Radio and television announcers need to be comfortable being on the air, providing details about news and weather for audience members, but also often in choosing the content for a show. Being informed about what they present is another important part of their job, as they want to keep their listeners and viewers engaged. They also should have technical skills, and be able to use equipment that varies from teleprompters to headsets and audio control consoles. Being adept at filling 'dead' air can be another part of the job, whether that is on the radio or during a live TV newscast.
Responsibilities of Radio and TV Announcers
The responsibilities of radio and television announcers can vary depending on the size of the company that they work for and the expectations established when they were hired. At some smaller stations, they also may help to sell commercial time, produce commercials and even keep social media sites updated. As part of their job, they may need to:
- Inform people about news and weather
- Play music and interact with callers on the radio
- Announce details about station programming, including the call letters
- Make public service announcements
- Play commercials and plan the content for a show, including doing research
- Make public appearances and attend promotional events
Deejays typically broadcast for radio stations and play music, often a specific type.
Talk show hosts provide commentary about news, sports events, politics or other topics, and interact with guests and callers.
Public address system announcers offer details about events, activities, and sports, and keep people informed.
Radio and Television Announcer Job Characteristics
Many radio and television announcers work full-time, but some may have part-time employment. Because radio and TV is an around-the-clock industry, individuals in the business may need to be up early for morning shows or stay up late if they are part of a night show. On the job, they:
- May need to work overnight shifts, although this is becoming less common
- Should be able to use different types of audiovisual equipment
- Need to be comfortable working in a sound-proof, well-lit studio
- Should be capable of working with a variety of people
- May experience pressure to have good ratings
Skills that can help make a good radio or television announcer include:
- Enunciation and speaking skills
- Great communication abilities
- Quick thinking
Radio and TV Announcer Salary and Job Growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the following details about radio and television announcers nationwide:
- Total Employed: 30,220, in 2014
- Job Growth: 0% growth, from 2012 to 2022
- Average Salary: $44,030, in 2014
The field is expected to be competitive, but radio and television announcers could find jobs with area stations that want to set themselves apart by focusing more on local content for listeners or viewers. States with the highest employment levels of radio and television announcers, as of 2014, were California, Florida, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania, according to the BLS.
Radio and Television Announcer Education, Certification and Licensing
A bachelor's degree can help radio announcers who want to be competitive in the field to stand out, although there are many associate degree programs available. For those who want to become television announcers, a bachelor's degree should be completed in a field like broadcasting, communications or journalism, according to the BLS. In a degree program, students gain hands-on skills and might participate in an externship or internship . They could learn about:
- Commercial production
- Digital editing
- Broadcast law and ethics
- Broadcast journalism
- Radio and television announcing
There is no certification directly related to radio and television announcing, but it is available in related fields. The Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation offered by the American Meteorological Society is an example. For those interested in other related certifications, the Society of Broadcast Engineers offers more than a dozen offerings, ranging from Certified Video Engineer to Certified Audio Engineer. Similarly, InfoComm International has three certified technologist specialist (CTS) designations.
Licensing is not necessary for radio and television announcers, although announcers should be employed for a radio or television station that has a Federal Communications Commission license. Stations can be fined or have their license revoked if they fail to follow the terms of their license.
- Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc.
- National Association of Broadcasters
- National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers
- The International Radio and Television Society Foundation
- The Society of Broadcast Engineers
- Public or private radio and television stations
- Cable networks
- Sporting organizations or associations
- Performing arts companies
- Motion picture and video companies
- Announcers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/announcers.htm
- Broadcast Industry Organizations, Michigan Association of Broadcasters. http://michmab.com/careers/resourcesforcareers/broadcastindustryorganizations
- Radio and Television Announcers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273011.htm
- Radio and Television Broadcasting Associate's Degree, American National University. https://www.an.edu/programs/radio-television-broadcasting-associates/
- Radio and Television Announcers, O*Net OnLine, 2015. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-3011.00