What you need to know
Announcers present music, news, and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests about these or other important topics. Some act as masters of ceremonies (emcees) or disc jockeys (DJs) at weddings, parties, or clubs.
Many announcers work in radio and television studios. Some announcers are self-employed; others work part time.
Some of the things an announcer might do:
- Present music, news, sports, the weather, the time, and commercials
- Interview guests and moderate panels or discussions on their shows
- Announce station programming information, such as program schedules, station breaks for commercials, or public service information
- Research topics for comment and discussion during shows
- Read prepared scripts on radio or television shows
- Comment on important news stories
- Provide commentary for the audience during sporting events, at parades, and on other occasions
- Select program content
- Introduce upcoming acts and guide the audience through the entertainment
- Make promotional appearances at public or private events
- Computer skills: Announcers, especially those seeking careers in radio or television, should have good computer skills and be able to use editing software and other broadcast-related devices.
- Interpersonal skills: Radio and television announcers interview guests and answer phone calls on air. Party disc jockeys (DJs) and emcees should be comfortable working with clients to plan entertainment options.
- Persistence: Entry into this occupation is very competitive, and many auditions may be needed for an opportunity to work on the air. Many entry-level announcers must be willing to work for a small station and be flexible to move to a small market to secure their first job.
- Research skills: Announcers must research the important topics of the day in order to be knowledgeable enough to comment on them during their program.
- Speaking skills: Announcers must have a pleasant and well-controlled voice, good timing, and excellent pronunciation.
- Writing skills: Announcers need strong writing skills because they normally write their own material.
The average pay for announcers in the United States ranges from $18,330 to $83,520.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Overall employment of announcers is projected to decline 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Continuing consolidation of radio and television stations will limit the employment growth for radio and television announcers. Many stations have consolidated and centralized their programming functions, including on-air announcing positions.
Experienced, formally trained announcers should have the best job prospects.
Educational requirements for announcers vary. Radio and television announcers typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications, along with other experience gained from internships or working at their college radio or television station. Public address announcers typically need a high school diploma with some short-term on-the-job training.