How to Become a Sports Radio Personality: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a sports radio personality. Research the education, job duties and experience required for starting a career as a sports radio personality. View article »

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Sports Radio Personality?

A sports radio personality provides commentary during games or talk sports on a radio show. While these announcers have a vast knowledge about sports in general, they may focus their attention on a specific sport, such as baseball, basketball or football. Those who have their own shows may interview athletes and coaches, and give their opinions about player performance and personnel moves. Some live shows take place early in the morning or late at night.

Some of these professionals are former athletes who have several years of playing experience. Those who are not former players or coaches typically need to pursue formal education and gain a strong knowledge of sports and broadcasting experience. The mean annual salary for radio and television announcers in the spectator sports industry was $82,730, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2015.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Radio broadcasting, communications, journalism
Experience Experience working in radio
Key Skills Persistent mindset; interpersonal, speaking, writing, research, and computer skills
Salary $82,730 (2015 average for radio and television announcers in the spectator sports industry)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

To become a sports radio personality, you'll need a bachelor's degree in radio broadcasting, communications or journalism. You'll also need to have experience working in radio, along with a persistent mindset, and interpersonal, speaking, writing, research and computer skills.

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Steps to Become a Sports Radio Personality

Let's see what steps you'll want to take to become a sports radio personality.

Step 1: Develop an Understanding of Sports

Before thinking about becoming a sports radio personality, individuals must have an extensive knowledge of sports. Listening carefully to sports commentary, following favorite teams and players and analyzing professional sportscasters can provide a wealth of useful insight. Talking with friends about sports, giving opinions about teams and reading articles will also provide individuals with the understanding they need to pursue a career in sports radio.

Success Tip

Practice with a recorder. One way to prepare for a radio career is to purchase a voice recorder and read aloud into the built-in microphone. Listening to these recordings allows the aspiring broadcaster to make adjustments to tone and to learn breath control.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Working in radio is highly competitive, so a formal education from a college or university can be very beneficial. A broadcasting, journalism or communications bachelor's degree program offers students experience with useful sound equipment and relevant computer software. Students in these programs also learn about TV and radio announcing, sound production, broadcast writing, media research techniques and broadcast news.

Step 3: Seek Radio Experience

If the college has a radio station, a student should take advantage of the opportunity to gain on-air experience and exposure. Broadcasting for local teams and learning how to interview athletes will be beneficial. Another way to begin training in radio is to intern at a local radio station. Internships are particularly useful because of the contacts and mentorships that can develop with industry professionals. Once employed at a radio station, entry-level duties may include working as a production assistant, researcher or reporter. Any recorded on-air experience, including college work, should be added to a portfolio.

Step 4: Consider Joining a Professional Association

Joining a professional association offers the opportunity to build relationships with people in the industry, which could lead to job opportunities in larger markets. Organizations such as the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) & Hall of Fame Museum offer membership to both students and professionals. Membership includes access to an online directory and forum as well as award ceremony events.

To become a sports radio personality, you'll need to be knowledgeable about sports and gain experience in the field of radio.

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