TV News Reporter Jobs: Career & Salary Facts
Explore the career requirements for TV news reporters. Get the facts about job duties, both on- and off-camera, what kind of education is needed, the path to finding a job and the typical salary to determine if this is the right career for you.
What is a TV News Reporter?
Television news reporters inform viewers about the latest news and events. They must prepare for live broadcasts by researching story details and practicing questions for interviews. They may report from their local area or overseas. Many specialize in an area, such as sports. The following chart gives a quick overview.
|Education Field of Study||Journalism, broadcast journalism, broadcasting|
|Key Responsibilities||Researching, interviewing, writing|
|Job Forecast (2018-28)||-12% for reporters and correspondents *|
|Median Salary (May 2018)||$41,260 for reporters and correspondents *|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Will I Do as a TV News Reporter?
If you've ever watched a television news program, it might seem like a reporter's job is simply to read news off of a teleprompter into a camera. In fact, the job duties of a TV news reporter are much more extensive.
As a TV reporter, you'll be responsible for tracking down news stories, gathering information, conducting interviews and writing news pieces. You'll often need to travel to the scene of newsworthy events such as community meetings, political rallies, crimes or accidents. You might compile photos or video footage of the event, then write up a short report that can be presented during a broadcast news program.
What Type of Education Will I Need?
In most cases, you'll need least a bachelor's degree in order to work as a TV reporter. Some degree programs applicable to the field include a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Journalism, a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism or a B.S. in Broadcasting. While enrolled in such a program, you'll learn the basic methods used to write edit and report news stories. Additional courses might include copywriting, mass communication and producing for television. Most bachelor's programs take four years to complete.
How Can I Find a Job in the Field?
If you're interested in working as a TV news reporter, you should start getting experience as soon as possible. You might sign up to work for your college newspaper or complete an internship at a local broadcast news station. Once you receive your bachelor's degree, you could be eligible to obtain an entry-level position as a TV news reporter in a smaller market. As you gain experience, you might have the option of moving to a larger market in a bigger city. In some cases, you may be promoted to a correspondent or program manager position.
What Salary Can I Expect to Make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 37,140 reporters and correspondents held jobs in the United States in 2018 (www.bls.gov). During this time, the average annual salary for all reporters and correspondents was $55,530; for those in radio and TV, it was $64,820. The top paying states for reporters and correspondents in 2018 included the District of Columbia, New York and California, as noted by the BLS.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Related careers include atmospheric scientists, editors and film and video editors. Atmospheric scientists study and provide details on the effects of weather. Editors review publications for print. Film and video editors review, edit and organize footage to go on the air or into motion pictures. All of these fields require a bachelor's degree for entry.