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At a Glance

  • Work in radio, TV, or at live events
  • Have a good speaking voice
  • Work irregular hours, including nights and weekends
  • Talent is the best predictor of career success
  • Have training and experience beyond high school

Career summary

Announcers entertain and inform audiences on radio, TV, or in person at public events.

Announcers may be known as radio announcers, television (TV) announcers, disk jockeys (DJs), live-event announcers, newscasters, weathercasters, sportscasters, moderators, or talk show hosts/hostesses.

#from wois 9824 nothing excpt alt titles moved over although some parts would be acceptable eg weathercasters. Changed spelling of "disk" jockeys to match what NWOIS uses in main description, 3/3/08,cj.

Radio announcers who select and play music are often called disk jockeys. They also read news, sports, and weather reports. Disk jockeys may interview guests and report on local events. They rarely work from a written script, but if one is needed, they do the research and writing. More often, disk jockeys just make up the program as they go along. Many radio announcers have partners and have conversations with each other on the radio. Some host call-in talk shows. They introduce a topic and invite people to call in with their views. They also often record commercials for companies.

TV announcers tend to work on one of three types of shows. Some TV announcers are talk show hosts. Guests come to the TV station where the host can interview them on-screen. Some talk shows are about news or current events. Other talk shows are for entertainment, and announcers may prepare jokes for the show. Other TV announcers host game shows. They ask contestants questions, direct the game, and award prizes. Some TV announcers work on shows that advertise products for sale. These announcers describe the products and may demonstrate how they work.

Radio and TV announcers have additional duties when they are not on the air. For example, radio announcers may operate the control board. They may also keep a log of which songs and commercials they played. Both radio and TV announcers discuss and prepare program content with the producer and assistants. At some stations, they sell commercial time to advertisers and write ads. Radio and TV announcers also take part in community events. For example, they ride in parades, cut ribbons at store openings, or host fundraisers.

Live-event announcers provide on-site commentary on sporting events, shows, or parades. They give a mostly ad-libbed, running commentary on events as they happen. They make public announcements and add commentary on participants.

Announcers frequently operate control consoles as they are giving commentary.

Related careers

This career is part of the Arts, Audio/Visual Technology, and Communications cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to announcers.

Common work activities

Announcers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, announcers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Announcers frequently:

It is important for announcers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for announcers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Announcers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an announcer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Educational requirements for announcers vary. Radio and television announcers typically have a bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications, along with work experience gained from working at their college radio or television station. Public address announcers typically need a high school diploma, along with short-term, on-the-job training.

Proven talent is more important in this occupation than formal training. Training alone will not get you an announcing job, talent will.

Work experience

Work at a radio or television station, even if you are not announcing, is good experience. Many colleges have radio stations and give students the opportunity to work at them. An internship or work as a student announcer while in school is good preparation for this occupation.

On-the-job training

Announcers typically need short-term, on-the-job training upon being hired. During training you become familiar with the equipment you will use during sporting and entertainment events. For sports public address announcers, training may also go over basic rules and information for the sports they are covering.

Military training

The military trains people to be broadcast journalists and newswriters. Training lasts nine to 12 weeks. The experience you gain in these positions should transfer to a job as an announcer.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

Many announcers are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Announcing is a very competitive occupation. Competition for entry-level jobs is very intense. Announcers should have a pleasant and well controlled voice. They also need good timing, excellent pronunciation, and correct English usage.

Television employers pay particular attention to taped auditions that contain samples of the applicant's style. They check the applicant's delivery, appearance, and voice to make their hiring decisions. TV requires voice skills plus a pleasing appearance. Writing and computer skills are also important. Some stations look for people who have a background in marketing or advertising.

Radio requires good voice skills, plus training or experience in the control room. Employers rely heavily on demonstration tapes that showcase the applicant's delivery and style to make their hiring decisions. Employers prefer applicants who have developed a style that is consistent with the station's format.


Get to know local broadcasters and do volunteer or part-time work at a college or other non-commercial radio station. Internships are possible at commercial stations. Applicants willing to start at minimum wage in a small town normally have the best chance to land an entry position. Knowledge of subjects such as sports, business, theater, politics, and music is helpful. Join a related professional organization. Attend related conferences and conventions.

Costs to workers

Announcers may be required to join a union and pay an initiation fee and quarterly dues. Additional costs may include an appropriate wardrobe.


Announcers who work at professional athletic events must be licensed by the State of Washington. To be become licensed, announcers must be 18 years of age or older, complete an application, and submit a photo of themselves. They must also pay an annual licensing fee of $65.

For more information on licensing, contact:

Washington State Department of Licensing
Professional Athletics Program (external link)

PO Box 9026
Olympia, WA 98507-9026

#2/6/18 cj. fine 4/9/19 lh

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Currently, there is no specific statewide wage information for public address system and other announcers.

#In Washington, the average entry-level wage for radio and television announcers is $10.75 per hour ($1,863 per month).

Wages vary with size of market and station. Wages also depend on the announcer's skills and ability to hold audience share and his or her contribution to the broadcast team.

