A microphone in a broadcasting studio where students can learn how to become a play-by-play announcer

Working as a play-by-play announcer is one goal that takes plenty of practice and a lot of sports knowledge to fulfill. High school students who see this as their ideal career need to follow a certain path in order to gain these specialized skills and be successful. Things like practicing giving play-by-play descriptions, obtaining a relevant college degree, and understanding technical sports terms are just the beginning. And speaking of the beginning, students can get their start while they’re still in high school. If you’re wondering how to become a play-by-play announcer, you’re in the right place.

Attend a Pre-College Summer Program

Becoming a play-by-play announcer all starts with a specialized pre-college summer program. Dean College has a program designed just for high school students who want to become play-by-play announcers or work in the general field of sports broadcasting. The two-week program takes place over the summer and includes lectures and presentations by experts in the field, time in both the school radio and television studios (with a professional reel as part of the end results), and even possible college credit. Giving a live play-by-play of a professional sporting event is also on the list of activities, so students truly will learn what it’s like to work in this exciting industry. Students walk away from the program with a good feel for what the wonderful world of sports broadcasting entails.

Get Plenty of On-the-Job Experience in College

In addition to attending a pre-college summer program, it helps to have received plenty of experience while you’re in college. Many schools have a radio station, as well as sports teams, allowing for a number of play-by-play experiences on that level. In addition, getting an internship (for a summer, a school semester, or for a longer period of time, depending on your availability) also provides you with the experience that you need for a career in this field. The more that you know – and the more time that you’ve spent on-air – the better your career prospects will be.

Obtain a Relevant Degree

Many play-by-play announcers and sports broadcasters have a degree in a relevant field. Dean College has a Sports Broadcasting major that includes courses in digital audio and digital video production, talk show hosting, sports information, and more. With that said, other options include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, sport management, or some combination. The best thing about college courses in this field, like the ones offered by Dean College, is the fact that they give students a chance to put together a reel that they can use when looking for a job once they graduate.

Brush Up On Your Sports Knowledge

Listening to play-by-play descriptions when you’re not on the air yourself, helps you get the pattern down. In addition, you’re going to need to know a lot of different sports knowledge. Those announcers often have someone feeding them the information, such as statistics, that they state on air. However, in some cases, they simply know those facts and can pull out the relevant ones when they need to without any help. The more that you know about sports, particularly the sport that you want to focus on, the better you’ll be as a play-by-play announcer.

Ready to begin your career as a play-by-play announcer? Take the first step and sign up for a pre-college summer program today. The knowledge and experience you’ll receive will be invaluable!