Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys

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Also known as:
Commercial Announcer, Game Show Host, Radio Artist, Radio Disk Jockey, Radio Host, Talk Show Host, Television Host

Video transcript

Getting paid to talk is not as simple as it sounds. Whether voicing an advertisement, anchoring a TV newscast, or hosting a radio show, announcers call on an array of skills.

For example, you need acting talent to record voice-overs in films and commercials, because though you're not seen on camera, you're still playing a role. Disc jockeys are entertainers who play scheduled music and commercials between jokes, interviews, and topical information. While not actors, deejays are often high-energy performers. Newscasters need to be able to read with clarity and authority. As they often write their own copy, a background in journalism or writing is often required. Technical know-how and computer skills are usually needed to run a control board or make recordings.

A pleasant voice and good diction can get you started, but it can be a long road to making a living as a professional announcer. Since much of the work is done live, the ability to think on your feet is very important. A college degree is not a requirement for most announcing positions, but colleges or technical schools with in-house TV or radio stations provide an excellent opportunity to create the all-important demo tape. As the saying goes for on-air jobs, "your tape is your resume."

With the ongoing consolidation of media companies, the field is more competitive than ever. Announcers usually start out in small markets for very low pay on irregular schedules. At some small operations, they're required to sell advertising time for their programs as well. But as their skills improve, they can advance to better-paying jobs in larger markets.

Speak or read from scripted materials, such as news reports or commercial messages, on radio, television, or other communications media. May play and queue music, announce artist or title of performance, identify station, or interview guests.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Host civic, charitable, or promotional events that are broadcast over television or radio.

Attend press conferences to gather information for broadcast.

Provide commentary and conduct interviews during sporting events, parades, conventions, or other events.

Make promotional appearances at public or private events to represent their employers.

Interview show guests about their lives, their work, or topics of current interest.

Read news flashes to inform audiences of important events.

Study background information to prepare for programs or interviews.

Operate control consoles.

Develop story lines for broadcasts.

Record commercials for later broadcast.

Prepare and deliver news, sports, or weather reports, gathering and rewriting material so that it will convey required information and fit specific time slots.

Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.