Sports Broadcaster: Career Profile, Job Outlook, and Educational Requirements

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

What Do Sports Broadcasters Do?

Sports broadcasters provide play-by-play commentary and reports for sporting events. Whether it be for radio and television or at live events, broadcasters are the people an audience relies on for analysis of what they watch. Sports broadcasters, in addition to live coverage of things as they happen, typically offer background information on players and games and analyse pre- and post-game showings.

The table below is an overview of what you might need to know about becoming a sports broadcaster.

Degree Required No formal education is required, but a bachelor's degree is necessary to be competitive
Education Field of Study Journalism, broadcasting, mass communications
Key Skills Provide on-air analysis, narrative, personal interest stories on sports and players
Job Growth (2014-2024) -14% (radio and television announcers)*
Average Salary (2015) $46,410 (radio and television announcers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sports Broadcaster Defined

As a sports broadcaster, you put the action on the field and the stories from behind-the-scenes into words for viewers and listeners. Broadcasters blend the play-by-play narrative of a game with analysis, statistics, stories, rules, and sports history. Sports broadcasters use the same skills as newscasters, such as researching and assimilating background information and reading a teleprompter. You are likely to travel to sporting events for live coverage or deliver pre-game or post-game reports from a studio.

What Is My Career Outlook?

The number of radio and television announcer jobs, which include those in sports broadcasting, were expected to decline by 14% during the 2014-2024 decade. In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 42,300 jobs existed for all types of television and radio announcers around the country and these positions are expected to decrease due to the consolidation of radio and television stations. Broadcasters in 2015 earned an average of $46,410 per year, according to the BLS; however, well-known personalities who provide commentary for professional sports teams can receive significantly higher pay.

What Education is Required?

You should pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcasting, or mass communications in order to lay the groundwork for a sports broadcasting career. Experience at college radio and cable stations or through internships is helpful. Many future sports broadcasters work part-time jobs covering college sports teams. There you would obtain behind-the-scenes work with writing, equipment, editing, and production.

What Are Some Similar Careers?

Reporters and news analysts are similar in nature to sports broadcasters. Essentially, these jobs follow the same principle of reporting on events as they happen, with sports broadcasters specifically focusing on sporting events while reporters focus on general news.

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