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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftGPn35lNhw.
Quick Facts: Announcers and DJs
2021 Median Pay $18.03 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2021 40,300
Job Outlook, 2021-31 -4% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2021-31 -1,700

What Announcers and DJs Do

Announcers present news and sports or may interview guests on media such as radio and television. Disc jockeys (DJs) act as masters of ceremonies (emcees) or play recorded music at weddings, parties, or clubs.

Work Environment

Many announcers and DJs work in radio and television studios or are self-employed. Some work part time, and schedules might include early mornings, nights, weekends, and holidays.

How to Become an Announcer or DJ

Entry requirements for announcers and DJs vary. Broadcast announcers and radio DJs typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications; experience gained from internships or working at a school radio or television station is helpful. Other types of DJs typically need a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.

Pay

The median hourly wage for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys was $18.09 in May 2021.

The median hourly wage for disc jockeys, except radio was $15.70 in May 2021.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of announcers and DJs is projected to decline 4 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Despite declining employment, about 3,500 openings for announcers and DJs are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for announcers and DJs.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of announcers and DJs with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about announcers and DJs by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Announcers and DJs Do About this section

Radio and television announcers
Radio and television announcers present news and opinions and take calls from listeners.

Announcers present news and sports or may interview guests on media such as radio and television. Disc jockeys (DJs) act as masters of ceremonies (emcees) or play recorded music at weddings, parties, or clubs.

Duties

Announcers and DJs typically do the following:

  • Present music and information on radio or television shows or at venues
  • Interview guests on their shows
  • Research topics for comment and discussion during shows
  • Read prepared scripts on radio or television shows or at venues
  • Provide commentary for the audience during events
  • Select program content
  • Introduce upcoming acts and guide the audience through the entertainment
  • Make promotional appearances at public or private events

Broadcast announcers and radio DJs present music or the news, sports, traffic, and weather. Announcers are expected to be up to date with current events or a specific field, such as politics or sports, so that they can comment on these issues during their programs. In addition, they schedule guests on their shows and work with producers to develop other creative content. Radio DJs typically specialize in one kind of music genre and announce selections as they air them. They may take requests from listeners, manage radio contests, or announce traffic conditions.

Broadcast announcers and radio DJs also may be responsible for other aspects of television or radio programming. They may operate studio equipment, sell commercial time to advertisers, or develop advertisements and other recorded material. At many radio stations, they do much of the work traditionally done by editors and broadcast technicians, such as broadcasting program schedules, commercials, and public service announcements.

Many broadcast announcers and DJs maintain a presence on social media sites. Establishing a presence allows them to promote their stations and engage with their audiences, especially through listener feedback, music requests, or program contests. They also make promotional appearances at charity functions or other community events.

The following are examples of types of broadcast announcers and radio DJs:

  • Podcasters stream live or record shows that can be downloaded for listening at any time. Like traditional talk radio, podcasts typically focus on a specific subject, such as sports, politics, or movies. Podcasters may interview guests and experts on the specific program topic. Listeners may subscribe to a podcast to have new episodes automatically downloaded to their computer or mobile devices.
  • Talk show hosts may work in radio or television and specialize in an area of interest, such as politics, personal finance, sports, or health. They contribute to the preparation of program content, interview guests, and discuss issues with viewers, listeners, or the studio audience.

DJs, except radio play prerecorded music for live audiences at a variety of venues or events, including clubs, parties, and wedding receptions. The following are examples of types of DJs, except radio:

  • Emcees host planned events. They introduce speakers or performers to the audience. They may tell jokes or provide commentary to transition from one speaker to the next.
  • Party DJs are hired to provide music and commentary at an event, such as a wedding, a birthday party, or a corporate party.

Work Environment About this section

Radio and television announcers
Radio and television announcers work with a variety of studio equipment.

Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys held about 25,000 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys were as follows:

Radio broadcasting 72%
Television broadcasting 10
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 4
Educational services; state, local, and private 3
Other information services 1

Disc jockeys, except radio held about 15,300 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of disc jockeys, except radio were as follows:

Food services and drinking places 12%
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 11
Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries 4

Broadcast announcers and radio DJs usually work in well-lit, temperature-controlled, soundproof studios. Some radio DJs produce and record their shows while working from home.

DJs, except radio work in a variety of settings, either indoors or outdoors or both. They travel to the location of the event they are hosting.

The pressure of deadlines and tight work schedules may be stressful.

Work Schedules

Work schedules for announcers and DJs vary and may include early mornings, late nights, weekends, or holidays. Part-time work also may be common.

How to Become an Announcer or DJ About this section

Radio and television announcers
Many announcers have a bachelor’s degree as well as experience working with radio and television equipment.

Entry requirements for announcers and DJs vary. Broadcast announcers and radio DJs typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications; experience gained from internships or working at a school radio or television station is helpful. Other types of DJs typically need a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.

