Should I Become a Television Broadcaster?
Television broadcasters report news, events and opinions to the public. They may need to interview subjects, analyze important current topics or present up-to-the-minute news developments. Broadcasters may specialize in reporting news, weather, sports, politics or entertainment.
These workers often must put in overtime hours working on weekends and holidays to rise through the ranks. Some professionals must also relocate to find work at available television stations. The broadcasting field is fast-paced, competitive and oftentimes, exciting. Several internship opportunities are available in the field for those interested in pursuing this path.
|Degree Level||Associate's degree (minimum), bachelor's degree|
|Degree Fields||Journalism, communications, radio and television broadcasting, media production|
|Experience||Several years of prior industry experience usually needed|
|Key Skills||Strong communication skills, excellent speaking abilities, good reading comprehension, teamwork abilities and good organization, multimedia design and social media skills, a flexible schedule to achieve deadlines|
|Salary||$29,790 (Median annual salary for radio and television announcers 2014)|
Sources: O*Net Online, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn a Degree
Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree program with a focus in journalism, communications or media production. Many colleges and universities also provide bachelor's degree programs with a concentration in broadcast journalism. Students may study subjects in media law and ethics, broadcasting history and mass communications. For students who seek to transfer to a bachelor's degree program, numerous community colleges offer a 2-year associate degree program in radio and television broadcasting. Some associate degree graduates may even be eligible for entry-level positions, although competition will be fierce for these candidates.
- Participate in an internship. Internships can provide important hands-on training that can help some broadcast applicants gain employment. Most bachelor's degree programs include internships as a mandatory part of the curriculum. These internships give individuals an opportunity to learn multiple aspects of television broadcasting, both in front of and behind the camera. Moreover, interns may be able to work at local networks or their school's television station.
Step 2: Select a Specialization
Television broadcasters must specialize in a field that depends on where their interest and comfort level lies. Possible areas include news, sports and entertainment. After deciding on a specialty, potential broadcasters can hone their skills by immersing themselves in the topic. For example, people interested in reporting on sports can focus on researching that specific niche. They may attend local games or take classes specifically in sports broadcasting.
Step 3: Make a Portfolio
Aspiring television broadcasters may compile a portfolio through school-related work produce a short demo tape or resume reel to show that the applicant can succeed on camera. In addition to a candidate's comfort level on camera, many hiring managers will also critique a person's look and style. The tape can consist of short clips of the applicant's best work.
Step 4: Get Entry-Level Work
Prospective television broadcasters may want to be willing to travel to find a position. Most entry-level broadcasters start their careers in smaller cities until they can hone their skills enough to advance to a major metro station. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that competition would be higher in larger cities, and stations in such markets would be looking for applicants who hold more experience.