How to Become a TV Presenter in the US

TV Presenter

Beyond our love for TV, there is just something more that keep us tuned into our favorite shows or programs. Whether you are a faithful of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel’s Jimmy Kimmel Live or Ellen DeGeneres’ show, there is little doubt the presenters give the programs an edge. If you fancy taking up their roles or launching your own TV show or program, here is what you need to know about the work of TV presenters.

What do TV presenters do?

Much of the hard work is done by the team that works behind the scenes, so the job of TV presenters is to:

  • Introduce viewers to the program
  • Interview program contributors – Depending on the show, these could be politicians, celebrities, newsmakers, government officials, sports personalities, corporate figures etc.
  • Take instruction from the producer
  • Help program researchers find topics to be covered during the program
  • Assist producers in identifying suitable contributors for the show
  • Stay abreast of current affairs and industry trends
  • Make promotional appearances in industry events

In general, TV presenters are the face of a program. Their stylistic reputation plays a huge role in developing the program’s audience

Work environment

The work schedules of TV presenters often depends on whether their shows are live or recorded. Those who hold live shows typically have irregular schedules, as they have to be present when the show is scheduled to go on air. On the other hand, those whose shows are recorded, generally work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and sometimes during the weekend.

While at work, TV presenters spend their time in a studio environment, complete with regulated sound, air and lighting. If you are camera-shy, start befriending them!


According to job site Indeed, TV presenters earn an average annual salary of $92,000 a year.

Entry requirements

There are no set educational requirements for becoming a TV presenter. While some employers go for folks with professional training in broadcast journalism, others go for reputable celebrities without any relevant credential. In short, it all depends on the needs of the show or program.

Nonetheless, it is not advisable to seek celebrity status as a means of breaking into the TV industry. Instead, you should pursue a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism or television broadcasting. These programs will equip you with the knowledge of TV production, TV reporting, mass communication and writing for TV.

You can also get started with a bachelor’s degree in communication or journalism.

Some programs, especially political ones, may require hosts with a background in political science.

Important qualities

To succeed as a TV presenter, a lot depends on your professional skills and personal attributes. Here are the qualities you need:

  • An outgoing personality
  • Self-confidence
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • A good memory
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Good quick-thinking and creative skills
  • Good research skills
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure
  • The ability to stay composed when interviewing intimidating program contributors (strong interviewing skills)
  • Time management skills
  • Good multitasking and organizational skills
  • The ability to view critics of the program positively
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good teamwork skills

Career advancement

Once your program goes on air, focus on growing your audience. Patience is key, as it may take you some time to realize this goal.

In this industry, your advancement lies squarely on how well you perform on your first job. If your program becomes the talk of the town and gains a vast audience, larger TV stations will not take long to come your way with fatter paychecks.

As you continue working, you can attend workshops organized by media organizations to improve your skillset. Importantly, use social media tools to monitor what viewers are saying about your program and implement suitable changes to your presenting style.

You may also pursue a master’s degree in broadcast journalism to enhance your professional knowledge.

Job opportunities

Although TV stations are the primary employers of TV presenters, employment opportunities are also available in companies that provide content for TV stations.

In time, you can advance to launch your own show, which can be aired by a large station.

Competition for jobs in the TV industry is quite fierce. It takes a combination of skill, education and talent to stand out from the crowd. Attend industry events, such as TV awards, and network with other industry professionals to improve your chances of getting insider information when vacancies occur.

So if you are keen on joining the epic battle of TV presenters for America’s wandering eyes, you now know what it takes. Good luck!