How to Become a Sports Announcer: Education and Career Roadmap
Learn how to become a sports announcer. Research the job description and the education requirements and find out how to start a career in sports announcing.
Requirements for Sports Announcers
Sports announcers are broadcast journalists who provide commentary for games and sporting events during live radio or television broadcasts. They may interview guests or present relevant information during their broadcast. The educational requirements necessary to become a sports announcer vary, but it is common to earn a bachelor's degree in communication or a related field. Sports announcers benefit from having a strong vocal delivery and sense of timing. The following table contains the main qualifications and requirements needed to become a sports announcer listed from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree*|
|Degree Field||Broadcasting, communications, journalism*|
|Experience||Advancement may be commensurate with experience*|
|Key Skills||Good voice, people skills, communication, research skills*|
|Computer Skills||Must be able to perform research and use editing software*|
|Additional Requirements||Knowledge of the game being reported or announced*|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Gain Experience at the Local Level
Many aspiring sports announcers participate in local radio broadcasts or volunteer to announce sporting events at a local high school. These opportunities provide initial experience in the field and do not typically require a formal education. While this background is not necessary, it helps individuals pursuing a college education in order to become sports announcers.
- Consider public address systems announcer job. Public address system announcers typically do not need a formal education, and this is an excellent way for aspiring sports announcers to get a head start in broadcasting. Some short on-the-job training is required.
Step 2: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program
Requirements for becoming a sports announcer vary based on employer preferences, but students should earn a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, communication, journalism or a related field to increase their opportunities. Such curriculums often provide courses in research, writing and ethics. An understanding of electronics and broadcasting basics helps prepare students for positions as sports announcers. Familiarity with computers and the Internet proves increasingly valuable, since many announcers maintain a regular Web presence through social networking websites and often broadcast online. Even though aspiring sports announcers may prefer to cover specific athletics, they benefit from being knowledgeable about all sports.
Step 3: Gain Work Experience
Most entry-level positions for sports announcers require prior experience. Candidates often gain such experience through campus radio or television stations and through internships at commercial stations. Whether paid or unpaid, this hands-on experience enables aspiring announcers to hone their craft while establishing valuable contacts within the industry. A formal education is indispensable for most sports announcers, but additional requirements include having a pleasant and recognizable vocal style, using correct grammar, exercising well-timed and accurate delivery and, for television announcers, displaying a pleasing and welcome appearance. Many of these traits can be learned through continued on-the-job experience.
- Find your voice. Most broadcasters and announcers need practice to become professionals. Working at smaller stations can help new sports announcers get a feel for the job and work on communication skills.
Step 4: Obtain Advancement Opportunities
Competition at major radio or television networks for the position of sports announcer generally tends to be intense. The most common path for advancement begins by gaining recognition in a local community and then seeking work in a larger city. Once established, aspiring network sports announcers gravitate toward more visible national markets. Successful announcers continually try to improve their craft and possess a desire to become more knowledgeable about the sports they cover.
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