The minimum wage for Washington State as of January 1, 2020 is $13.50 per hour. Some areas of the state may have a higher minimum wage.

#Updated ES wage info 06.17 sd

Public address system and other announcers (SOC 27-3012)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $11.94 $14.79 $21.38 $25.05 $28.64
Monthly $2,069 $2,563 $3,705 $4,341 $4,963
Yearly $24,820 $30,770 $44,470 $52,110 $59,580
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $12.21 $15.03 $21.93 $25.75 $29.25
Monthly $2,116 $2,605 $3,800 $4,462 $5,069
Yearly $25,394 $31,256 $45,608 $53,570 $60,840
United States Hourly $8.77 $10.50 $13.33 $21.24 $30.66
Monthly $1,520 $1,820 $2,310 $3,681 $5,313
Yearly $18,250 $21,850 $27,720 $44,170 $63,760

Radio and television announcers (SOC 27-3011)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Monthly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Yearly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $11.89 $12.15 $16.01 $18.16 $20.65
Monthly $2,061 $2,106 $2,775 $3,147 $3,579
Yearly $24,731 $25,274 $33,304 $37,775 $42,967
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $12.42 $17.05 $23.21 $41.72 $94.61
Monthly $2,152 $2,955 $4,022 $7,230 $16,396
Yearly $25,831 $35,472 $48,280 $86,789 $196,777
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Monthly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Yearly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
    Vancouver Hourly $11.52 $16.12 $24.09 $36.63 $70.51
Monthly $1,996 $2,794 $4,175 $6,348 $12,219
Yearly $23,955 $33,531 $50,106 $76,183 $146,654
    Walla Walla Hourly $11.80 $11.94 $12.17 $18.64 $27.61
Monthly $2,045 $2,069 $2,109 $3,230 $4,785
Yearly $24,550 $24,838 $25,318 $38,759 $57,438
United States Hourly $9.19 $11.28 $15.97 $25.07 $45.41
Monthly $1,593 $1,955 $2,768 $4,345 $7,870
Yearly $19,120 $23,470 $33,220 $52,140 $94,450

(1) Wage estimate is not available.

Wages for announcers vary by type of work. Wages also vary by area of the country. The size of the market and the popularity of the announcer also affect wages. Announcers often earn additional money by taking on extra assignments or doing voice-overs for ads.

Announcers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan. Announcers who are self-employed must provide their own insurance and retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

#Between 2014 and 2024, it is estimated that for public address system and other announcers there will be eight openings annually due to new positions and 15 openings annually from workers leaving this career.

#Between 2014 and 2024, it is estimated that for radio and television announcers there will be three openings annually due to new positions and 31 openings annually from workers leaving this career.

#Updated outlook 05.16 sd

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Public Address System and Other Announcers (SOC 27-3012)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 833 15.0% 16.1% 110
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 23 17.4% 13.4% 3
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 22 4.5% 8.6% 2
    Benton and Franklin Counties 92 20.7% 15.0% 13
    King County 650 14.2% 19.6% 85
    Pierce County 27 18.5% 15.2% 3
    Snohomish County 18 38.9% 12.4% 3
    Spokane County 13 23.1% 13.9% 2
United States 10,400 1.9% 5.2% 1,200

Radio and Television Announcers (SOC 27-3011)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 983 -8.4% 16.1% 72
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 83 -10.8% 13.4% 6
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 43 -7.0% 8.6% 3
    Benton and Franklin Counties 19 -15.8% 15.0% 1
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 38 -7.9% 15.2% 3
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 74 -10.8% 14.1% 5
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 43 -11.6% 14.6% 2
    King County 352 -9.4% 19.6% 25
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 41 -12.2% 13.8% 2
    Pierce County 28 17.9% 15.2% 3
    Spokane County 233 -4.7% 13.9% 19
United States 38,300 -7.0% 5.2% 4,000

National employment

About 28% of announcers are self-employed.

About half of all announcers work for radio or television companies. The rest of the workers in this occupation are announcers for general events.

Announcers work in all areas of the country. However, a large number of radio and television announcer jobs are in major cities. The cities with the highest number of radio and television announcers are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for radio announcers is expected to decline. More time will be spent doing off-air technical and production work rather than on live radio. This allows radio stations to operate with fewer staff. The number of television and radio stations is also decreasing as stations merge.

However, Internet radio and podcasts are increasing in popularity. These stations typically target a specific audience and provide new opportunities for announcers. In addition, the increased number of national news and satellite stations may increase the demand for local radio and television programs.

Competition will be very strong. Applicants with a formal education in journalism, broadcasting, or mass communications and experience at a radio or television network will have the best job prospects. Multimedia and computer skills may also be beneficial.

Other resources

American Journalism Review (external link)
Broadcast Education Association (external link)
1771 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036-2891
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (external link)
401 - 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
National Association of Broadcasters (external link)
1771 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
National Association of Farm Broadcasters (external link)
PO Box 500
Platte City, MO 64079
Radio-Television Digital News Association (external link)
The National Press Building
529 14th Street, NW, Suite 1240
Washington, D.C. 20045
TV Jobs (external link)


Career cluster

Career path

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Holland occupational clusters