Broadcaster: Educational Requirements to Be a Broadcasting Professional

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a broadcaster. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degrees, job duties and required experience to find out if this is the career for you.

Broadcasting professionals can be news analysts, reporters or correspondents. To get started in the field, they need at least a bachelor's degree in communications or journalism,

supplemented by experience in an internship. Most work their way up in the profession, starting at small stations and moving on to larger markets as they gain experience.

Essential Information

Broadcasting professionals provide the public with news and inform them of current events. To become a broadcaster, students usually complete a bachelor's degree program. Internships are also commonly required. While they may have to start in entry-level positions, broadcasters can work their way up with experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Internship experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -13% (decline) for broadcast news analysts; -8% (decline) for reporters and correspondents
Median Salary (2015)* $65,530 for broadcast news analysts; $36,360 for reporters and correspondents

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Educational Requirements for a Broadcasting Professional

A broadcaster may also be referred to as an anchorman, newscaster and news analyst. These professionals deliver news to the general public through television and other media sources. Broadcasters may cover all major topics or they may specialize in one area such as politics or sports. While they typically have a set schedule, broadcasters may have to appear on short notice to report breaking news stories.

Broadcasters need good communication skills, especially an ability to speak properly and articulate words. The ones who work for television stations need to be comfortable in front of a camera. Broadcasters can work with large teams of different professionals including reporters, guests, producers and production teams. The hours they work can vary and may include late night or early morning assignments.

Degree Information

Broadcasters typically must obtain a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or a related major. These programs may prepare individuals to work in all areas of the broadcasting industry including production and digital technology. Some communications schools have their own radio or television station that allows students to gain experience performing live broadcasts. A practicum in broadcasting may be required by some curricula.

Broadcasting, communications and journalism majors can share courses with one another. These programs include coursework in reporting, news writing, communication theory and media law. In addition to the major requirements, students may be required to take statistics, research and introductory communications courses. Senior capstone requirements can include internships with media organizations or the production and presentation of a broadcast.

Experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most broadcasters get their first job with a station that services a smaller market (www.bls.gov). Once individuals have earned experience, they can apply to a larger station. Some broadcasters with experience may be given management or production responsibilities.

Career Outlook and Salary Info

The BLS reports that employment of reporters and correspondents will decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The decline is due to emerging forms of media through the Internet and consolidation of broadcasting companies. The BLS indicates that employment for broadcast news analysts was expected to decrease by 13% during the same time. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median annual salary for broadcast news analysts was $65,530, while reporters and correspondents earned a median of $36,360 per year.

A bachelor's degree with courses in reporting, media law and news writing, along with internship experience, are what it takes to get started in the broadcasting field. Jobs in this field are expected to decline through 2024. Career advancement is usually tied to experience in broadcasting.

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