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News Anchor: Education Requirements and Career Description

Sep 27, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a news anchor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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A news anchor presents the news and often seeks out their own stories. Most need at least a bachelor's degree, but master's programs are offered. In this competitive field, experience can be helpful for progressing to more challenging roles.

Essential Information

News anchors work for television stations and report the news at the local or national level. In addition to reporting the news from a broadcasting station, they may need to travel to obtain the information needed to make their reports. These professionals usually need a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field, although some choose to earn a master's degree. Such programs may include practical experience writing news stories for the school, and they may also offer internship opportunities. Excellent oral and written communications skills are also crucial for success as a news anchor.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in journalism or a related field
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -10% for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts
Median Salary (2018)* $41,260 for reporters and correspondents; $66,880 for broadcast news analysts

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for News Anchors

A bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or a related field is generally the first step in becoming a news anchor. These 4-year degree programs include coursework in media ethics, editorial writing, visual technology and investigative reporting. Students may also take classes in broadcast journalism and public speaking to hone their oral and communications skills. To gain practical experience, students may write for their school newspapers and seek jobs or internships with local news or broadcasting companies.

Master's Degree Programs

Aspiring news anchors may also enroll in a 2-year master's degree program in journalism. Students may be allowed to plan their curriculum to focus on specialized topics in writing and reporting, communication research methods, social media and theory of communications. A master's degree typically takes two years to complete and may be followed by a doctorate or PhD program.

News Anchor Career Information

College graduates generally find employment as news writers, editors or reporters for small broadcasting stations. They may cover news ranging from civil meetings to important speeches. As new hires gain experience, they may begin reporting on more challenging roles. To advance, these professionals may need to relocate to larger media markets, where there are more advanced opportunities.

News anchors may maintain a hectic and challenging work schedule due to the need to cover breaking news or present feature stories on strict deadlines. Additionally, some news anchors may be required to travel in order to conduct interviews and gather information.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), news reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts were expected to see a 10% decline in employment from 2018-2028 due to industry consolidation (www.bls.gov). The BLS report stated that reporters and correspondents received a median annual salary of $41,260 as of May 2018. Broadcast news analysts earned a median salary of $66,880 at that same time.

A news anchor job can be tough as deadlines are often erratic and they may have to travel and report on location. They can major in journalism or a related field, and may wish to continue their education to boost job potential. Above all, having excellent communication skills and an amiable personality are crucial.

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