A radio disc jockey, or radio DJ, select and broadcasts music for the audience at radio stations. They are specialists in a specific type of music and also make comments about politics, culture, sports, weather, and traffic.
Though it is difficult to get a job of a radio DJ, once you enter the field, you end up with a lot of perks and freedom. You need not work for typical hours and have flexibility during early morning or late night shifts. A radio DJ will be coordinating a show with millions of listeners who like you to talk about hot news and new brands that are available in the town. There is strong competition for a Dj job and one needs to be well qualified and learn key skills to get the job.
The following section provides you with a brief overview of how to become a radio Dj. It provides the required qualifications, skills and license requirements. It also explains the nature of work, its duration and the salary offered to the radio DJ.
In short you can become a radio DJ by getting the right degree, gaining the necessary hands-on experience with an internship and building you network. Read more on that here:
|1.||How to become a DJ on the radio?|
|i.||Complete a degree|
|ii.||Gain experience with an internship|
|iii.||Get hands-on with the campus radio station|
|iv.||Build your skills at a small local station|
|2.||Do radio DJs need a license?|
|3.||What qualifications do you need to be a radio DJ?|
|i.||Arts or drama performance|
|ii.||Media related course|
|iii.||Music and related technology|
|4.||How many hours does a radio DJ work?|
|5.||Do radio DJs get paid well?|
|6.||What hours do a radio DJ work?|
|7.||What are the responsibilities of a radio DJ at the radio station?|
1. How to become a DJ on the radio?
To take up a career as a radio DJ, you need to have at least a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree. A degree in communications and broadcast journalism is highly preferred for this role. Your DJ experience will be valued more than your education qualification. Every employer prefers some experience as DJ in their team.
You need to have strong interpersonal, and communication skills. You need to be good at writing and research, editing and broadcasting, and in using computers.
Steps to becoming a radio DJ.
i. Complete a degree.
You need to complete a bachelor’s degree in Communication or Broadcast Journalism. It teaches you skills such as radio announcing and news reporting. You will also learn speech, broadcast writing, and media research. A Bachelor’s degree makes you very competitive for entry-level jobs for a radio DJ.
ii. Gain experience with an internship.
Your college and universities provide you with the opportunity to take part in the internship radio station. You will learn the various aspects of working at a radio station and a chance to network with experts in the industry.
iii. Get hands-on with the campus radio station.
You can get hands-on real-world experience when you use opportunities to use the campus radio station. The College or university provides this opportunity to their students to gain some real experience. You will also learn the rules, code of conduct and broadcasting laws of the industry. It also teaches you soft skills such as personal management and station programming.
You can record your on-campus radio DJ experience and present it to your prospective employers. They prefer to see real experiences and hear how a new DJ sounds on the air and how they communicate.
iv. Build your skills at a small local station.
When you build your skills by getting with on-air personalities and building a reputation in small local markets.
You can tune your presentation style, and improve on engaging and retaining the audience. Your performance and ratings in the smaller market help you to move into larger markets when you like to advance your career. You can also take time to get experience in selling advertising, updates for social media and giving promotional appearances.
Employers look for the proven track record of radio DJs in attracting and retaining the audience. You need to build your portfolio with a curated list of past work. Your portfolio should demonstrate your abilities to deliver on-air, your flexibility and your authority in the industry. To get a job, your proven track record and skills are more important than your training credentials.
2. Does radio DJs need a license?
Most DJs start their careers at small venues, house parties, and local bars. They further move on to office parties, school functions, private clubs and wedding receptions. DJs need not worry about music license in these places as it is taken care of by the venues.
To play music at public events, a DJ has to cover his own DJ license. Apart from the small business license, a DJ needs to own a performance license as well. You may also need local business permits and state registrations to play music at public events you need to purchase the music legally and never go for free downloads. A radio DJ needs not to have any public license to conduct the show as it has already taken up the radio station they work for.
Playing music in public.
