Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Television news anchors are often at the top of the heap when it comes to earnings among newsroom employees, earning roughly $60,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2014 data. The income you'll earn in this position can vary widely, however, depending on where you work.
According to the job site Indeed, news anchors earned an average salary of $46,000 as of 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists "Broadcast News Analysts," which includes news anchors, as earning a median annual income of $61,450 as of May 2014. And in 2014, the Radio and Television Digital News Association reported the median salary for news anchors at $62,500.
Large vs. Small Market
In TV news, the size of the market -- measured by the number of people who have access to the TV station's programming -- can cause salaries to vary widely. A station in a large market will have more viewers and more advertising dollars and thus can pay higher salaries for its anchors. According to RTDNA, the median salary for an anchor in markets one to 25 -- meaning the 25 largest markets in the United States -- was $141,300 as of 2014. Anchors in medium-sized markets -- markets 51-100 -- earned a median salary of $78,500, while the anchors in the smallest markets -- markets 150 and beyond -- earned a median salary of $36,000.
Education and Skills
To become a news anchor, you'll need to start off with a degree in journalism, communications, film or a related field. Before and after graduation, seek out internships with news stations, where you can practice your on-camera skills.
Anchors are "people people" with strong verbal communication skills, as well as having good writing and editing skills and sound news judgement. They're able to make on-the-spot decisions and are skilled at improvisation to handle the ups and downs that come with delivering a live broadcast. They also possess leadership skills, since they're often some of the more senior professionals in a newsroom.
Getting the Job
Becoming an anchor typically requires you to hone your on-camera skills and your reporting savvy by working as a TV reporter first. Most recent graduates start off in small-market stations, where they'll get a chance to write, report and sometimes even get anchoring experience. Medium and large-market stations might also take you on as an intern or an entry-level writer, but it may be more difficult to gain on-camera experience.
If you do get on-camera time and you demonstrate sound news judgement and an ability to perform well under pressure, your news director may seek you out to fill in on the anchor desk as needed. You'll get even further by making known your intentions to work as an anchor and seizing any opportunity you can to gain experience.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014 27-3021 Broadcast News Analysts
- Indeed: News Anchor Salary
- Radio and Television Digital News Association: TV salaries barely outpace inflation, radio behind
- NY Castings: Breaking News ... What it takes to make it as TV Correspondent with Journalist Aimee Nuzzo
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
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