A presenter is the front person for television and radio programmes, appearing regularly on every edition of the programme and linking guest speakers. They may work in announcing, linking programmes and reading bulletins.
You might work on various kinds of programmes, for example news, chat shows, children’s shows, quiz shows, sport or political programmes.
As a TV or radio presenter you could be:
researching and writing scripts
discussing and planning the programme with the director or producer
reading content from a script or autocue
introducing clips of news stories or live reports from journalists on location
introducing and interviewing celebrities and politicians
following instructions from the director or floor manager through an earpiece
presenting live broadcasts that may require thinking of what to say on the spot (ad-libbing)
presenting recorded broadcasts that may require a number of ‘takes’
cueing up (setting up) music and adverts to be played.
As a continuity announcer you could be:
providing links between programmes, chatting or telling jokes either scripted or unscripted
reading short news, traffic or weather bulletins.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Most presenters start as unpaid interns to gain experience. Salaries vary greatly depending on your experience and where you are working. Many presenters work freelance for different companies. Well-known presenters earn significantly higher salaries.
You will work from studios but might travel about on location.
You might work early mornings, evenings, nights or weekends and split shifts.
Employment is likely to be on short contracts and freelance work is very common.
You will often work under pressure — broadcasting while listening to what is happening in the gallery if there are technical problems.
Programmes may be pre-recorded and involve a number of 'takes', or the show may be live where there is no room for error.
a clear and attractive speaking voice and conversational style
good organisation and planning skills
an enquiring mind and good memory
a flow of good ideas
awareness of the technical aspects of broadcasting
a knowledge of media law and a willingness to keep to the rules
knowledge about current affairs or about specialist topics such as sport.
You also need:
good research and interviewing skills
an ability to build a rapport with guests and audiences
an ability to work under pressure and make quick decisions
resilience to cope with rejection and criticism.
Most training is on the job.
Entry to specialist courses is very competitive.
The BBC runs training schemes for broadcasting journalists. Other broadcasters run short courses.
Within Scotland, most top jobs are in the cities, but there are openings for beginners in local radio and TV stations.
Knowledge of Gaelic can widen the range of opportunities, because of the growth of Gaelic broadcasting.
Although you might get a long term contract, you will most probably work freelance, with little job security.
You might start as a continuity announcer in local radio and move on to present radio programmes on a regular basis.
BBC Scotland runs an apprenticeship scheme for people who are keen to get into a career in the media industry. As well as learning on the job at BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in various departments, you will study towards a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at a Glasgow college. Ideally applicants will have National 5 English and Maths, good IT skills and a keen interest in media. You must be at least 18 at the start date of the apprenticeship. Entry is very competitive as places are limited. For any questions and updates by following @BBCGetin on Twitter. If you would like to find out more or check on application deadline dates visit BBC Scotland Careers.
Trainee Finder is ScreenSkills flagship new entrant programme which offers paid work placements across a range of roles in film and TV. Applications are currently closed for the 2024-25 programme. Recruitment will usually begin around September of the year before placement. Find out more and apply online by visiting the Film Trainee Finder website.