TV Reporter: Salary and Career Facts
Explore the career requirements for TV reporters. Get the facts about education, job duties and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Does a TV Reporter Do?
TV reporters are journalists who cover news stories for television stations. They gather relevant information, pursue leads, interview sources and then present news stories via television. TV reporters may specialize in certain fields such as sports, politics, weather, medicine or travel. The following chart provides an overview of a career as a TV reporter.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Training Required||Internships during college are preferred by employers|
|Education Field of Study||Journalism, communications|
|Key Responsibilities||Gather information about news events at the scene and by interviewing witnesses, experts, sources and officials; obtain statements and imagery on video equipment; edit recorded information into a finished news report; present the finished report for broadcast|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||Decrease 12%*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$41,260*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Education Will I Need to Become a TV Reporter?
Most TV stations prefer to hire reporters who have a degree in journalism, mass communication or broadcasting. A bachelor's degree is all that is required in the field, although you may choose to distinguish yourself by earning a master's degree as well. While enrolled in a 4-year journalism degree program, you will learn how to write news stories to suit the television format. You will also learn how to gather information, conduct interviews, organize materials and interpret the news.
Some schools offer journalism degree programs that will allow you to choose a concentration in TV reporting. If you are interested in the field, you should also consider working at your university's own news station or obtaining an internship at a local network. It might be difficult to embark on a career in TV reporting without first completing at least one internship in the news industry.
What Will my Job Duties Be?
As a TV reporter, you will be responsible for finding news stories that are of interest to your target audience of viewers. You will then be responsible for going to the scene of news stories and reporting them as they happen. You will observe the scene and interview any witnesses or individuals who could shed light on a particular story. For example, if you are reporting on a robbery, you will most likely conduct an on-camera interview with parties related to the crime, such as local eyewitnesses, victims, lawyers and commentators.
How Will I Advance in the Field?
Your first job as a TV reporter will probably be in a small town or city. Each city is categorized as a market depending on its population of viewers. Entry-level TV reporters typically work in smaller markets before working their way up to larger markets. As a TV reporter, you will probably only work in your first market for a few years before moving on to establish your name.
What Will My Salary be Like?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters and correspondents in general held more than 37,140 jobs in the country in 2018 (www.bls.gov). About 11,680 of those individuals worked in the radio and television broadcasting industries in 2018. The median annual salary in the field in 2018 was $41,260. The top-paying states in the profession in that year were the District of Columbia, New York and California.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Other career choices for those who have a bachelor's degree in journalism and/or communications include film and video editors, camera operators and editors. Film and video editors as well as camera operators capture, record and manipulate images for television shows and motion pictures. Editors, on the other hand, ensure that written materials are accurate and appealing by reviewing and evaluating various types of content for their target audience.