By Rachael Kroot, June 2014
There are two ways to get a job in the broadcasting business. You can find and apply to jobs on your own... or you can pay an agent to do it for you.
An agent typically takes 10% of your salary (once you get a job). Since I know my salary is going to be small enough as is, and since I generally like to do things for myself, and since first jobs are usually in small markets no matter what, I decided to go about the job search myself.
That being said, I started looking for jobs on a broadcasting website. I can search specifically for meteorologist positions, although I am also open to working as a meteorologist/reporter. Not all meteorologists like reporting, and I must admit I am not a huge fan of hard news. I do, however, like scientific and environmental stories... and I think reporting on those topics can be fun.
If I see a job I am interested in, I always check the station's website before applying. Many job postings say to send application material to somebody in HR or the News Director. If it is a position I really want, I will also email the Chief Meteorologist directly. Many meteorologists have connections to Mississippi State, which is a good conversation starter.
When applying, our professor told us never to assume a market is too big or too small (except maybe for New York and LA). In general, his rule is to apply for anything and everything so that the right market will come to us.
For those of you who are not familiar with markets, viewing areas are ranked based on the number of potential viewers reached (NYC being #1 and LA being #2). Personally, I don't want to start in too high of a market. Even if I know my meteorology as well as the next guy, there are a lot of things about TV and how to recover from live mistakes that will take more experience to learn. I would rather mess up in a small market than a big one to start.
I have applied for seven or eight positions so far with no word. I am about to leave for spring break, where I am going on a cruise out of the country. I don't think I am going to have internet or cell phone service. If I am lucky, I will have a message waiting for me when I get back home!
About the Author: Rachael Kroot has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland and is currently attending graduate school for broadcast meteorology.
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