news-anchor
How to Become a

News Anchor

The complete career guide to be a News Anchor: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $89,240
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -11.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Skill-Based Work
    Career Attribute
  • Working With People
    Career Attribute

News anchors are the face of local, national, and international news broadcasts. They read the news from teleprompters, conduct interviews with guests, introduce reporters and different news segments, and conduct broadcasts both in the news station and in the field.


What is a News Anchor?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in news anchor roles:

  • Guide local, national, and international news broadcasts by reading stories from a teleprompter and introducing news segments like special reports, weather, and sports
  • Conduct interviews and host guests that are appearing on news broadcasts
  • Ensure proper pronunciation of names and/or places before broadcasts begin
  • Write and fact-check stories that will appear on news broadcasts
  • Conduct broadcasts in the field for major live events

A Day in the Life

News anchors serve as the face of the news for local, national, and international news television broadcasts. News anchors begin the broadcast, read major news stories from a teleprompter, and introduce reporters and other news personalities for special segments. While reading from a teleprompter may sound like a simple job, news anchors are typically the most experienced reporters in an organization and can be viewed as celebrities because they are so recognizable from television.

As more people have turned to the internet to get their news rather than depending on TV news broadcasts, news anchors have had to take on more responsibilities due to newsroom budget cuts. In addition to reading the news during live broadcasts—either from the newsroom or in the field—news anchors may also be responsible for finding their own stories and writing the news they’ll read live during broadcasts. Additionally, they must review their stories before broadcasts to ensure proper pronunciation of difficult-to-pronounce names, places, or events.

The specific duties of a news anchor depend in many ways on the type of station they work for, the hours when they appear on TV, and the types of news they report. For example, local morning news anchors may be required to be on-air for much longer than evening news anchors, and they may also need to conduct interviews or host show guests on-air. National news anchors may be required to host and interview major social and political figures, while local evening news anchors may only be required to read the biggest stories of the day from a teleprompter in 30-minute segments.

Typical Work Schedule

Most news anchor roles are full-time jobs, and overtime is common. Shifts worked may vary greatly: morning news anchors may need to begin working at 2 a.m., but may be off of work by noon. Evening news anchors may need to read the news for after-work, after-dinner, and before-bed broadcasts all in a single day. Anchors may also be required to work on weekends and holidays.

Typical Employers

Most news anchors are employed to work for local affiliates of the big three broadcast television networks: NBC, CBS, and ABC. Some news anchors may also work for the big three national news channels—CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC—or they may also work for specialty news channels like The Weather Channel or ESPN.


How To Become a News Anchor

The first step in becoming a news anchor is to earn a bachelor’s degree. Degrees in journalism, broadcast journalism, or mass communications are the most common, though degrees in similar fields like English or theater may be acceptable as well. During school, it will be important for students to compile a portfolio of print and film clips, as these will be crucial for securing a job after college. Students may be able to work for school media outlets to earn clips, or they may participate in internships.

After earning a degree, becoming a news anchor is a process of gaining experience and moving into larger markets. Most aspiring news anchors begin their careers in very small markets as reporters where they may be required to do all filming, on-camera reporting, and editing of their segments. With experience in small markets and a larger portfolio of exceptional news reports, reporters can work their way into higher-paying and more prestigious reporter roles for larger markets.

With many years of experience as a reporter and a strong portfolio, you may be able to find work as a news anchor. Most new anchors begin by working broadcasts with the least amount of viewership, such as weekend broadcasts. If they’re successful in the role and the public likes them, they can then move into anchoring for more popular broadcast time slots.


News Anchor Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$38,960

Average

$89,240

High Range

---

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$19/hr

Average

$43/hr

High Range

---

How do News Anchor salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, News Anchor's can make an average annual salary of $89,240, or $43 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $38,960 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #98 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a News Anchor. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among News Anchors

  • 3.2%   Doctorate
  • 18.8%   Masters
  • 64.3%   Bachelors
  • 2.3%   Associates
  • 7.4%   College
  • 3.4%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

5,100

2024 Est. Jobs

4,500

Job Growth Rate

-11.8%

Est. New Jobs

-600

How does News Anchor job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -600 jobs for a total of 4,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -11.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #758 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most News Anchors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Television broadcasting 2,900 -300 0%
Radio broadcasting 900 -300 0%
Self-employed workers 700 --- ---

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