Newscaster: Job Duties, Occupational Outlook, and Education Prerequisites

Explore the career requirements for newscasters. Get the facts about job duties, job outlook, and degree requirements 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 Newscaster?

A newscaster's job involves presenting current information and news via live radio, television or web broadcasts. While some newscasters may report on a variety of subjects, others specialize in areas like weather reporting, sports, politics, or general news, depending on the size of their news organization and the city in which they work. More and more today, newscasters have an active social media presence in order to better keep in touch with their audience. If you'd like to become a newscaster, read on for specific job duties, the employment outlook and educational prerequisites in the chart below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Journalism, mass communications, political science, English and related fields
Key Responsibilities Delivering news to the public, conducting research, interviewing people, and writing news reports
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024) -9% for reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts*
Median Salary (2015) $36,360 for reporters and correspondents*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Duties Might I Have as a Newscaster?

A newscaster is both a journalist and a broadcast specialist who communicates the news to a viewing or listening public. Depending on the location and the size of the station for which you work, you may report on international, national or local news. Your responsibilities might encompass performing research, interviewing guests, reporting, writing and giving on-air news presentations. Sometimes, you might go to the scene of a story and remotely assemble a report for broadcast. In other instances, you might verbally set the stage for a taped segment or react to a breaking news report.

What Is the Expected Occupational Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of newscasters should decrease by about 9% between 2014 and 2024, due largely to an economic decline and consolidation in the broadcasting and newspaper publishing industries.

However, forecasts also estimated that technological advances would create more online positions at web-based magazines and newspapers, and that newscasters would have better opportunities at smaller news stations. Median annual incomes for reporters and correspondents were $36,360 as of 2015, but salaries in this field varied depending upon responsibilities, location and the sizes of the stations and audiences.

What Education Prerequisites Must I Complete?

A Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Mass Communications is the preferred credential of most news and broadcast employers. You should also seek broadcasting experience through your college newspaper and internships at area radio and television stations. These experiences will be an important part of your resume and can open doors to entry-level employment.

Ideally, you should enroll in a journalism program that has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. A journalism program will consist of classes such as political science, reporting and writing, advanced editing, investigative reporting and literary journalism. Your curriculum should also include courses in economics, foreign language, psychology, sociology and history.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

For individuals more interested in working primarily in radio, careers in announcing do exist, with duties similar to those of a newscaster. Other related careers in the same industry are more behind-the-scenes, including jobs in sound engineering, editing, and camera operation. All of these careers typically require some postsecondary education, from a certificate or an associate's degree for sound engineers to a bachelor's degree for video editors and camera operators. For someone with a strong interest in reporting the weather, a job in meteorology and atmospheric science could be a good fit, though this position requires a bachelor's degree at minimum.

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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