Broadcasting Professions: Career Education Overview

Broadcasting is generally offered as a bachelor's degree program with a major in communications or journalism. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Broadcasting offers a variety of career choices, each with its own education requirements, ranging from associate's to bachelor's degrees. Internships while in college can provide the real world experience prospective employers desire. Salaries and job growth expectations vary according to the occupation.

Essential Information

Broadcasting organizations provide the general public with information about daily news and events, important people, public opinions and momentous occasions. Careers in this field generally fall into one of four broad categories: production, technical, news and sales. A bachelor's degree is the minimum education typically required for various broadcasting careers, though some production jobs only require an associate's degree. Many employers seek candidates who have gained experience in a related field, so students aspiring to work in broadcasting can benefit from interning for a broadcast organization while attending college.

Career Title Radio and Television Announcer Reporter or Correspondent Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Other Requirements Broadcasting experience Broadcasting experience On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -14% -8% 8%
Median Salary (2015)* $30,960 annually $36,360 annually $53,330 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Broadcasting careers can include those working behind-the-scenes, such as video editors or producers, as well as announcers and reporters. Individuals working in broadcasting are responsible for aiding in the process of providing information for the public through print, television, or radio formats. Some career options include radio and television announcers, reporters or correspondents and broadcast and sound technicians.

Radio and Television Announcer

Individuals in this profession provide spoken commentary for radio and television programs. Radio and television announcers are required to complete a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or a similar field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for radio and television announcers was expected to see a 14% decline from 2014-2024. The median annual salary for this career was $30,960 as of May 2015, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Reporter or Correspondent

Reporters and correspondents provide news to the public through outlets such as print media, television and radio. Like other careers within the broadcasting field, reporters and correspondents are often required to hold a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications. Internships are also very beneficial for prospective reporters or correspondents, because employers often seek candidates with prior experience in this field. The BLS determined that job openings are expected to decline by eight percent from 2014-2024 mostly due to the changes in advertising for traditional news outlets. According to the BLS, the median annual income for news reporters and correspondents was $36,360 in 2015.

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

Professionals in this occupation are responsible for maintaining and setting up all of the equipment used in their given type of broadcast setting, from radio to television. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians may only require an associate's degree with completed coursework in production or video editing. From 2014-2024, the BLS projected that the job growth for this field should be about eight percent. The median annual income for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was $36,360 in 2015.

Broadcasting Education Overview

Aspiring broadcasters are positioning themselves to enter a highly competitive field, and will want to make themselves as qualified as possible. A bachelor's degree is typically required, usually with a major such as journalism, communications or electronic media, according to the BLS. Obtaining a graduate degree, though not often mandatory, can provide an advantage when it comes to getting a job, and broadcasters are also expected to have gained some relevant experience. Many schools give students the opportunity to acquire this experience through internships or media such as the school's radio station or newspaper. Meanwhile, broadcasting students typically take courses such as video and audio production, new media, editing and news reporting.

While most broadcasting professions call for just an associate's or bachelor's degree, earning a more advanced degree and gaining experience through an internship or at the school's media outlets may give you a leg up in the hiring process. Jobs as announcers and reporters are expected to decline from 2014-2024, but engineering technician jobs are expected to increase and also have higher median salaries.

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