Television and radio production
If you dream of hosting a TV show and interviewing someone famous, you should first dream of attending broadcasting school. Of course, to be a broadcaster you have to have more than just dreams. You have to have a strong voice and excellent communication skills.
Broadcasting school will prepare you for work in a number of areas in the field. This might include a career as an announcer or reporter - a position in front of the microphone or camera might be the prized gig that everyone seeks, but the truth is not everyone has the face or voice for it. However, there are many more exciting jobs available in the industry, such as:
- Technician, such as audio, video or broadcast technician
- Radio operator
- Sound mixer and other sound engineering fields
If you want to start a career in broadcasting, you first need to get educated. You can learn the ins and outs of broadcasting at a technical school, community college or any other school that offers training in electronics, computer networking or broadcast technology.
Broadcasting has always been a difficult business to break into. If you're thinking about going to broadcasting school, it may help to know that the technical knowledge you'll gain will also be applicable to other jobs.
There is strong competition for broadcasting jobs, especially in major metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2005, there are fewer than 100,000 engineering technicians, radio operators and broadcasting technicians working in the United States. The median annual salary for those in the broadcasting industry is about $29,000, as of 2005. The top 10 percent earn over $70,000 per year.
If you're in a smaller town and you know some of the right people, your chances of employment might be better. As with any career, you need to network with people you want to work with.
The transition to digital media and a digital culture may be a good thing for younger graduates with more recent training in these areas. Broadcasting school graduates with computer networking and software skills may have a better chance at new jobs opening up in the field. The flipside of this is that the industry will keep changing, and you'll have to keep learning to stay on top.
Any on-the-job experience you can acquire will help you immensely in starting your career. Volunteer to work for free, freelance, pick up odd shifts that others don't want - do anything you can to get experience and a good reputation.