How Much Do News Anchors Make? (Plus How To Become One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 27, 2022 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated June 27, 2022

Published December 12, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as a news anchor can lead to exciting career opportunities in broadcasting. You could make a wide salary range as a news anchor, depending on your location and experience level. Discovering how much news anchors make can help you decide whether this career path is a good choice for you. 

In this article, we discuss how much news anchors make and explore how to pursue this career path.

What do news anchors do?

News anchors are broadcast journalists who report news live from TV studios or radio stations. They read news from a teleprompter or script, including stories they’ve developed, introductions to prerecorded videos and live broadcasts from news reporters. News anchors also may introduce other specialized journalists for focused news segments or interview people in the studio. To develop stories, they research current events and interview subjects. They also write stories and scripts. Many news anchors also select, produce or edit videos to accompany the stories they report.

Read more: Learn About Being a News Anchor

How much do news anchors make?

News anchors earn an average salary of $37,243 per year. An anchor’s experience level and location are two of the biggest factors that affect their earning potential, along with how large their station is and their education. Common benefits for news anchors include paid time off, health insurance and 401(k) matching.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.

Related: 14 Well-Paying Jobs for Journalism Majors

News anchor salaries by state

Typical salaries for news anchors can vary significantly across the nation. Here are the salaries for news anchors in each state:

  • Alabama: $39,731 per year

  • Alaska: $48,410 per year

  • Arizona: $29,397 per year

  • Arkansas: $32,612 per year

  • California: $46,822 per year

  • Colorado: $37,947 per year

  • Connecticut: $36,593 per year

  • Delaware: $37,181 per year

  • District of Columbia: $59,181 per year

  • Florida: $28,944 per year

  • Georgia: $36,531 per year

  • Hawaii: $36,958 per year

  • Idaho: $24,957 per year

  • Illinois: $32,338 per year

  • Indiana: $37,203 per year

  • Iowa: $25,777 per year

  • Kansas: $37,703 per year

  • Kentucky: $26,486 per year

  • Louisiana: $32,531 per year

  • Maine: $44,625 per year

  • Maryland: $45,467 per year

  • Massachusetts: $40,553 per year

  • Michigan: $30,133 per year

  • Minnesota: $41,127 per year

  • Mississippi: $30,866 per year

  • Missouri: $37,004 per year

  • Montana: $33,083 per year

  • Nebraska: $39,517 per year

  • Nevada: $27,234 per year

  • New Hampshire: $36,596 per year

  • New Jersey: $29,716 per year

  • New Mexico: $34,174 per year

  • New York: $43,919 per year

  • North Carolina: $32,673 per year

  • North Dakota: $33,654 per year

  • Ohio: $28,455 per year

  • Oklahoma: $35,205 per year

  • Oregon: $33,064 per year

  • Pennsylvania: $30,384 per year

  • Rhode Island: $51,972 per year

  • South Carolina: $26,472 per year

  • South Dakota: $47,685 per year

  • Tennessee: $33,235 per year

  • Texas: $40,495 per year

  • Utah: $35,797 per year

  • Vermont: $35,216 per year

  • Virginia: $60,600 per year

  • Washington: $41,173 per year

  • West Virginia: $27,733 per year

  • Wisconsin: $30,086 per year

  • Wyoming: $34,964 per year

Related: Anchor vs. Reporter: What Are the Differences Between Them?

What is the work environment for news anchors?

News anchors typically work in television or radio studios, where they discuss current and local events live. Before they begin broadcasting, they may work in office settings, where they review notes and practice scripts. They also spend time in wardrobe and makeup rooms, where stylists and makeup artists prepare them to go on air.

Many news anchors work full time, and they often report during multiple news programs each day. They may work in the early mornings, during the day, in the evenings or on weekends. Some news anchors may be on call so they can report on breaking news when it happens.

Related: Jobs at a TV Station: 12 Roles

How do you become a news anchor?

To become a news anchor, consider these four steps:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

First, pursue a bachelor's degree to build a foundation in language, journalism and communications. Here are some of the most common majors you can pursue if you want to become a news anchor: 

  • Communications: This major can give you a broad foundation in media and global culture. It often includes classes on communication and technology, mass media, rhetoric and the public sphere, public speaking and advocacy.

  • Journalism: With this course of study, you can learn how to tell captivating, fact-based stories while following a series of ethical principles. Coursework usually includes multimedia storytelling, field reporting, investigative reporting, videography and media law.

  • English: This major can teach you the basics of reading, writing, speaking and listening effectively. When you study English, you can expect to take classes on literature, creative writing, philosophy and interdisciplinary areas, like modern thought or political science.

  • Political science: With this major, you can develop a strong foundation in political science, history and international issues. Courses generally cover American government, politics and the media, international relations and current events, like climate change and food politics.

Related:10 Types of Communications Degrees To Consider for Your Career

2. Gain relevant work experience

Before you begin looking for news anchor jobs, get experience working in the news industry. Some popular entry-level jobs for news anchors include volunteering for a college TV or radio station or interning for a local news station. You also may find work as a reporter for a print or broadcast publication, which can help you learn how to use your journalism skills in a professional setting.

Another good way to earn experience in journalism is to freelance. Many media outlets provide freelance opportunities for reporters, photographers and videographers, and this can give you an opportunity to gain industry experience while pursuing an education or working in a different industry.

Related: Learn About the Best Options for Journalism Careers

3. Practice important skills

To help you succeed as a news anchor, there are some hard and soft skills you can improve. For example, you may use excellent communication skills to speak clearly and discuss news stories effectively. You also use strong interpersonal skills to create relationships with viewers, fellow anchors and interviewees. Strong computer skills can help you record or edit digital news pieces.

Read more: Multimedia Journalist Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Create a resume

Once you complete the basic requirements for working as a news anchor, you can create a resume that showcases your skills and experience. Include your college degree and relevant coursework, and discuss your internships and work experience. You can also create a portfolio with video clips that show your speech and delivery style. Consider preparing to provide professional references upon request.

Related: News Reporter Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide With Example

What advancement opportunities are available for news anchors?

After gaining experience in the broadcast news field, successful news anchors may be able to pursue a wide range of advanced positions. Those who start out working in smaller cities often can aim to become news anchors for larger TV stations in major cities or even for national networks. Experienced news anchors can also aim to become news directors for stations or TV networks. Anchors also can use their skills to transition to being news producers, who work with reporters or directors to develop and manage stories for a broadcast.

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