Radio Announcer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a radio announcer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and experience required to find out if this is the career for you.

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A radio announcer works in the broadcasting industry and might assume various roles, such as reporting live sporting events, hosting a talk show, or playing music over the airwaves. Some radio announcers, such as a news broadcaster, might follow a script, while others ad lib the content of a program. Radio announcers usually require a combination of internship experience and a bachelor's degree in a program related to broadcasting.

Essential Information

Radio announcers hold many different broadcasting positions, like those of disc jockeys, news announcers or talk show hosts. Although there are typically no formal education requirements for public address announcers, radio and television announcers usually must have a bachelor's degree. On-the-job training is often required for public address announcers, and internships are commonly necessary for radio announcers.

Required Education Bachelor's usually required for radio announcers; high school diploma for public address announcers
Other Requirements Internship experience usually preferred for radio announcers; on-the-job training for public address announcers
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* -11% (all announcers)
Average Salary (2015)* $46,410 (all radio and television announcers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Radio Announcer Job Description

The nature of this job usually varies depending on the radio show's format and primary focus. News announcers read scripted summaries of the major news stories, sports announcers call the game's play-by-play and provide color commentary, and talk show hosts will frequently speak their mind without scripted material. DJs typically need to have a playlist ready, as well as provide comments regarding songs and bands.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed announcers is expected to decline by 11% from 2014-2024 ( This decline was due to a number of factors, including smaller radio audiences, technological advancements and the merging of broadcasting companies. Competition for the jobs that were available should be quite intense.

Salary Information

The earnings of radio announcers can vary greatly, depending on market size and listener base. As of 2015, the mean salary of radio and TV announcers was $46,410, according to the BLS. Maryland and New York were the highest-paying states, offering workers mean yearly salaries of $76,150 and $69,670, respectively. Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events were the top-paying employers for radio and TV announcers, paying mean salaries of approximately $85,790.

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Job Duties

The main duty of radio announcers is to present clear, informative and entertaining information to their audience. This often requires announcers to prepare for their broadcasts in advance in areas such as topic research, fact-checking and script or show outline preparation. Announcers and DJs may also have to compile song lists and prepare for personal interviews.

Depending on the size of the radio station, announcers may have additional duties. For smaller operations, an announcer may be in charge of some of the technical aspects of the show, such as working the control board, keeping the programming logs or answering the phones. At larger stations, announcers may be expected to make public appearances or help market products on their show.

Job Requirements

Although no formal education is usually required for public address announcer positions, a bachelor's degree is usually required for radio announcer positions. Broadcasting degrees are offered at the associate's and bachelor's levels at a few public and private schools. There are also certificate programs available. Coursework typically includes broadcasting fundamentals, advertising techniques and radio production practices.

Some jobs may require experience working in radio broadcasting. Many educational programs include a practicum at the school's radio station. Also, many radio stations offer internships for those interested in entering the business.

Depending on the type of radio show, specialized knowledge or experience may also be required. Announcers in sports broadcasting often need a strong background in the sport they will be presenting. DJs may need a background in the music industry, and talk show hosts have to be knowledgeable in areas such as current events, politics and pop culture.

Radio announcers must be able to present information in a clear yet informative manner; to achieve this, off-air preparation is often required and might include duties such as fact-checking, research, and getting questions ready for an interview. Aspiring radio announcers might want to consider the projected decline in jobs over the ten-year period between 2014-2024, as reported by the BLS.

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