The Art of Talking: A Profile of Radio and Television Announcers
Some people would love to make a living by talking. Being a radio and television announcer might sound exactly like that, but it is much more challenging than simple chit chat. You have to work irregular hours in a very competitive industry. You must practice reading and presenting materials to make sure you speak confidently and clearly. It is a career with lots of variety and a way to be involved in the exciting world of media.
Announcers present many different forms of media, including, news, sports, music, and much more. You will have to interact with other announcers and guests. It is often your job to research topics for discussion, and someone like a news anchor will often write the words they say themselves. Your work environment will likely be at a radio or television station. As there are different shows and broadcasts throughout the day and night, you may have to work very irregular hours. You will often have to perform live, and need to be able to think on your feet.
Wages for radio and television announcers can be very different depending on what production you are a part of. Announcers make anywhere from minimum wage to over $40 per hour. The median wage is about $19.75. There is expected to be more competition in the field in the coming years compared to before. From 2015 to 2024, there will be about 2,200 positions and 2,900 people looking for jobs.
A college degree in radio or television arts is not a requirement, but it can help you rise above the competition. These colleges often have in-house stations that let you practice and create a demo tape. That tape of your performances will act as your resume and can be sent to many different employers. Some employers may need you to be a part of a union. You will likely have to pass an audition to get a job.
You will probably start in a small market with low pay. As there are not many people working in these stations, getting promoted to bigger roles is difficult. Instead, you can advance your career by gaining experience and then moving to a station in a larger market. As you build your resume and reputation, you can have greater choice in the positions you want and more employers will be interested in hiring you. This can lead to more pay, more responsibilities, and an even more rewarding career.
The world of media is one of celebrities, big news, and larger than life personalities. If you feel you have an engaging and confident way of speaking, then being a television or radio announcer might be the career for you. Modern technology allows you to gain experience and practice right away by starting a podcast or series of YouTube videos. You can eventually take a related program in college. It can be a challenging career with many ups and downs. It may take years to reach the position you really want. But that dream can happen with a lot of practice, effort, and trial and error. Now stop reading and start talking!
CollegeGrad. “Announcers.” https://collegegrad.com/careers/announcers
Job Bank. “Announcers and Other Broadcasters.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/report-eng.do?area=9219&lang=eng&noc=5231&ln=n&s=3#report_tabs_container2
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