Career Definition for a Public Announcer
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.
|Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Good public speaking, reading comprehension, social awareness, time management, and listening skills|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$26,930 (for public announcers)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*|| 3% (for public address system announcers)
-11% (for the field of announcers)
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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.
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 public address system and other similar announcers is expected to increase by 3%, while the field in general is expected to decrease between 2014 and 2024, by 11%. 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 decrease between 2014 and 2024, due somewhat to the growth of satellite stations and national news. The BLS also reported that the median salary for a public announcer in 2015 was $26,930, with earnings being higher in large metropolitan areas.
Alternate Career Options
Similar careers to a public announcer include:
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 7% was predicted by the BLS, during the 2014-2024 decade, and a median annual wage of $41,780 was reported in 2015.
Faster than average employment growth of 10% was expected for actors from 2014 through 2024; work in this competitive profession is often part-time, and the BLS noted a median hourly salary of $18.80 in 2015. 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.