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.
How much do news anchors make?
News anchors make an average of $38,647 per year in the United States. The typical salary range for news anchors starts at $14,000 per year and extends to $95,000 per year. Experience level and location are two of the biggest factors that affect news anchors' earning potential.
Top TV 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: $36,139 per year
- Alaska: $38,871 per year
- Arizona: $37,743 per year
- Arkansas: $35,698 per year
- California: $51,001 per year
- Colorado: $38,661 per year
- Connecticut: $39,789 per year
- Delaware: $37,562 per year
- District of Columbia: $50,226 per year
- Florida: $11.48 per hour
- Georgia: $30.22 per hour
- Hawaii: $37,210 per year
- Idaho: $9.25 per hour
- Illinois: $33,988 per year
- Indiana: $48,165 per year
- Iowa: $28,387 per year
- Kansas: $29,665 per year
- Kentucky: $35,418 per year
- Louisiana: $36,281 per year
- Maine: $36,076 per year
- Maryland: $39,880 per year
- Massachusetts: $41,153 per year
- Michigan: $37,206 per year
- Minnesota: $26,306 per year
- Mississippi: $25,434 per year
- Missouri: $37,583 per year
- Montana: $34,565 per year
- Nebraska: $27,764 per year
- Nevada: $28,272 per year
- New Hampshire: $36,923 per year
- New Jersey: $40,013 per year
- New Mexico: $36,429 per year
- New York: $43,216 per year
- North Carolina: $37,451 per year
- North Dakota: $37,017 per year
- Ohio: $37,124 per year
- Oklahoma: $35,690 per year
- Oregon: $38,366 per year
- Pennsylvania: $38,163 per year
- Rhode Island: $37,597 per year
- South Carolina: $36,328 per year
- South Dakota: $35,400 per year
- Tennessee: $36,624 per year
- Texas: $39,807 per year
- Utah: $35,925 per year
- Vermont: $36,336 per year
- Virginia: $39,250 per year
- Washington: $40,282 per year
- West Virginia: $34,818 per year
- Wisconsin: $37,096 per year
- Wyoming: $37,951 per year
What do news anchors do?
News anchors deliver live news from TV studios. They read news from a teleprompter, which includes stories that they have developed and introductions to pre-recorded videos and live broadcasts from news reporters. News anchors may also introduce other specialized anchors for focused news segments, or interview people in the studio.
To develop stories, news anchors research current events and interview subjects. They also write stories and scripts. Many news anchors also select or produce videos to accompany the stories they discuss.
What is the work environment like for news anchors?
News anchors typically work in television studios, where they discuss current and local events on live TV. 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 TV.
Most news anchors work full time, and they often present one or more TV news programs each day. They may work in the early mornings, during the day, in the evenings or on weekends. Some TV news anchors may be on call so they can comment on breaking news when it happens.
What advancement opportunities are available for news anchors?
After gaining experience in the broadcast news field, successful TV anchors may be able to pursue a wide range of advanced positions. Those who start out working in smaller cities often aim to become news anchors for bigger TV stations in major cities or even for national networks. Experienced news anchors can also aim to become news directors for TV stations and networks.
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How do you become a news anchor?
Most employers expect news anchors to have a bachelor's degree, relevant work experience and key skills. To become a news anchor, follow these five steps:
- Earn a bachelor's degree.
- Gain relevant work experience.
- Create a resume.
- Practice important skills.
- Look for opportunities to advance.
1. Earn a bachelor's degree
First, pursue a bachelor's degree to build a foundation in language, journalism and communications. To prepare for a career as a news anchor, choose one of the most popular majors for this career:
This major can give you a broad foundation in media and global culture, due to classes on communication and technology, mass media, rhetoric and the public sphere, public speaking and argumentation and advocacy.
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 creating news applications.
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.
With this major, you can build 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 Popular History Degree Jobs
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
- Interning with a local news station
- Working as a field reporter or a correspondent for a news station
3. Create a resume
Once you have completed the basic requirements for working as a news anchor, 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. Be prepared to provide professional references upon request.
Related: How to Make a Resume (With Examples)
4. Practice important skills
To succeed as a news anchor, you should take every possible opportunity to improve your skills. For example, you need excellent communication skills to speak clearly and discuss news stories effectively. You also need strong interpersonal skills to create relationships with viewers, fellow anchors and interviewees. Also, you may need computer skills if you record or edit your own digital news pieces.
5. Look for opportunities to advance
After gaining five or more years of experience as a news anchor, you may be ready for a new professional challenge. Consider looking for a job as a news anchor in a larger city or as a news director for a TV station or network.