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Radio Announcer Job Description
Radio announcers deliver weather reports, sports broadcasts, and news updates over the radio. Sometimes they work as talk show hosts, disc jockeys, or sports broadcasters.
Most radio announcers are also responsible for other tasks that keep a station running, like running commercials and public service announcements, and updating their websites and social media profiles. In some cases, they even directly sell space to advertisers.
Because radio announcers are the public face of the stations they work for, they are normally required to participate in many promotional events on the station's behalf. These events often take place on the weekends or evenings, and can cut into an announcers' personal time on some occasions. However, these events are often just as beneficial to the announcer as they are to the radio station. Interacting with the public at a promotional event can help grow their fan base, and make their broadcasts more popular.
Radio announcers often talk about current events, so they have to remain up to date with what's going on in their area of specialty. For example, an announcer who talks about politics has to follow that topic very closely, and a sports announcer has to pay attention to everything that's going on in the sports world.
Because they have to remain in touch with what's going on outside of working hours, many announcers choose to talk about a subject that they're very passionate about in their personal life. If you truly enjoy something, it doesn't feel like work to keep up with it.
To have a long and successful career in this occupation, radio announcers have to engage and grow their audience over time. The most successful announcers have broadcasts that are syndicated across the country, though opportunities for such shows are limited and very competitive. It takes years of dedication and practice to work up to that point.
The working hours for radio announcers vary greatly depending on the type of show that they work on. Many shows are recorded beforehand, but others are broadcast live. When a live show airs early in the morning or late at night, working irregular hours is normally required.
The majority of radio announcers work full time, but there are also part time opportunities available.
How to Become a Radio Announcer
Most radio announcers have a bachelor's degree in broadcasting or communications, but many come from other academic backgrounds as well. Regardless of what you choose to major in, taking classes in public speaking and diction will help prepare you for a career in this field.
To get a job as a radio announcer, you will need to have some related work experience. While in college, working at your school's radio station can give you the experience that you will need to get an entry-level job in the field. Getting an internship can also be extremely valuable. To learn about the internship options available to you, stop by your college or university career center.
Most radio announcers start their careers by working for a small market station. These positions don't pay as much as the large market positions do, and the listening audience is much smaller, but these opportunities provide announcers with the work experience they need to become more comfortable and engaging on the air.
If an announcer is able to engage and build an audience on a small market station, then they might be considered for a larger market position when it opens. Though it isn't lucrative, doing good work in a small market is critical for the long term success of your career.
Advancement normally requires moving to a different market, and some radio announcers move frequently throughout their career. Before you decide to pursue a career in this field, you should consider the impact that it will have on your personal life.
There are currently 50,200 radio announcers in the United States, with 1,720 new radio announcer job openings created each year.
Radio Announcer jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Radio Announcer Salaries
Salaries by State
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Radio Announcer salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most radio announcers make between $19,400 - $42,200 per year, or $9.31 - $20.26 per hour.