You hear them voices everywhere: on a bus, in a convenience store, in the supermarket, and even on your way home. Pretty much every one of us wonders what it’s like to be in the shoes of those famous radio presenters or at least the prod people behind the wireless speakers that we listen to. Whether you’re just curious or you’ve been dreaming of experiencing a radio job since you were a kid, radio stations offer a fascinating range of career opportunities from RJs to producers, directors, scriptwriters, researchers and sound engineers.
Question is: how do you make a successful career in an industry that seems to disappear in a few years?
As the world becomes more and more tech-driven each day, we began living in an era where everything is online — even the news. With that, today’s generation seems a bit worried that getting their feet into the door of traditional radio jobs would be similar to jumping on a sinking boat. But, don’t fret because that is just a superficial conclusion.
Despite all the digital disruptions going on today, radio journalism is here to stay for a long time. Truth is, we can’t stop people from listening to news and songs on the radio. In fact, 84% of car owners said that their FM/AM radio is their top choice for in-car entertainment comparable to only 12% online radio users. This survey brings us to a more profound conclusion: the future is still bright for traditional radio jobs — Yay! Now, you’re just a few more steps to break into the radio broadcasting industry.
Here’s how you can get a radio job:
Find an excellent media school.
It goes without saying that you will need a formal education to enter a radio job, especially if you are eyeing on positions like radio announcers and sound engineers. There are lots of universities and colleges that offer diploma opportunities, innovative programs and hands-on experiences for a radio career path. You can either earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in media, journalism and communication. You can also master other areas including audio production, sports broadcasting, and media marketing.
Volunteer at the campus radio station.
One of the best ways to gain significant exposure to how things work in the industry is by volunteering at your campus radio booth. This will allow you to learn the day-to-day operations and the latest developments in radio broadcasting. In addition, reading newspapers and having thoughts on up-to-date issues are also great practices to do if you want to be more knowledgable in the field.
Seek an internship at a radio station.
Taking an internship at your local radio station will be a great starting point of your most-awaited career. It will help you understand everything about radio production in greater detail. You will see get to see famous RJs and celebrity speakers announcing live. The first time I witnessed anchors doing their spills, I was blown away by surprise and amazement. It was so cool!
If you are currently interning at a radio station, make sure to make yourself very useful. If you’re lucky and they see your potential and hard work, the station will give you a chance to leverage your internship into a full-time job once you finish school. My personal advice is that you grow your network through internships so that your connections may recommend you to entry-level openings.
Work your way up the ladder.
No one has ever started out as a radio host. Sometimes, your first job at a radio station won’t bring you to your ideal job. When that happens, make sure that you prepare yourself to work your way up the radio broadcasting ladder. One step at a time. As long as you are determined to work hard, you can always move one step closer to your dream job.