Announcers

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Announcers present music, news, and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests.

Work Environment: Many announcers work in radio and television studios. Some announcers are self-employed; some work part time.

How to Become One: 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.

Salary: The median annual wage for public address system and other announcers is $27,720. The median annual wage for radio and television announcers is $33,220.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of announcers is projected to grow 1 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of announcers with similar occupations.

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What Announcers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Announcers present music, news, and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests about these other important topics. Some act as masters of ceremonies (emcees) or disc jockeys (DJs) at weddings, parties, or clubs.

Duties of Announcers

Announcers typically do the following:

  • 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

Radio and television announcers present music or the news and comment on important current events. Announcers are expected to be up to date with current events or a specific field, such as politics or sports, so that they can comment on these issues during their programs. They may research and prepare information on current topics before appearing on air. In addition, announcers schedule guests on their shows and work with producers to develop other creative content.

Radio and television announcers also may be responsible for other aspects of television or radio broadcasting. They may operate studio equipment, sell commercial time to advertisers, or produce advertisements and other recorded material. At many radio stations, announcers do much of the work traditionally done by editors and broadcast technicians, such as broadcasting program schedules, commercials, and public service announcements.

Many radio and television announcers increasingly maintain a presence on social media sites. Establishing a presence allows them to promote their stations and better engage with their audiences, especially through listener feedback, music requests, or program contests. Announcers also make promotional appearances at charity functions or other community events.

Many radio stations now require DJs to update station websites with show schedules, interviews, or photos.

The following are examples of types of radio and television announcers:

  • Disc jockeys, or DJs, broadcast music for radio stations. They typically specialize in one kind of music genre and announce selections as they air them. DJs comment on the music being broadcast as well as on weather and traffic conditions. They may take requests from listeners, interview guests, or manage listener contests.
  • Talk show hosts may work in radio or television and specialize in a certain area of interest, such as politics, personal finance, sports, or health. They contribute to the preparation of program content, interview guests, and discuss issues with viewers, listeners, or the studio audience.
  • Podcasters record shows that can be downloaded for listening through a computer or mobile device. Like traditional talk radio, podcasts typically focus on a specific subject, such as sports, politics, or movies. Podcasters may also interview guests and experts on the specific program topic. However, podcasts are different than traditional radio broadcasts. Podcasts are prerecorded so audiences can download and listen to these shows at any time. Listeners can also subscribe to a podcast to have new episodes automatically downloaded to their computer or mobile devices.

Public address system announcers entertain audiences to enhance performances or they provide information. They may prepare their own scripts or improvise lines in their speeches.

The specific duties of public address system announcers will vary greatly depending on where these announcers work. For example, an announcer for a sports team may have to present starting lineups (official lists of players who will participate in an event), read advertisements, and announce players as they enter and exit a game.

Train announcers are responsible for reading prepared scripts containing details and data related to train schedules and safety procedures. Their job is to provide information rather than entertainment.

The following are examples of types of public address system and other announcers:

  • Party DJs are hired to provide music and commentary at an event, such as a wedding, a birthday party, or a corporate party. Many of these DJs use digital files or portable media devices.
  • Emcees host planned events. They introduce speakers or performers to the audience. They may tell jokes or provide commentary to transition from one speaker to the next.

Work Environment for Announcers[About this section] [To Top]

Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys hold about 40,800. The largest employers of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys are as follows:

Radio broadcasting 52%
Self-employed workers 28%
Television broadcasting 8%
Educational services; state, local, and private 2%

All other media and communication workers hold about 38,300. The largest employers of media and communication workers (all other) are as follows:

Self-employed workers 25%
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 10%
Food services and drinking places 5%

Radio and television announcers usually work in well-lit, air-conditioned, soundproof studios. Some radio DJs can produce and record their shows while working from home.

The pressure of deadlines and tight work schedules can be stressful.

Announcer Work Schedules

Some announcers work part time.

Many radio and television stations are on air 24 hours a day. Some announcers present early morning shows, while others do late-night programs. Some announcers have to work weekends or on holidays.

The shifts, however, are not as varied as in the past. More stations are recording shows during the day, eliminating the need to have an announcer work overnight hours.

How to Become a Announcer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Announcers near you!

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.

