How to Become a News Anchor

News Anchor Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $36,770
Avg. Pay / hour $17.68
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 1%

If you’re interested in journalism, are quick witted, and have a pleasant manner then you might like to become a news anchor.

To be successful in this role you’ll need to have sharp reporting skills but also be well be able to speak well when presenting the news to an audience.

Most news anchors train as journalists, and often work as reporters or writers for many years before they land a role as new anchor.

The path to become a news anchor can be a challenging one, so prepare yourself for some hard work and lots of competition along the way.

Education Requirements to Become a News Anchor

To become a news anchor, you’ll need to first gain qualifications as a journalist.

You will need to complete a four year journalism, writing, or communications degree.

While you’re at college, working on your school’s paper or magazine is a good way to get media experience, as are internships at local TV stations or any other roles you can get.

While you are studying you should put your focus on developing a demo roll.

This is a series of clips of you presenting the news or reporting on stories.

You could use assignments you did as a part of class, stories you covered for college papers, or perhaps something you completed while at an internship.

In many media agencies, journalists are being asked to have more skills than researching and writing.

Having skills in computer photo editing and video editing can go a long way to helping you land that first job.

News Anchor Job Description

When you become a news anchor, your main role is to present the news.

You’ll be the host of a news program and will introduce the many stories of the day which is then presented by various reporters.

However, there is much more to this job than just reading from a teleprompter.

News anchors sort through the news of the day and decide what will be a part of the day’s broadcast.

A news anchor may also interview guests in the studio or at time present their own news reports.

A news anchor must be in the studio well before a broadcast, which is live, is shot.

Not only must a news anchor be trained as a journalist, and up to date with current events, but they must be very well presented.

This means that they will always be well dressed by a wardrobe department, and have their hair and make-up immaculate before a broadcast.

This applies to men as well as women.

Here are some of the duties of a news anchor:

  • Analyzing the news of the day
  • Reviewing reported compiled
  • Writing copy for the broadcast
  • Having hair and make-up completed
  • Presenting the news and introducing stories
  • Reporting on the news
  • Interviewing guests

News Anchor Salary and Career Path

When you become a news anchor, it’s unlikely you’ll land the job in a big station or national network that you’ve been dreaming of right away.

Your start will most likely be in a local station.

or you may need to relocate to get that first job.

Many new anchors first start out as reporters, then wait for their big break to get into the anchor’s seat.

Once you are working as an anchor, you may be promoted to a job for a high profile or national network.

Some news anchors may become broadcast or production managers.

Some move on to other areas of the media, such as print journalism.

The median salary of a news anchor is $51,000 a year.

the top 10% of earners made over $151,000 a year.

When starting out, you’ll be more likely to earn closer to $30,000 a year.

You can find out more about broadcasting careers from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Some similar roles to that of news anchor you might be interested in include:

  • Journalist
  • News reporter
  • Author
  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Announcer

Working as a news anchor can certainly be tough.

First of all you have to struggle to get that first job, then later on face living your life in the media spotlight.

However, if you are passionate about journalism and want a job on TV, then following this career path could be very rewarding.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$111,360
New Hampshire$51,280
New Jersey$76,110
New Mexico$52,290
New York$95,510
North Carolina$53,580
North Dakota$47,210
Rhode Island$73,460
South Carolina$53,890
South Dakota$38,130
West Virginia$33,840
Puerto Rico$47,580

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $111,360.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $111,360
New York - $95,510
Connecticut - $82,080
Georgia - $77,610
New Jersey - $76,110
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists, OCC Code 27-3023, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a news anchor?

News anchors are journalists who present news stories.

They can report the news during a news program on television, on the radio or on the internet.

News anchors need great public speaking skills to concisely and accurately present the news to their audience.

In order to be successful as a news anchor, you need viewers who trust you.

Although news anchors are live on television only 1 or 2 hours a day, they typically work far longer than the duration of the newscast and their responsibilities involve way more than just reading the teleprompter.

Sometimes they may also research current events and meet and collaborate with the reporters, news director, and other anchors.

News anchors also need to organize the news in order to present them in a logical manner and they may also interview people.

How much does a news anchor make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, broadcast news analysts who work for radio and television earned a median salary of $64,600, as of May 2018.

How much an anchor actually makes depends on the news station and the region.

Those who work for larger markets typically earn more than the rest but you will usually need a few years of experience working for a smaller station before being ready to make the transition towards a bigger news station.

How much does it cost to become a news anchor?

News anchors are journalists and typically need at least an undergraduate degree in journalism or communications.

Those who major in a related field, such as political science or English, may also find employment in the news industry.

A four-year bachelor’s degree program in journalism costs around $150,000 but tuition costs vary widely depending on many factors.

A master’s degree in the field may also help you prove your skills to a potential employer and will cost you an additional $10,000-$25,000, depending on the school you choose.

What is the demand for news anchors?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of broadcast news analysts is expected to grow 1 percent from 2018 and 2028, slower than the average for all occupations.

The slow growth rate is caused, in part, by the fact that the advertising revenue in radio and television is declining and this is forcing news stations to downsize and employ fewer journalists.

The competition is expected to be strong and a few years of experience in the field should give you better job prospects.

How long does it take to become a news anchor?

As a news anchor, you will need a four-year bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field.

A graduate program may help you have better job prospects; a master’s degree can typically be earned in around two years.

In order to find employment as a news anchor you will need experience in the field, and participating in an internship during college or working for a smaller news station can help you gain that experience.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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