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Announcers Job Outlook

Employment of radio and television announcers is projected to grow by 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations.

Employment of public address system and other announcers is projected to grow by 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations.

Improving technology and consolidation of radio and television stations will limit the growth in this field. Many stations are able to do more tasks with less staff. Technology continues to increase the productivity of radio and television announcers and reduce the time required to edit material or do other off-air technical and production work.

For example, radio stations use voice-tracking or “cyber jockeying,” which allows radio announcers to prerecord their segments rather than air them live. A radio announcer can record many segments for use at a later date or even on another radio station.

This technique lets the station use fewer employees while still appearing to have live shows. This technology has eliminated most late-night shifts and allowed multiple stations to use material from the same announcer.

Consolidation among broadcasting companies may also contribute to increasing use of syndicated programming and programs originating outside a station’s viewing or listening area.

Despite these negatives, the increase of national news and satellite stations may increase the demand for more local radio and television stations. Listeners want localized programs with news and information more relevant to their communities. Therefore, to distinguish themselves from other stations or other media formats, stations are adding a local element to their broadcasts.

In addition, Internet radio may positively influence occupation growth. Start-up costs for internet radio stations are relatively lower than for land-based radio. These stations can cheaply target a specific demographic or listening audience and create new opportunities for announcers.

Demand for public address announcers will remain stable. Public address announcers will continue to inform customers of important information or provide entertainment for special events.

Job Prospects

Strong competition is expected for 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 field entirely.

Consolidation of stations has decreased the jobs for radio and television announcers and pushed experienced announcers into medium and smaller market stations. Therefore, an entry-level announcer may be competing with an on-air announcer who already has years of experience.

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.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition