If you listened to the radio or watched TV you have likely heard the voice and listened to the comments, conversation and stories told by the broadcaster you are tuned in to. Many people are intrigued by careers in broadcasting. They watch the local news and imagine what it would be like being on the TV set, reporting, or live at the scene of major event, relaying the news. They listen to sporting events dreaming about being the color commentator analyzing the big game. They turn on the AM talk show wishing they could be on the air talking politics or about current issues. They aspire to work at the local hip-hop station bumping the latest hot hits. At some point, just about anyone who is a fan of radio and TV has imagined what it would like to be a broadcaster, radio disc jockey and/or TV personality working this career.
Broadcasters can gain celebrity status – or at least – name recognition – and because of that, the interest in these careers is high. Many people recognize a broadcasters voice and feel like they know the person and their personality. Those broadcasters who are able to provide accurate, entertaining and informative information, news and messages that captures an audience are the most successful.
The supply cannot keep up with the demand in this field. It’s no secret – the broadcasting industry is a competitive industry and there are more people than ever pursuing careers in this field. Competition is at an all-time high. However, the growth of the Internet has created more online broadcasting opportunities, opening up new opportunities that weren’t previously available. Broadcasters are needed for web-based news and television shows, adding new opportunities for this profession.
However, in many cases, broadcasters must start out working at small radio or TV stations in small towns, perfecting their craft and learning a myriad of skills to become more appealing to future employers. For example, a person who aspires to be a football play-by-play broadcaster can get a job at a small town radio station where they call the Friday night high school football game. However, this person will also likely report the news, agriculture report and weather. They will also learn the technical aspects of working in radio, such as running the equipment necessary to broadcast. These are all skills that any aspiring broadcaster should learn to improve their chances of moving up in this career.
Because of recent economic struggles, broadcasters in traditional media such as radio and TV are being asked to do more with less. They are expected to have a wide variety of skill sets and be able to handle multiple duties. Those who have those skill sets will grow in the profession.
The salary range for broadcasting careers vary greatly. Those working in small towns for radio or TV stations can be as little as $15-$25,000 per year. Those in bigger markets can make from $45,000 to $90,000 per year. Those with a versatile skill set – such as a broadcaster who can also work as a producer, have the greatest chance for salary growth. Well-known radio/TV broadcasting personalities make well over $100,000 with the best of the best in major markets making over $1M per year. Based on industry reports made available to the public, the average salary falls between $12-$20 per hour for broadcasting careers. Again, in this career, salaries vary greatly based on experience and market.
Those with a Bachelor’s degree or certificate in broadcasting, backed with internship or on-the-job training at a radio or TV station are going to be more attractive to employers. There are a number of broadcasting schools and programs at colleges and trade schools throughout the United States. As soon as one begins an educational program, one should start searching for internship or training options with local radio/TV stations in your area.
This is also one profession where those who do not have any formal training or education do find success. With a good personality and ability to captivate an audience, you can succeed in this position. But like most jobs, many employers prefer candidates with a degree. If one doesn’t have a formal education, the best way to make up for that is through extensive industry experience.
Jobs in broadcasting will always be competitive because the number of people seeking to work in this field is so high. Many people consider this a dream job and want to pursue their chance to be a well-known broadcaster. Those who learn as many skill sets as possible, gain experience in a number of aspects of the industry, and those who stick with it will eventually find the most success. This is one career where one could work 15 to 25 years before getting their dream opportunity. Those who go into a career in broadcasting understanding that the industry is competitive, the pay may be low for a number of years and that it may take time to reach their goals, will find the most rewards.