Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

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Radio and Television Presenters

Job Prospects

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.

How to become a radio or television presenter

What they do

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.

Their tasks may include:

  • introducing programs, music, entertainment items, guests and celebrities
  • preparing and reading news bulletins, making special announcements and providing commentary for sports and other events
  • presenting opinions on sports, politics, and social and economic matters
  • researching,  investigating and compiling stories and programs.

Qualifications needed

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.

Cost of study

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 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.

Tenancy Services: 

Where to study

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: 
Massey University, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism Studies):
Competenz, journalism: 
New Zealand Broadcasting School:

Completed qualifications

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 1240 in 2014.

Qualification completions chart

Source: Ministry of Education

Income and employment prospects


The average annual income for radio and TV presenters is estimated to be around $75,000. 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

Employment and skill shortages

Radio and television presenters’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
1,782 1,833 2,180 2,420
  0.4% 2.9% 1.7%

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 increased from 2006 to 2013. Future growth for the wider category of ‘Media Professionals’ is projected to be 2.9% each year to 2023, and 1.7% out to 2028.

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.

Employment chart

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:

Where to find job vacancies

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.

Trade Me Jobs: 

Career path

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.

Related Occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require different qualifications and skills than radio and TV presenters.

  • Commentator
  • Communications Professional
  • Journalist
  • Radio Presenter
  • Reporter
  • Spokesperson
  • TV Presenter

Other information


More information on radio and TV presenters is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand:


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