If you have strong communications skills, you’re able to improvise, and you have a passion for sports, you could make the perfect sports broadcaster. Just like there is a small population of athletes who have the physical and mental prowess to make it past college playing the sport that they love, there’s also a small population of avid sports fans who can really capture the feeling of a game while providing on-air coverage.
Since keeping fans engaged and entertained through events that have highs and lows can be difficult, it takes the right announcer who can think on their feet and create stories out of the action. In some cases, broadcasters are ex-athletes who have been injured or retired and offer a unique commentary the average person can’t. In others, broadcasters work their way up the ladder to eventually cover professional games. Here’s what you need to know about job outlook:
Outlook for Announcers in All Settings
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as a whole, the job outlook for announcers is projected to decline by 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. Announcers who specifically work in radio or television broadcasting will experience an even sharper decline of 12 percent. While this is for all announcers, even those not covering sports events, the decline in employment prospects is expected to be similar for sports broadcasters working as live, on-air radio or TV announcers.
The Reason for Decline
There are a number of reasons why job outlook for sports broadcasters isn’t positive. The first reason would be that there simply aren’t that many positions available for new graduates who are looking to enter the industry. Those who have entered the industry generally stay in the industry until they retire. If a candidate doesn’t have a contact to work with, competition can be very fierce for openings.
The industry itself and the shift in entertainment is having an effect on job outlook. Many listeners are shifting to satellite radio stations, which lowers the demand for traditional radio broadcasts. Podcasts are also having an effect on viewership to the major programs with nationalized content like ESPN.
What Applicants Should Keep in Mind
If your dream has always been to have that sportscaster moment where everyone is able to hear the excitement of the moment in your coverage, you don’t have to let job outlook discourage you. It’s still possible to pursue your dreams, you just may need to be more persistent than other qualified applicants in other fields would need to be.
The key to getting a good start is to earn a degree in Sports Broadcasting. Once you’ve earned a degree, be willing to take a position in a smaller market to get your bearings. These positions open up more often as other announcers move out of the market and into larger markets. Once you gain experience and a following, you are more likely to compete with other openings.
When you are searching for an undergraduate degree program in broadcasting, be sure to find one accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Programs are not ranked by the council but they are thoroughly evaluated to ensure academic quality. Find schools with specialized programs focusing on Sports Broadcasting, and make connections that will count later in your career.
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