Job Prospects... At a glance
The chances of getting work as a radio or TV presenter are limited because the news and entertainment industry in New Zealand is small and competition for roles is high. Because many people want to work in these roles it can be hard to get established.
Radio and TV presenters host and present shows. They guide the viewers or listeners through the programmes, interview guests, and provide information about the subjects of the programmes.
There are no entry requirements for becoming a presenter. The most important thing is to have a clear voice and be a skilled and confident public speaker. Having a good knowledge of the content is also important. Because of this, many presenters have a background in the subject they present.
Almost all news and current affairs presenters are educated as journalists, and have journalism experience in the field they present. For example, a presenter of a political show may have experience as a political journalist. For presenters of entertainment and non-news based shows, other education or experience can be more important.
|Bachelor of Communication Studies|
|$19,500 over three years|
Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to feesfree.govt.nz. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.
A Bachelor of Communication Studies costs around $19,500 over three years. This is a popular degree among students who want to become journalists, but it is not a requirement, although useful for both journalists and presenters. Other ways of entering this occupation may cost less.
Polytechnics also offer various courses in media and communication which could be relevant for radio or TV presenters. Check directly with the appropriate polytechnic for prices.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
AUT and Massey University offer a bachelor’s degree in communications. Polytechnics and other universities offer other degrees that could be relevant for a radio or TV presenter. Competenz provides an overview of the different options for someone wanting to study journalism. The New Zealand Broadcasting School at the Ara Institute in Canterbury is a particularly popular institution for aspiring radio and television presenters
AUT, Bachelor of Communication Studies: www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/communications/?a=55665
Massey University, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism Studies): www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/programme-course-paper/programme.cfm?prog_id=93330&major_code=2573
Competenz, journalism: www.competenz.org.nz/industries/communications-and-media/journalism
New Zealand Broadcasting School: www.ara.ac.nz/study-options/our-study-interest-areas/new-zealand-broadcasting-school
The number of students completing a bachelor’s degree in the broader category communication and media studies has decreased slightly for the last few years since the peak of 1245 in 2014.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
The average annual income for radio and TV presenters is estimated to be around $67,200. Pay rates vary depending on your ability and experience, location, and the type of work, and the range of incomes is large. For example a presenter with years of experience, a high viewer following, high popularity and expert knowledge in an area would earn well above the average
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index
Radio and television presenters’ employment
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Projected growth is for the broader category of “Media Professionals”.
The number of radio and TV presenters employed in New Zealand decreased from 2006 to 2013. Future growth for the wider category of ‘Media Professionals’ is projected to be 3.5% each year to 2021, and then 2.2% out to 2026.
There is, however, plenty of competition for available roles, which means it can be hard to find work. It is particularly hard for inexperienced people to enter the industry.
Given the industry disruption and rapid growth of video, the nature of these roles can expect to change over time as traditional television viewing habits are challenged. Live streaming and social media have quickly become important parts of TV and radio presenters’ roles.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
Radio and TV presenters are not on Immigration New Zealand's skills shortage lists.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
Although some radio and TV presenter vacancies are advertised through talent agencies and websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek, most rely on connections and reputation to find work. Proactive job-seeking with potential employers is another potential way to find work. Many presenters start out by doing an internship while completing their studies.
There is no clear career path for radio and TV presenters. Most get their first opportunity at a local radio or TV station and join a national station once they have built up enough experience and reputation. Some also start out in radio and move on to TV later in their careers. Viewing or listening numbers are often used as a measure of success in this occupation.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require different qualifications and skills than radio and TV presenters.
More information on radio and TV presenters is available on the Careers New Zealand website.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of radio and television presenters has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:
212113 – Radio Presenter
212114 – Television Presenter