Education

Broadcast announcers and radio DJs typically need a bachelor’s degree in communications, broadcasting, or journalism. However, some jobs may be available for workers who have a high school diploma or equivalent. DJs, except radio typically need a high school diploma and some on-the-job training.

Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have hands-on skills or knowledge. High school and college students interested in a career as an announcer or DJ may benefit from taking speech classes and participating in opportunities to practice public speaking. These may include making announcements on their school’s public address system, working at their school’s radio or television station, or serving as an emcee at events. Internships also may be available, although they are often limited to college students.

Training

Radio and television announcers whose highest level of education is a high school diploma or equivalent also may need some short-term on-the-job training to learn how to operate audio and production equipment.

Advancement

Because radio and television stations in small markets have limited staff, advancement within the same small-market station is unlikely. Rather, many broadcast announcers and radio DJs advance by relocating to a large-market station. These larger markets often offer higher pay and more responsibility and challenges than do small markets.

When making hiring decisions, large-market stations rely on workers' personalities and past performance. Broadcast announcers and radio DJs need to have proven that they can attract, engage, and keep the attention of a sizeable audience.

Important Qualities

Business skills. DJs, except radio who are self-employed must be able to market themselves and identify clients. They also need to manage the details of their business, including billing, budgeting, and other financial matters.

Computer skills. Announcers and DJs, especially those seeking careers in radio or television, should be comfortable using editing software and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. Broadcast announcers and radio DJs interview guests, answer phone calls on air, and may interact with listeners on social media. Party DJs and emcees should be comfortable working with clients to plan entertainment options.

Persistence. Entry into this occupation is very competitive, and candidates may need to audition many times for an opportunity to work on the air. Entry-level broadcast announcers and radio DJs must be willing to work for a small station to secure their first job.

Research skills. Announcers and DJs must research important topics of the day in order to be knowledgeable enough to comment on them during their program.

Speaking skills. Announcers and DJs must have a pleasant and well-controlled voice, good timing, and excellent pronunciation. Party DJs and emcees must be comfortable speaking to large audiences.

Writing skills. Announcers and DJs need strong writing skills because they normally write their own material.

Pay About this section

Announcers and DJs

Median hourly wages, May 2021

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

$24.61

Total, all occupations

$22.00

Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys

$18.09

Announcers and DJs

$18.03

Disc jockeys, except radio

$15.70

 

The median hourly wage for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys was $18.09 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.99, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $49.56.

The median hourly wage for disc jockeys, except radio was $15.70 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.68, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $37.98.

In May 2021, the median hourly wages for broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Television broadcasting $29.23
Other information services 29.13
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 28.73
Educational services; state, local, and private 23.26
Radio broadcasting 16.92

In May 2021, the median hourly wages for disc jockeys, except radio in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries $23.18
Food services and drinking places 15.15
Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries 14.67

Work schedules for announcers and DJs vary and may include early mornings, late nights, weekends, or holidays. Part-time work also may be common.

Job Outlook About this section

Announcers and DJs

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Disc jockeys, except radio

7%

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

7%

Total, all occupations

5%

Announcers and DJs

-4%

Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys

-11%

 

Overall employment of announcers and DJs is projected to decline 4 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Despite declining employment, about 3,500 openings for announcers and DJs are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Projected employment of announcers and DJs varies by occupation (see table).

Continuing consolidation of radio and television stations will limit employment growth of broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys (DJs). In addition, over-the-air radio broadcasts will continue to face competition from an increasing number of online and satellite radio stations. More listeners are tuning in to these stations, which can be personalized, reducing the number of listeners to traditional radio broadcasts and decreasing the demand for radio DJs.

DJs, with the exception of radio DJs, will be in demand to play prerecorded music for live audiences at venues or events such as clubs, parties, and wedding receptions.

Employment projections data for announcers and DJs, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Announcers and DJs

40,300 38,600 -4 -1,700

Broadcast announcers and radio disc jockeys

27-3011 25,000 22,200 -11 -2,800 Get data

Disc jockeys, except radio

27-2091 15,300 16,400 7 1,100 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of announcers and DJs.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Actors Actors

Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, television, and other performing arts media.

Some college, no degree The annual wage is not available.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for media programs.

See How to Become One $48,790
Musicians and singers Musicians and Singers

Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios.

No formal educational credential The annual wage is not available.
Producers and directors Producers and Directors

Producers and directors make business and creative decisions about film, television, stage, and other productions.

Bachelor's degree $79,000
Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

News analysts, reporters, and journalists keep the public updated about current events and noteworthy information.

Bachelor's degree $48,370
Writers and authors Writers and Authors

Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media.

Bachelor's degree $69,510
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Announcers and DJs,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/announcers.htm (visited September 08, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2021

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2021, which is the base year of the 2021-31 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2021-31

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.