TV Host: Career and Salary Facts
Explore the career requirements for TV hosts. Get the facts about salary, education requirements and job duties to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Does a TV Host Do?
A TV host presents performances, guests, news, sports, music, or commercials in a television program. Depending on his or her area of specialty, a TV host can lead shows on a variety of topics, provide commentary, interview guests, as well as host game shows and shopping programs. A TV host may also select program content and make promotional appearances in public or private events.
Take a look at the table below to find the general requirements for a career as a TV host.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree recommended|
|Education Field of Study||Broadcasting, broadcast-journalism, communications|
|Training Required||Internships recommended for on-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Researching and writing, ability to ad lib, good sense of timing, ability to ask relevant questions|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||-7% (for radio and TV announcers)*|
|Average Salary (2018)||$51,630 (for radio and TV announcers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What is the Salary of a TV Host?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that radio and television announcers who worked in the radio and television broadcasting industries were paid average annual wages of $49,480 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The average salary for those who worked in spectator sports was $106,550 in the same year.
What Are Some Job Duties?
A television hosting job will require that you prepare the content of your program with the help of assistants and producers. You may also interview guests in a studio and receive feedback from an audience. Other responsibilities may include researching program topics, reading news bulletins, announcing public service information or commercial breaks, and, if you work on a shopping channel, convincing viewers to purchase products. If you host a television news program, you might offer commentary on current traffic and weather conditions. As a call-in talk show host, you'll speak to your viewers via telephone as to your show's topics.
What Are the Educational Requirements?
Jobs in television broadcasting are highly coveted, and many program hosts have acquired bachelor's degrees. Relevant majors include broadcasting, broadcast-journalism, or communications. Receive your training at a technical school, college, university, or professional school of broadcasting. Carefully check the reputation of any school or program you choose.
An undergraduate broadcasting curriculum might include classes such as broadcast writing and research, broadcast performance, video production, film history, and society and broadcasting. A broadcast-journalism degree program should offer courses such as speech, news editing and reporting, English, television production, broadcast writing, television and radio announcing, media research and political science. As a communications major, you'll study subjects such as statistics, foreign languages, civilizations and cultures, media writing, mass communications, television news production, video, creative editing and feature writing.
While pursuing your educational goals, you will also need hands-on experience. Internships will give you the training you need, in addition to helping you make business contacts. An internship opportunity may be included in your educational program. Working at your college television station is another way of gaining work experience, and you might be granted college credit for it. Consider giving yourself an advantage in this competitive field by seeking post-secondary training as well.
What Other Qualifications Will I Need?
As a television host, you should possess a combination of attributes such as poise, an outgoing personality, a stylish appearance and a pleasant speaking voice. You will also need knowledge of a broad range of topics, a good sense of timing, and the ability to ad lib whenever necessary. Writing skills will be important, as well as the ability to communicate ideas, and to ask relevant questions of your guests.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Being a reporter, correspondent, or broadcast news analyst is a good alternative career if your interest is to present to the public the news and events happening locally, nationally, or internationally. If you are looking into doing behind-the-camera work and creating television shows, commercials, or other performing arts productions, you may pursue a career as a producer or director. Either option requires a bachelor's degree as well as good oral and written communication skills.