Sports Broadcasters and Announcers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Graduating from high school is an important first step on the road to becoming a sports broadcaster or announcer. While in school, take classes that will allow you to work on your speaking and writing skills. Classes in speech, English, journalism, and foreign languages, such as Spanish and French, will be helpful. You may also find it helpful to take courses in drama and computer science.

Postsecondary Training

Educational requirements for sportscasting positions vary depending on the position. Competition for radio and television sports broadcasting positions is especially fierce, so any added edge can make the difference.

Television sportscasters who deliver the news in sports usually have bachelor's degrees in communications, broadcasting, or journalism. However, personality, charisma, and overall on-camera appearance are so important to ratings that station executives often pay closer attention to the audition recordings they receive from prospective sportscasters than to the items on resumes. Prepare for the job by learning a sport inside and out, developing valuable contacts in the field through internships and part-time or volunteer jobs, and earning a degree in journalism or communications. It also should be noted that the industry is finicky and subjective about looks and charisma.

It is not as crucial for sportscasters who deliver play-by-play broadcasts for radio stations to have the journalistic skills that a television sportscaster has, although good interviewing skills are essential. Instead, they need excellent verbal skills, a daunting command of the sport or sports that they will be covering, and a familiarity with the competing players, coaches, and team histories. To draw a complete picture for their listeners, sportscasters often reach back into history for an interesting detail or statistic, so a good memory for statistics and trivia involving sports history are helpful.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers offers certification to announcers who complete an online exam. Contact the association for more information. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

At least several years experience is needed to work as a broadcaster or announcer for a professional sports team. Aspiring broadcasters and announcers typically start out with minor-league sports teams, gradually gaining enough experience to become qualified to work at the professional level.

A nice speaking voice, excellent verbal and interviewing skills, a pleasant appearance, a solid command of sports in general as well as in-depth knowledge of the most popular sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer), and an outgoing personality are all necessary for a successful career in sportscasting.

In addition, you need to have a strong voice, excellent grammar and English usage, and the ability to ad-lib if and when it is necessary.