Employment of announcers is projected to decline 11 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Employment of radio and television announcers is projected to decline 14 percent from 2014 to 2024. Employment of public address system and other announcers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.
Continuing consolidation of radio and television stations will limit the employment growth for radio and television announcers. Many stations have consolidated and centralized their programming functions, including on-air announcing positions.
Consolidation among broadcasting companies also may contribute to increasing use of syndicated programming and programs originating outside a station's viewing or listening area. Radio stations can use voice tracking, also called “cyber jockeying,” to prerecord their segments rather than air them live. A radio announcer, therefore, can record many segments for use at a later date or even on another radio station in another media market.
This technique allows stations to use fewer employees, while still appearing to air live shows, and it can be more cost effective than airing live or local programming. However, it has eliminated most late-night shifts and allowed multiple stations to use material from the same announcer.
In addition, over-the-air radio broadcasts will continue to face competition from an increasing number of online and satellite radio stations. More listeners, particularly younger listeners, are tuning into these stations, which can be personalized and play nonstop music based on a listener's preferences. The growing popularity of these online stations may reduce the amount of time audiences spend listening to traditional radio broadcasts, in turn decreasing the demand for radio DJs.
However, Internet radio may positively influence employment growth. Startup costs for Internet radio stations are relatively lower than the costs for land-based radio. These stations can be used to create niche programming or target a specific demographic or listening audience and provide new opportunities for announcers.
In addition, the growing number of national news and satellite stations may increase the demand for local radio and television programs. Listeners want local programs with news and information that are more relevant to their communities instead of nationalized content. Therefore, to distinguish themselves from other stations or other media formats, stations may add local elements to their broadcasts.
Demand for public address system announcers will remain stable. These announcers will continue to present important information to customers or provide entertainment for special events.
Strong competition is expected for jobs as a radio or television announcer. Many of the openings will be due to people leaving jobs and the need to replace workers who move out of smaller markets or out of the radio or television fields entirely.
Applicants need to be persistent and flexible because many entry-level positions will require moving to a smaller market city. Small radio and television stations are more inclined to hire beginners, but the pay is low.
Those with a formal education in journalism, broadcasting, or mass communications and with hands-on work experience at a radio or television network will have the best job prospects.
In addition, because announcers may be responsible for gathering video or audio for their programs or for updating and maintaining the station's website, multimedia and computer skills are beneficial.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Media and communication workers
Public address system and other announcers
Radio and television announcers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program