To play music in a public event a DJ needs a public performance license as described above. When you book to perform at a public event, you can check with the venue for any license coverage. If the venue does not cover any license to play music, a DJ needs to get a public performance license.
You can get a DJ license connecting with three musical licensing bodies such as ASCAP, BMI, and SEC. You need to pay royalties to the copyright holder from your revenues based on your playlist at the event.
3. What qualifications do you need to be a radio DJ?
To become a radio DJ, there are no strict requirements for any academic qualifications. As a career path in radio DJ is becoming more and more competitive, it is advisable to have a formal degree related to radio presenting and related skills. A variety of degree programs, foundation courses, and diploma courses provide you a background knowledge that is relevant to radio presenting skills.
Some of the areas with understanding and knowledge in which employers look for radio DJs are
i. Arts or drama performance.
ii. Media related course.
iii. Music and related technology.
iv. Sound technology.
v. Public relations
vi. Broadcasting journalism.
Apart from the knowledge in the above skills, training also forms an important aspect of a radio DJ. Experience assisting a radio host, working with a technician is a direction team. Most of the potential employers look for on job training and some experience for a radio DJ job.
You also need to learn and cultivate the following skills radio presenter.
i. Able to engage and retain a video of the audience.
ii. Excellent communication and presentation skills.
iii. Work in a tight schedule with excellent time management skills.
iv. Efficient team player.
v. Ability to make decisions under pressure and improvise standards if necessary.
vi. Stay updated with the latest trends and current affairs.
vii. Researching skills that ensure presenting accurate data.
viii. A magnetic and dynamic personality that attracts people.
ix. Strong work ethic and able to work hard to get success.
x. Easy to approach with a sense of humour.
xi. Understanding media law, and regulations and following it meticulously.
A radio DJ is eligible to apply for fellowship programs through associations like Radio Television Digital News Association. This helps you to participate in industry-specific programs such as beat reporting, foreign exchange, and overseas opportunities. A fellowship also provides additional experience and an opportunity to show your flexibility and prowess in the industry.
4. How many hours does a radio DJ work?
A Radio DJ usually works for 2 to 3 hours a day. The hours of work depend on the popularity, purpose and time of the show. It does not much travel involved in the job.
After the shift work, the DJ may involve in doing some production work, recording any promo or commercials, scheduling music and setting for the next day. They may spend some time pre-recording in an interview for a later date screening a movie or an album
5. Do radio DJs get paid well?
As per salary.com, radio DJs in the united states have an average salary of $38,302 as of December 2019. The usual salary can range between $31,563 and $46,765.
Salary depends upon factors such as education, certification, additional skills and years of experience. As per the Bureau of labour statistics, the top 10% earn more than $94,500 in May 2018. Apart from the salary you also enjoy perks, bonuses, concerts, and shows and interviewing local celebrities.
6. What hours do a radio DJ work?
A radio DJ works in different shifts that start in the morning and last up to late at night. A radio DJ may work in other roles inside the radio station with Board Operators, Producers, Directors, and musicians. Sometimes, a radio DJ needs to present or do a DJ at events on behalf of a radio station.
7. What are the responsibilities of a radio DJ at the radio station?
Radio DJs need to complete the specific tasks that appear repetitive but for different types of events. They need to report on news, sports, weather and the latest trends. They need to integrate these items with music, commercial ads, interviews, and discussion depending on the type of event.
More often, they need to complete technical and marketing tasks that are associated with their radio stations. They also need to operate studio equipment and perform any editorial tasks that are needed for the day. They are responsible to sell ad space, produce creative content for the show, scheduling interviews and perform all the promotional tasks in their radio station.
Their work environment is usually located in well-lit air-conditioned rooms. Since radio stations work round the clock, some DJs need to work late-night shifts.
The above guide provided you with the steps on how to become a DJ on the radio, and the qualifications, and skills needed to earn a radio DJ job. It also provided a brief overview of the nature of work, work hours and the average salary of a radio DJ. The steps and the brief sections provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to become a radio DJ.