative reporting and multimedia broadcasting.

Decide on a Specific Career Path

Particularly in larger news markets or broadcasting stations, television broadcasters often concentrate on one specific area of broadcasting, such as breaking news, business, education, weather, traffic or sports. The BLS reports that most entry-level broadcasters begin their careers at smaller television stations in general assignment broadcasting positions. Still, it may be wise to choose an exact career path or eventual area of broadcasting concentration before getting started in the industry. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) provides career information and professional development seminars in all above-mentioned broadcasting areas (www.nab.org). They also publish information on the senior-level positions to which broadcasters can eventually ascend, such as assignment desk chief or executive producer.

Get Experience Through an Internship

According to the BLS, the job market for broadcasters is highly competitive, and getting an entry-level position may require moving to a smaller television market with fewer applicants. Regardless of market size, experience is invaluable in the world of television broadcasting, with most employers requiring some sort of relevant experience for entry-level employees (www.onetcenter.org). A broadcasting internship will give you hands-on practice in announcing, interviewing, story selection, newsgathering and segment editing. Internships can also help you develop important skills in areas like communication and time management, which can come in handy when working with editors or rushing to meet deadlines. Many colleges require or encourage journalism and mass communications students to complete off-campus internships, work at college TV stations, or both.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related careers that require a bachelor's degree include producer, director, writer, author, reporter and correspondent. Producers and directors oversee the production of commercials, television shows, movies and more. Writers and authors create content for all sorts of media, such as books, blogs, songs and magazines. Reporters and correspondents research and report news about current events to the public through traditional formats, such as television and radio, as well as through online platforms.