How to Become a Sports Broadcaster

Learn how to become a sports broadcaster. Research the education, career requirements and experience required for starting a career as a sports broadcaster.

Should I Become a Sports Broadcaster?

Sports broadcasters work as analysts or play-by-play announcers for sports networks or specific teams. Their duties may include presenting news, calling games and interviewing guests. Broadcasters are primarily employed at the collegiate and professional levels.

While opportunities for work are available in television and radio, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that entry-level opportunities are more likely to be available through small stations. Work might be stressful, with tight schedules and deadlines being the norm for these professionals. Sports broadcasters typically work indoors within climate controlled studios or booths.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree is preferred
Degree Field Broadcasting, communications
Experience Prospective broadcasters may have to intern and work their way up to an on-air position or begin in a smaller market prior to moving up
Key Skills Strong communication and speaking skills, ability to improvise, must be able to meet deadlines, be able to work in a collaborative team environment
Salary (2014) $29,790 annually (median salary for all radio and television broadcasters)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Job Postings (October 2012)

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Many sports broadcasters earn a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, communications or a closely-related field. These 4-year programs equip students with the knowledge and skills required of the occupation, such as effective communication and familiarity with the production process. These curricula may include courses in audio production, mass media, broadcast journalism, media writing and communication law.

Success Tips:

  • Gain experience. While in college, opportunities may be available to announce games and work for college radio and television stations. Working for the school's radio or television station will provide valuable practical experience.
  • Create a reel. Any recordings made during school can be put on a reel that can be sent out to prospective employers when applying for jobs. This will allow an individual to showcase their skills.
  • Be knowledgeable about sports. While playing sports at the collegiate or professional level may not be essential, understanding the rules, history and nuances of the game can be helpful.

Step 2: Complete an Internship

Extensive on-the-job training is required for a career in sports broadcasting. Many graduates gain this training through internships with television or radio broadcasting stations. Internships will offer hands-on experience under the supervision of skilled radio and television professionals.

Success Tip:

  • Begin networking. Internships may also provide opportunities to establish networks of professional contacts within the sports entertainment industry.

Step 3: Advance with Experience

Aspiring broadcasting professionals may begin their careers in non-broadcasting positions as reporters, equipment operators or production assistants. Once they have demonstrated a capacity for sports announcing, they may work their way up to on-air sports broadcasting positions and eventually move on to higher-paying positions at larger stations. Some sports broadcasters go on to host their own television or radio shows.

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