News anchor jobs are sought after by people who want to talk about the news in front of a camera, but they aren’t all they seem on the surface. Like with any job, there are pros and cons to this one, as well as general advice that can help you decide if this is the right career path for you. In this guide, we will cover what news anchor jobs entail, what their requirements are, and how to become one if that’s your goal.
Let’s get started!
Why Do People Become News Anchors?
Most people assume news anchors become news anchors for a few different reasons. Some think that they’re talented, others think that they have good looks, and some think that they’re both talented and good-looking. The truth is, however, it’s neither of those things — not even close. News anchor jobs aren’t generally available because people need someone who can read clearly or someone who’s attractive. If you’ve ever applied for a job at any type of station and weren’t picked, chances are you figured it was because your on-camera skills weren’t up to par.
How Much Do News Anchors Earn?
News anchors and reporters typically earn a high annual salary. The top 5% make more than $95,000 per year, while those in lower positions average between $30,000 and $45,000. News anchor jobs do not usually require a specific degree; however, if you plan on entering management or a leadership role in media production, it is helpful to have an undergraduate or graduate degree in journalism or communication studies. A few internships can help get your foot in the door of networks like CNN or NBC News. To reach these companies and other news outlets takes dedication as well as hard work, and good networking skills.
Choosing a School for News Broadcasting
The first step in becoming a news anchor is, of course, choosing a school for news broadcasting. Getting into a top school for journalism is no easy feat—the program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism has an acceptance rate of around 6%. But just because you didn’t get into Columbia doesn’t mean you won’t find success in broadcasting. For example, there are only about 200 students enrolled in Syracuse University’s graduate program—but it was ranked as one of America’s Best Journalism Schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2018, and its alumni have been honored with numerous Emmy awards and other accolades over the years.
Things You Should Study in College
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in journalism, here are some courses that will help you excel. However, keep in mind that depending on your specific interests and career goals, your university may not offer all of these classes, but it never hurts to make sure. After all, there’s nothing wrong with prepping for your post-graduation job search early. Here are some courses you should study in college if you want to become a news anchor -Public Speaking -Media Writing (and/or Writing for News) -Journalism -Newswriting -Cultural History Study How-To Videos: Take advantage of online video tutorials by news stations when learning how to become a news anchor.
Most modern news organizations have detailed how-to videos on their websites that outline how journalists dress, what they use, and other aspects of news broadcasting that you can learn from at home or while commuting through public transportation. The next time you’re feeling a little bit bored, check out some local or national news websites and look at their media resources section for links to helpful videos!
Finding Work After Graduation
In television news, finding work after graduation is difficult. Employment statistics vary, but in general, just 10% of graduates find news anchor jobs right out of school. If you’re currently enrolled in a journalism program, networking with industry professionals and building your resume are extremely important. Internships are also worth looking into; many news organizations offer opportunities for students who have been accepted into an accredited internship program.
As part of an internship, you can gain valuable insight into what it takes to be successful as a broadcast journalist—and get some real-world experience under your belt! Since securing a job immediately after graduation is unlikely, having something (anything!) on your resume will make it easier when it comes time to apply for entry-level positions.
Next Steps if you’re interested in becoming a news anchor
If you’re interested in becoming a news anchor, there are several things you can do:
- Focus on strengthening your communication skills.
- It’s a good idea to obtain as much broadcasting experience as possible by getting involved with on-campus television or radio stations, especially if you get into reporting or anchoring. After that, take a look at how others have succeeded by seeing what employers are looking for in resumes and through networking with people who work in journalism and media. Chances are you’ll get some great advice about how to break into a competitive market.
- Make sure you decide whether being an on-air personality is something you actually want to do; however, keep in mind that having skills such as effective verbal communication and professionalism will help no matter what career path you end up taking.
In recent years, a growing number of networks have begun contracting with freelance news anchors—meaning that if you want to break into TV journalism, there’s never been a better time. That said, there’s a reason why many of these jobs are called freelance. Because contracts are relatively short-term, you might end up taking on several roles in quick succession before landing a permanent position. If you do find yourself at an anchor desk for more than a year or two, consider yourself fortunate!