What Is a TV Anchor?

Research what it takes to become a television anchor. Learn about educational requirements, preferred job skills and average salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Radio Broadcasting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a TV Anchor?

Television anchors, also referred to as news analysts or news anchors, inform the public about news and events happening on a local, national and international level. They coordinate news broadcasts and use their public speaking skills to accurately and concisely deliver the news to a viewing audience. TV anchors are expected to do research prior to an on-air performance so that they can give an informed opinion on current events.

The following chart gives an overview of what you need to know before entering the field:

Degree Required Bachelor's degrees are typical
Education Field of Study Journalism or communications degrees are preferred
Key Skills Public speaking, basic computer skills
Job Growth (2014-24) -13%*
Average Salary (2015) $89,240*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Will I Need?

A bachelor's degree in mass communications or journalism can help you become a TV anchor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that employers usually look for applicants who have graduated from these types of programs, which can be found at colleges and universities across the country (www.bls.gov).

In addition to liberal arts requirements, your major will include numerous broadcasting courses, such as video and film production, mass media and television news production, live television broadcasting and public speaking. The program also will exercise your computer skills, like desktop publishing and word processing. You might want to learn a second language, such as Spanish, and take some business courses since they can help you enter the industry and expand your job opportunities.

What Will My Job Duties Entail?

As a TV anchor, you'll deliver news stories on-camera after researching and organizing relevant topics. You'll also write and produce various segments, which might be pre-taped or broadcast live. Television anchors often specialize in the type of news they deliver, so you could choose from such topics as sports, health or politics. Your job as TV anchor also might require you to make station and community appearances.

How Can I Advance My Career?

With education and experience, you could qualify for advancement opportunities. However, opportunities likely will be more readily available if you start at a smaller television station, which can allow you to move to a larger studio and continue your job growth. From your position as TV anchor, you might go on to become a program manager or senior reporter. In some cases, it's even possible to move to positions in broadcast industry management.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

The BLS reported in May 2015 that the annual mean wage for broadcast news analysts in radio and television was $91,900. Those working in the newspaper, periodical, directory and book industry earned a mean wage of $110,220 annually. Salaries vary widely, depending on job location and experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A career as an announcer is a good alternative that provides you with the opportunity to be on TV to present not only news but also music and sports. An announcer also hosts other shows and interviews sources on-air. You may also consider being a writer if you are more interested in preparing the news through writing and editing rather than presenting it on TV. Both career alternatives require a bachelor's degree, as well as good oral and communication skills.

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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