Football commentators, also called announcers, can sometimes earn as much money as football players themselves. Of course, this kind of salary usually comes after many years of hard work at jobs that pay very little comparatively. But if you're quick-witted, extremely knowledgeable about football and enjoy being seen on TV (or having your voice heard on the radio), this may be the perfect profession for you.
Commentators for spectator sports earned an annual mean wage of £51,382 in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. College sports announcers, by comparison, earned a mean annual wage of £30,550. All announcers earned a mean annual wage of £25,941 --- but this group isn't limited to sports announcers, instead it includes all radio and television announcers.
Types of Jobs in Relation to Pay
Getting a job at a station in a smaller community may be the only way to get your foot in the door when you're getting started, but pay will be lower. To obtain higher pay straight out of school, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends working as a sports commentator for your school or participating in an internship (paid or unpaid), because few companies are willing to hire commentators with no experience. Then, you may be able to obtain a higher-paying job in a major city or at a larger station.
Television Versus Radio
The type of media you work for will impact your salary as well. Television commentators will earn more on average than radio commentators, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it may be easier to find a radio commentator job from the onset, because television is more competitive. Also, if you are hired at a television station, you will typically start as a reporter, researcher or other assistant, meaning a variance in salary.
Your salary, and even your ability to get a job as a commentator at all, depends on your education level. Most commentators have a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or broadcasting. It may also be helpful to minor in physical education, or something related to it, to help expand your knowledge about football and other sports. Because your viewers or listeners are most likely to have extensive knowledge about sports, you as the commentator must demonstrate expert knowledge about football in order to thrive in your job.