Competition for jobs as announcers will be keen because the broadcasting field attracts many more jobseekers than there are jobs. Furthermore, employment of announcers is projected to decline slowly. In some cases, announcers leave the field because they cannot advance to better paying jobs. Changes in station ownership, format, and ratings frequently cause periods of unemployment for many announcers.
Employment of announcers is expected to decline by 4 percent from 2008 to 2018. Improving technology continues to increase the productivity of announcers, reducing the time required to edit material or perform other off-air technical and production work. The ability of radio announcers to broadcast a program live and record a show for another time has eliminated most late-night shifts and allowed multiple stations to use material from the same announcer. Increasing consolidation among broadcasting companies also may contribute to the increased use of syndicated programming and programs originating outside a station's viewing or listening area. The growth of alternative media sources, such as satellite radio, may contribute to the expected decline.
A possible positive area for radio announcers is hybrid digital (HD) radio, which broadcasters hope will increase in the coming years. HD radio offers more channels and could result in higher demand for on-air personalities. There will always be some demand for this occupation, because the public continues to desire local radio and television broadcasting and announcers play a necessary role in bringing it to them.
Some job openings will arise from the need to replace those who transfer to other kinds of work or leave the labor force. Nevertheless, competition for jobs as announcers will be keen because the broadcasting field attracts many more jobseekers than there are jobs. Small radio stations are more inclined to hire beginners, but the pay is low. Applicants who have completed internships and those with related work experience usually receive preference for available positions. Jobseekers with good computer and technical skills also will have an advantage. Large stations will seek announcers who have proven that they can attract and retain a sizable audience, because competition for ratings is so intense in major metropolitan areas. Announcers who are knowledgeable about business, consumer, and health news also may have an advantage over others. Although subject-matter specialization is more common at large stations and the networks, many small stations also encourage it. There will be some opportunities for self-employed DJs who provide music at clubs and special events, but most of these jobs will be part time.
Announcers held about 67,400 jobs in 2008. About 51 percent were employed in radio and television broadcasting. Many other announcers were self-employed freelance announcers, who sold their services to networks and stations, advertising agencies, other independent producers, or to sponsors of local events.
Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.
These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.
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General information on the broadcasting industry, in which many announcers are employed, is available from:
- National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N St. NW., Washington, DC 20036. Internet: http://www.nab.org
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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