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Cause Magazine


More than 1,200 institutions offer pro- grams in communications, journalism, and related programs. As of 2004, there were 104 schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Some community colleges offer 2-year programs in broadcasting. Broadcast trade schools offer courses that last 6 months to a year and teach radio and television announcing, writing, and production.


Individuals pursuing a career in broadcasting often gain initial experience through work at college radio and televi- sion stations or through internships at pro- fessional stations. Although these positions usually are unpaid, they sometimes provide college credit or tuition. More importantly, they provide hands-on experience and a competitive edge when applying for jobs. In this highly competitive industry, broad- casters often seek candidates who can per- form the job immediately.


Some technical positions require only a high school diploma. However, many broadcast stations seek individuals with training in broadcast technology, electron- ics, or engineering from a technical school, community college, or 4-year col- lege. An understanding of computer net- works and software will become increas- ingly important as industry use of digital technology expands. Supervisory techni- cal positions and jobs in large stations generally require a college degree. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) issues certification to technicians who pass a written examination. Several classes of certification are available, requiring increasing levels of experience and knowledge for eligibility. The


Telecommunications Act of 1996 man- dated that the FCC drop its licensing requirements for transmitter maintenance; SBE certification has filled the void left by the elimination of this license. Employees in the radio and television broadcasting industry often find their first job in broadcast stations that serve small- er markets. Competition for positions in large metropolitan areas is stronger, and stations in these areas usually seek highly experienced personnel. Because many radio and television stations are small, workers in this industry often must change employers to advance. Relocation to other parts of the country frequently is necessary for advancement. Salaries Weekly earnings of non-supervisory workers in broadcasting averaged $703 in 2004, higher than the average of $529 for all private industry. As a common rule, earnings of broadcast personnel are highest in large metropolitan areas. See Bureau of Labor Statistics chart below for detailed examples.


News operations, programming, and engineering employees work under a great deal of pressure in order to meet deadlines. As a result, these workers are likely to experience varied or erratic work schedules, often working on early morn- ing or late evening news programs.


For more information:


The principal unions representing employees in broadcasting are the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).


For a list of schools with accredited pro- grams in broadcast journalism, visit


• Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas, School of Journalism, www.ku.edu/~acejmc


For career information and links to employ- ment resources, contact:


• National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, Communications Workers of America www.nabetcwa.org For information on broadcasting education and scholarship resources, contact:


• National Association of Broadcasters, Career Center, http://www.nab.org For descriptions of occupations in the cable industry and links to employment resources, contact:


• National Cable and Telecommunications Association, 1724 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Washington, DC 20036.


Median hourly earnings of the largest occupations in broadcasting,May 2004 Occupation


General and operations managers Producers and directors Advertising sales agents


Telecommunications line installers and repairers Reporters and correspondents


Camera operators, television, video, and motion picture Customer service representatives Broadcast technicians Office clerks, general


Radio and television announcers


except Internet Industries $42.73 $21.58 $19.08 $17.35 $16.37 $14.60 $14.00 $12.35 $12.15 $10.51


Broadcasting, All


$37.22 $25.40 $19.37 $19.39 $15.06 $18.08 $12.99 $13.47 $10.95 $10.64


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