TV presenters introduce and host programmes, interview people and report on issues and events.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a TV presenter
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist subject knowledge
Many people get a degree before becoming a TV presenter. Relevant subjects include:
- media production
- drama or performing arts
- journalism or broadcast journalism
- media or communications studies
If you want to work as a presenter for a specialist programme, you may need a science, history or economics degree.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do an advanced apprenticeship in creative media as a first step towards working in the TV industry.
Most people following this route have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
Presenters often move into TV from other media jobs like journalism and research, or from presenting on radio or online.
Volunteering and experience
You could get presenting experience through:
If you have detailed knowledge of a subject like sport, gardening, food or science, you might find work as an expert contributor, presenting or co-presenting programmes with an experienced professional.
Some broadcasters hold competitions to find new presenters.
You’ll usually need a showreel, with clips of yourself on camera, to give to broadcasters, producers or media recruitment agencies.
Competition is strong, so you’ll need determination, persistence and the ability to promote yourself.
Jobs are not always advertised, so you need to make industry contacts to find out who is hiring.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- knowledge of English language
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- active listening skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your daily tasks would depend on the type of show you present, but may include:
- meeting with the production team to go through the running order
- being briefed by researchers, or preparing your own scripts, links and interview questions
- presenting, which may include reading from an autocue, interviewing guests and working with studio audiences
- reacting to instructions given to you through an earpiece by the director or floor manager
- going through several ‘takes’ if necessary
You could work at a TV studio.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
Career path and progression
With an established TV career, you could branch out into radio work, acting or writing for newspapers and magazines.
With experience, you could also choose to move into other areas within the media industry like production.