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Public Announcer: Job Description & Career Info

Find out what the profession of a public announcer entails. Read about the job duties, required training, salary expectation and employment outlook, to see if this is your dream job.

Career Definition

A public announcer can either work in radio or television broadcasting, performing various tasks both on air and off. Duties include presenting news, sports and weather, announcing station program or public service information, conducting interviews, moderating discussions, providing event commentary, making promotional appearances, researching and writing news copy. Smaller stations may require even more tasks, such as operating the control board, selling airtime to advertisers, keeping a program log, monitoring transmitters and producing recorded material.

How to Become a Public Announcer

Required Education

Technical positions in broadcasting generally do not require a college degree, but sales, management and professional occupations do. A bachelor's degree in journalism, English or communications provides a good foundation for a broadcasting career. Students may also pursue a 2-year program in broadcasting at a community college or a broadcast trade school program that can be completed within 6-12 months. Broadcasting program courses focus on broadcast history, communications training, studio work, voice training, programming, digital audio production, broadcast performance and journalism. Employment at a college radio or television station or an internship with a professional station can provide a competitive edge.

Skills Required

According to Career Info Net, www.acinet.org, skills that are helpful for a career as a public announcer include excellent public speaking ability, reading comprehension, social awareness, time management and active listening. Technological savvy is also important, particularly as it pertains to broadcasting equipment. It is also helpful to have specialized knowledge on certain topics, such as business, sports, health, politics or finance.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of announcers in general is expected to grow very little between 2012 and 2022, by only 2%. While many broadcasting companies are consolidating and increasing their use of syndicated programs, resulting in a lower demand for announcers, the BLS reports that jobs in radio and television broadcasting are expected to grow very little, if at all, between 2012 and 2022, due somewhat to the growth of satellite stations and national news. The BLS also reported that the average annual broadcasting salary for a public announcer in 2012 was $40,070, with earnings being higher in large metropolitan areas.

Alternate Career Options

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

Some of these techs earn postsecondary certificates, while others earn associate's degrees, learning to set up and operate the electrical equipment used in radio and TV broadcasts, movies, sound recordings and concerts. Average employment growth of 9% was predicted by the BLS, during the 2012-2022 decade, and a median annual wage of $41,200 was reported in 2012.

Actor

Slower than average employment growth of 4% was expected for actors from 2012 through 2022; work in this competitive profession is often part-time, and the BLS noted a median hourly salary of $20.26 in 2012. Although a degree isn't required, many actors complete formal dramatic educations, including music and dance, to learn their skills for interpreting writers' scripts and playing characters in TV, movies and theater productions.

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