What Announcers Do
Announcers present music, news, and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests.
Many announcers work in radio and television studios. Some announcers are self-employed; some work part time.
How to Become an Announcer
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.
The median annual wage for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys was $34,630 in May 2019.
The median annual wage for media and communication workers, all other was $47,580 in May 2019.
Overall employment of announcers is projected to grow 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations.
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.
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.
- 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 from 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.
- 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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys held about 40,800 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys were as follows:
|Educational services; state, local, and private||2|
Media and communication workers, all other held about 35,200 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of media and communication workers, all other were as follows:
|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.
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 today as in the past. More stations are recording shows during the day, eliminating the need to have an announcer work overnight hours.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of announcers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, television, and other performing arts media.
|Some college, no degree||The annual wage is not available.|
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for media programs.
|See How to Become One||$45,510|
Musicians and Singers
Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios.
|No formal educational credential||The annual wage is not available.|
Producers and Directors
Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions.
Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events.
Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media.
For more information about the broadcasting industry, in which many announcers are employed, visit
For more information on sports public address announcers, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Announcers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/announcers.htm (visited ).