Radio and Television Announcers
Approximately 29,230 announcers are employed in the United States. Some work on a freelance basis on individual assignments for networks, stations, advertising agencies, and other producers of commercials. Many announcers work part time.
Some companies own several television or radio stations; some belong to networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox, while others are independent. While radio and television stations are located throughout the United States, major markets where better-paying jobs are found are generally near large metropolitan areas.
One way to enter this field is to apply for an entry-level job rather than an announcer position. It is also advisable to start at a small station. Most announcers start in jobs such as production secretary, production assistant, researcher, or reporter in small stations. As opportunities arise, it is common for announcers to move from one job to another. You may be able to find work as a disc jockey, sportscaster, or news reporter. Network jobs are few, and the competition for them is great. You must have several years of experience as well as a college education to be considered for these positions.
You must audition before you will be employed as an announcer. You should carefully select audition material to show a prospective employer the full range of your abilities. In addition to presenting prepared materials, you may be asked to read material that you have not seen previously, such as a commercial, news release, dramatic selection, or poem.
Most successful announcers advance from small stations to large ones. Experienced announcers usually have held several jobs. The most successful announcers may be those who work for the networks. Usually, because of network locations, announcers must live in or near the country's largest cities.
Some careers lead from announcing to other aspects of radio or television work. More people are employed in sales, promotion, and planning than in performing; often they are paid more than announcers. Because the networks employ relatively few announcers in proportion to the rest of the broadcasting professionals, a candidate must have several years of experience and specific background in several news areas before being considered for an audition. These top announcers are usually college graduates.
Tips for Entry
Work on your high school or college radio or television station to obtain experience.
Try to land an internship at a radio or television station.
Visit the following Web sites to learn more about job opportunities for announcers:
Be willing to relocate. It may improve your job prospects.