Find a Degree:


Education for Announcers

Public address announcers typically need a high school diploma. Radio and television announcers typically need a bachelor's degree in communications, broadcasting, or journalism, but some jobs only require a high school diploma.

College broadcasting programs offer courses, such as voice and diction, to help students improve their vocal qualities. In addition, these programs prepare students to work with the computer and audio equipment and software used at radio and television studios.

Announcer Training

Public address system and other announcers typically need short-term on-the-job training upon being hired. This training allows these announcers to become familiar with the equipment they will be using during sporting and entertainment events. For sports public address announcers, training also may include basic rules and information for the sports they are covering.

Radio and television announcers who have a high school diploma or equivalent only may also need some short-term on-the-job training to learn to operate audio and production equipment.

Other Experience for Announcers

Some employers expect radio and television announcer applicants to have some announcing experience prior to employment. Applicants typically gain these skills from their college degree program, working on college radio or television stations, or through internships.

Advancement for Announcers

Because radio and television stations in smaller markets have smaller staff, advancement within the same small-market station is unlikely. Rather, many radio and television announcers advance by relocating to a large-market station.

Announcers typically need a few years at a small-market station to work out the "kinks" of their on-air personalities. During that time, they learn to sound more comfortable and credible as an on-air talent and become more conversational with their cohosts and guests. Therefore, time and experience allow applicants to advance to positions in larger markets, which offer higher pay and more responsibility and challenges.

When making hiring decisions, large-market stations rely on announcers' personalities and past performance. Radio and television announcers need to have proven that they can attract, engage, and keep the attention of a sizeable audience.

Many stations also rely on radio and television announcers to do other tasks, such as creating and updating a social media presence on social networking sites, making promotional appearances on behalf of the station, or even selling commercial time to advertisers. Therefore, an applicant needs to have demonstrated versatility and flexibility at the smaller market station.

Important Qualities for Announcers

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.

Announcer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for public address system and other announcers is $27,720. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,250, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,760.

The median annual wage for radio and television announcers is $33,220. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $94,450.

The median annual wages for public address system and other announcers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries $33,700
Food services and drinking places $24,540

The median annual wages for radio and television announcers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Television broadcasting $47,020
Educational services; state, local, and private $43,890
Radio broadcasting $31,050

In general, announcers working in larger markets earn more than those working in smaller markets.

Some announcers work part time.

Many radio and television stations are on air 24 hours a day. Some announcers present early morning shows, and others do late-night programs. Some announcers have to work weekends or on holidays.

The shifts, however, are not as varied as in the past. More stations are recording shows during the day, eliminating the need to have an announcer work overnight hours.

Job Outlook for Announcers[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of announcers is projected to grow 1 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations. Projected employment change varies by occupation. Employment of broadcast announcers and radio disk jockeys (DJs) is projected to decline 5 percent over the next ten years. Continuing consolidation of radio and television stations will limit employment growth. In addition, over-the-air radio broadcasts will continue to face competition from an increasing number of online and satellite radio stations. More listeners are tuning into these stations, which can be personalized, reducing the number of listeners to traditional radio broadcasts and decreasing the demand for radio DJs. Employment of all other media and communication workers is projected to grow 8 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,800 new jobs over the decade. Demand for additional media and communication workers will increase as the number of Internet-only platforms, such as streaming video and podcasting services, continues to grow, along with the number of shows produced for these platforms.

Job Prospects for Announcers

Strong competition is expected for people seeking jobs as a radio or television announcer. Many of the openings will be due to people leaving jobs and the need to replace workers who move out of smaller markets or out of the radio or television fields entirely.

Applicants need to be persistent and flexible because many entry-level positions will require moving to a smaller market city. Small radio and television stations are more inclined to hire beginners, but the pay is low.

Those with a formal education in journalism, broadcasting, or mass communications and with hands-on work experience at a radio or television network will have the best job prospects.

In addition, because announcers may be responsible for gathering video or audio for their programs or for updating and maintaining the station's website, multimedia and computer skills are beneficial.

Employment projections data for Announcers, 2019-29
Occupational Title Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29
Percent Numeric
Announcers 76,000 76,700 1 700
  Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys 40,800 38,700 -5 -2,100
  Media and communication workers, all other 35,200 38,000 8 2,800


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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