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Salary and Career Info for a Radio Host

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

A job as a radio host entails presenting information or running commentary over a radio broadcast. Radio hosts are employed in a variety of broadcast types, including music, sports, news or talk radio.

Essential Information

Radio hosts, often called announcers, present programming on the radio. This can be news, music, interviews or other forms of entertainment and information. In general, radio hosts need to know how to operate broadcast equipment and read prepared scripts, as well as talk with listeners, co-workers and guests. Salaries vary depending on the location and the type of work, but the median salary for radio and television announcers in 2015 was around $30,960, according to the BLS.

Required Education Varies; bachelor's degree and on-the-job training common
Projected Job Growth for Radio Announcers (2014-2024)* -14% for radio and television announcers
Median Salary (2015)* $30,960 for radio and television announcers

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Salary Information for Radio Hosts

According to 2015 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for radio and television announcers was $30,960 per year (www.bls.gov). By industry, the highest mean annual wages were $85,790 for those working as promoters of performing arts, sports and similar events. According to the BLS, announcers working at universities, as independent writers or performers, or for radio or television companies all earned similar mean wages, ranging from $44,260- $49,090 per year.

Career Information for Radio Hosts

Job Descriptions

Radio host encompasses different job titles, which can have some overlapping duties. DJs can select and present music and typically specialize in a genre or musical period, such as pop or oldies. DJs also provide commentary, interact with listeners, interview guests, and provide updates on news, weather, and traffic. A talk show host provides commentary and debates with guests and listeners about topics in a specific field, such as sports or politics. Sports announcers broadcast live events. Research, reporting, and equipment operations can also be part of the job.

Employment Projections

The BLS projects employment of radio and television announcers to show a 14% decrease in job growth from 2014-2024, in part because improving technology has allowed stations to consolidate more duties and be more productive with fewer employees. However, they posit that an increase in channels due to digital radio may increase demand for hosts in the future. According to the media research firm Arbitron, 2009 was the first year that FM radio stations were outnumbered by new delivery systems, which includes digital broadcast and Internet streaming systems (www.arbitron.com).

A radio host must be comfortable performing for an audience over a radio broadcast. Yearly earnings can vary depending on the type of announcing, but due to improved technology job growth is expected to decline substantially in the coming years.


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