Kaipānui Pouaka Whakaata
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Television presenters introduce, present or host programmes on television.
Pay for television presenters varies depending on their profile, experience and responsibility.
Current job prospects
Pay for television presenters varies depending on their profile, experience and responsibility. Many presenters are employed on short-term contracts and only work part time.
What you will do
Television presenters may do some or all of the following:
- host game shows, current affairs, sports, arts or educational programmes
- read news, sports or weather reports
- interview people
- report on issues and events
- research and write scripts
- attend production meetings
- attend promotional events, conferences and social functions.
Skills and knowledge
Television presenters need to have:
- good interviewing skills
- good knowledge of their area of specialisation – such as sports or current affairs
- knowledge of the television production process.
- may work irregular hours including early mornings, evenings and weekends
- work in offices, television studios and on location
- work in conditions that may be stressful due to deadlines
- may have to travel locally and overseas to cover stories or complete location shoots.
What's the job really like?
Ben Boyce - Television Presenter
What qualities do you need to succeed in this job?
"Determination will take you a long way. Very few things get handed to you on a plate. I did Pulp Sport on the radio for 18 months for free, quit my writing job to make the TV show, and didn't get paid for the entire first series.
"I know there are heaps of other people far more talented than me out there, but I don't think too many people work as hard as I do."
What are the challenges you face?
"Making TV on a budget is challenging, especially with Pulp Sport. We couldn't afford to pay people (including ourselves for a lot of it). So that's why I do lots of the jobs myself – but it also means I have employment for most of the year.
- "It’s not the glamorous role people imagine, but it’s a lot of fun doing cool things."
- "Meeting awesome people like Alice Cooper. Even if the show sucks, that is pretty sweet!”
- "Being shot by paintballs, stung by bees, drinking my own blood!"
- "Working seven days a week, from about 8am till midnight."
There are no specific educational requirements to become a television presenter, but a good level of spoken English or Māori is essential.
Completing television, film, video or journalism courses is useful for television presenters.
Television presenters need to be:
- confident and relaxed on television
- able to work well under pressure
- able to accept criticism, and follow instructions
- able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures
- good communicators
- good planners and organisers.
I think you need to know your subject. If you are presenting a sports programme then you really need a background in sport and an understanding of the subject that you are dealing with.
Howie Tamati - Television Presenter
Useful experience includes:
- work as a radio announcer or journalist
- experience in theatre, film, television or radio
- drama or speech training.
Television presenters should have clear speech and an expressive voice.
Find out more about training
- NZ Journalists' Training Organisation
- (04) 499 2154 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.journalismtraining.co.nz/
What are the chances of getting a job?
Competition for jobs is high because there are more students graduating with film and television qualifications than the number of vacancies available.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates that there are fewer than 400 television presenters in New Zealand.
Television presenters tend to stay in their jobs for a long time meaning there are few openings. In addition, there has been reduced spending on new productions over the last five years which means less demand for new positions.
Having a broad range of skills increases your chances of finding work
The more multi-skilled you are, the higher the chance you have of securing work in TV. Few people work full-time as television presenters, with most working part time as presenters and doing other television-related work to make up full-time hours. For example, they may work in roles such as journalism, producing, directing, and make-up and wardrobe.
Any type of acting and/or film directing experience, for example in the 48-hour film festival can help you get your foot in the door of this competitive industry.
Television presenters work in public and private companies
Television presenters may work for:
- TVNZ, New Zealand's state broadcaster
- private broadcasting companies such as MediaWorks (which owns TV3) or Sky TV
- television production companies.
- Lorimer, R, group head of corporate communications, Media Works, Careers New Zealand interview, August 2014.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Ministry of Social Development, 'The Social Report', accessed August 2014, (www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz).
- New Zealand On Air, 'Local Content Report 2013', March 2014, (www.nzonair.govt.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Screen Industry Survey: 2012:13', 2014, (www.stats.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Television presenters may specialise in an area such as sports commentary, current affairs, news, or children's televison.
Last updated 24 January 2017