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5 careers in radio and television

By Jamar Ramos
Published on August 21, 2014.

Did you grow up dreaming of working in television? Do you listen to your favorite radio show or podcast and wonder how you can work behind the scenes, or even as on-air talent?

If so, here are five behind-the-scenes careers in radio and television broadcasting that you may be interested in pursuing.

1. Sound engineers operate and repair radio equipment, including the mixing board. They also make sure cables are connected correctly so shows can be broadcast and recorded. Sound engineers may work at concerts, sporting arenas and events, and big meetings. A certificate or an associate degree may be enough to qualify you for an entry-level position. Although optional, certification can improve one's job prospects, as it is an indication that technicians are familiar with the latest technologies and meet industry standards, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes. The BLS estimates broadcast and sound engineering technician jobs to grow by 9 percent nationally between 2012 through 2022.

2. Sales agents sell advertising space to companies and individuals. They also build relationships with clients and find the best way to promote their products and bring in more advertising dollars. According to the BLS, while a bachelor's degree is not always a requirement for entry-level jobs, many companies prefer applicants who have a degree. Coursework in business, marketing, communications or advertising can help prepare students for a sales agent career. As reported by the BLS, sales agents had a national mean wage of $57,440 in 2013; the career is expected to decline by 1 percent nationally between 2012 and 2013.

3. Reporters and correspondents are the on-air talent that research and deliver the local and national news. Reporters may also work for print and online publications as writers of blogs, articles and opinion pieces. While print media may be in decline, online media outlets are moving to replace them. Earning a bachelor's in journalism, communications or English may qualify you for jobs in this field. The BLS reports a 2013 national mean wage of $44,360 for reporters and correspondents and a 13 percent decline in projected national job growth between 2012 and 2022.

4. Television producers handle the financial and business decisions for a television show. Producers typically earn a bachelor's degree in film, but many producers have a degree in writing, business or communications. The BLS expects jobs for producers -- and a related field, directors -- to grow by 3 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022. Students interested in this career can visit the Producers Guild of America website, which features jobs, fellowships and workshops.

5. Camera operators help set up the best recording angles and work with directors to film shots and create a coherent, finished product. Some camera operators may also be skilled in editing film. They can work on various types of videos -- films, television shows, music videos, or even sports events. The BLS states that the mean annual wage for camera operators in 2013 was $52,530, and the 2012-22 projected national growth rate is 3 percent.

Sources:

Advertising Sales Agents, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes413011.htm

Advertising Sales Agents, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm

Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes274031.htm

Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/film-and-video-editors-and-camera-operators.htm

Producers and Directors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes272012.htm

Producers and Directors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/producers-and-directors.htm

Producers Guild of America, http://www.producersguild.org/

Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273022.htm

Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/reporters-correspondents-and-broadcast-news-analysts.htm

Society of Broadcast Engineers, http://www.sbe.org/

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