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Career Information for a Degree in Speech Communications and Rhetoric.

Speech communications and rhetoric programs typically teach the theory and physiology of spoken communication. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for speech communications and rhetoric program graduates.

Professions for individuals with speech communications and rhetoric degrees include being a radio and television announcer, a broadcast news analyst, or a writer. Although some employment opportunities in these career fields may be available to individuals without a degree, most positions require a bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

Individuals interested in working in the public speaking or communications fields often pursue degrees in speech communication and rhetoric. Techniques such as repetition, irony and double meaning are extremely important to writers, politicians and other professionals. According to the Princeton Review, coursework in speech and communication programs includes the basics of writing and delivering speeches, as well as the principals of persuasion and formulating arguments. Additionally, students also study the ways in which people listen to, understand and think about what others are saying.

Career Radio and Television Announcer Broadcast News Analyst Writer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree typically required Bachelor's degree typically required Bachelor's degree typically required for salaried positions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -14% -13% 2%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $30,960 $65,530 $60,250

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

People who have obtained a degree in speech communications and rhetoric may find work as announcers, newscasters, writers or any other professionals whose work is based in oral or written communication and public speaking.

Announcer

Announcers are vital for television, radio and, increasingly, Web- and cable-based newscasts. Announcers may form the link between two different programs on air, or they may introduce newscasters or weather reporters or music. Announcers need to possess excellent diction, a strong command of the English language, good timing and exceptional pronunciation. They must also have a pleasant or authoritative-sounding speaking voice and a neat appearance, so some natural talent is required. Most announcers write their own scripts, and think quickly on their feet. Median annual earnings of announcers in 2015 were $30,960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Newscaster

Newscasters - also known as news analysts or anchors - may specialize in a particular area of news, such as politics, finance, economics, sports or health. They usually work for large television or cable stations; some host their own show and conduct interviews, review stories or discuss items with a studio audience. They may also interview politicians, celebrities, sports personalities or specialists using live video links.

On occasion, equipment malfunctions and newscasters need to be able to ad-lib or move deftly on to the next item. Salaries of newscasters vary considerably; famous newscasters can name their price for appearances, but the median annual salary for broadcast news analysts in May 2015 were $65,530, according to the BLS.

Writer

Writing is one career option for people who want to apply their creativity and speech skills. There are different types of writers: caption writers, copywriters and those who write stories, articles, novels, articles, essays and other forms of literature. Writers begin the process by gathering information about their topics from newspapers, books, diaries or personal experience.

Once work is on the page, writers revise their work so that it makes sense and is written clearly. Nationally, the BLS reported that the median annual wage for writers was $60,250 in May 2015, but wages vary by employer and the writer's reputation. Many writers are freelancers who sell individual articles to magazines, while others work on commission, earning a percentage of the amount for which each book is sold.

A degree in speech communications and rhetoric prepares professionals who may need to perform public speaking tasks as a part of their profession. Writers can benefit from an education in this area to prepare to write speeches and broadcast copy, while news analysts and announcers perform tasks such as interviewing people, discussing newsworthy topics, and writing text they read over the air.


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