What does it take to be an Announcer?
Educational requirements for announcers vary. Radio and television announcers typically have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications, along with work experience gained from working at their college radio or television station. Public address announcers typically need a high school diploma. Although public address announcers do not require any formal education beyond a high school diploma, radio announcers should have a bachelor’s degree to be competitive for entry-level positions. Television announcers typically need a bachelor’s degree in programs such as communications, broadcasting, or journalism.
Post-secondary 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 equipment and software that they would use in the radio and television studios. Public address system and other types of 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 may also go over basic rules and information for the sports they are covering.
Because smaller market stations have a smaller number of staff, advancement within the same radio or television station is unlikely. Rather, many radio and television announcers advance by relocating to a station in a larger market.
Nevertheless, announcers typically require a few years in a smaller market to work out the “kinks” of their on-air personalities. They learn to sound more comfortable and credible as an on-air talent and become more conversational with audiences and guests. Announcers must have a pleasant and well-controlled voice, good timing, and excellent pronunciation. Announcers also often need strong writing skills because they may write their own material.
When making hiring decisions, large market stations generally rely on announcers’ personalities. Radio and television announcers need to have proven that they can attract, engage, and keep a sizeable audience. Therefore, ratings for an announcer’s show in the smaller market are important in increasing advancement opportunities.
Larger stations may rely on radio and television announcers to do other tasks that the station needs. Therefore, an applicant needs to have demonstrated versatility and flexibility in the smaller market in duties 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. Announcers, especially those seeking radio careers, should have good computer skills and be able to use computers, editing equipment, and other broadcast-related devices. Radio and television announcers may interview guests and answer phone calls on air. Entry into this occupation is very competitive, and many auditions may be needed for an opportunity to work on the air.
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