On-Air Talent Salary (United States)

An On-Air Talent earns an average salary of $35,537 per year. A skill in Public Speaking is associated with high pay for this job. Pay for this job rises steadily for more experienced workers, but goes down noticeably for employees with more than 20 years' experience.
On-Air Talent Total Pay (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$22,104 - $95,000
(Median)
22K
51K
95K
MEDIAN: $35,537
10%
75%
90%
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On-Air Talent Total Pay (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$7.48 - $20.61
(Median)
7
12
21
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$22,104 - $95,000  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,307  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,482 - $86,957  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 129
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$7.48 - $20.61  
   
Overtime
$6.32 - $49.66  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,307  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,482 - $86,957  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 129
Is On-Air Talent your job title? Get a personalized salary report!
Location:
United States (change)
Years in Field/Career:
Job Description for On-Air Talent
On-air talent are people/personalities that have been hired to be broadcasted live on a radio show. These people have to have the ability to draw in listeners and keep them interested enough to not want to switch to other stations. A large part of their job is staying up to date on everything from fashion to politics. They have to create catchy ways to read ads from sponsors that the audience will remember. Radio stations are more than just music, in fact at many stations music is played a small percentage of the time. This is when the emcee needs to be entertaining. On-air talent also have to have great communication skills: A station will often have special guest and the emcee must be able to hold an intelligent conversation about whatever topic is being discussed. They are the live show and they are ultimately responsible for ratings. On-air personalities are given a lot of freedom; they can share opinions and disagree when they feel necessary, but they must follow the format that their station has set forth for them. They essentially have to think outside the box while staying inside of it, so great emcees are clever ones. They also have to stay on the good side of their audience so they have to remember to take calls and play requests. Companies also often hire radio stations for promotional purposes to advertise products and services; they will also want an emcee to do a live broadcast at a given event.
On-Air Talent Tasks
  • Keep conversations on point and within brand standards.
  • Interact with a variety of audiences, participants, and staff to produce clear storylines.
  • Research, document, produce, and follow up about proposed and completed stories.
  • Host broadcast events, drawing out participants and selecting appropriate questions.
  • Respond to email and telephone inquiries and attend events.

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Pay by Experience Level for On-Air Talent
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects On-Air Talent Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 17%
Late-Career
up arrow 11%
Mid-Career
up arrow 5%
National Average
$32,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 16%
Job Satisfaction
Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 24 votes.
Gender
Female
35%
female alumni
 
Male
65%
male alumni
Years of Experience
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
17%
Common Health Benefits
medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 30% employee benefits None: 38%
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