If you’re still a high school student with dreams of making it in the media world, the path to radio broadcasting might seem uncertain. While many think that a degree in communications, journalism, or broadcasting is the only way, there are multiple routes to this exciting field. So, how to get into radio broadcasting?
Those without a communications degree can still enter the said field through networking, internships, or when they have solid experience. There’s no need to apply for a radio frequency or other technical requirements when working as a radio disc jockey; you just need to be entertaining.
Ways to Get Into Radio Broadcasting
1. Get a Degree
If you’re yet to enter college and dream of taking the helm of a radio booth, a broadcasting, communications, or journalism degree can get you there.
Having such a degree will not just let you get a job in FM radio, it’s also your ticket to other media-related jobs in the television, print, and digital media industries. To an extent, you can even enter the world of marketing, advertising, and public relations (PR).
When you graduate from a radio broadcasting school, you have a higher chance of getting hired than applicants with no experience. It will take you a couple of years to earn that degree, but it’s worth it.
Here are some of the schools that offer a variety of programs in radio broadcasting, including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates you can try:
- The University of Southern California (USC)
- The University of Central Florida (UCF)
- California State University – Fullerton
- Emerson College
- Syracuse University
- Ithaca College
2. Earn Enough Experience
Another way to become a radio broadcaster is to have solid experience in the field even though your degree is unrelated to the industry. Those working behind the scenes of a radio booth can be broadcasters because they have the technical expertise, and it’s a plus if they can host.
Even if your background is in technical aspects or behind-the-scenes roles, like administration or writing, you can become a radio broadcaster if you possess the necessary technical expertise and hosting skills.
If you want to switch into a broadcasting career, experience is a good asset. For example, if you have decades-long experience as an events host or a PR officer, you can dabble in DJing. It’s a plus if you’re from the almost-related fields of communications, advertising, marketing, or social media (podcasting, live streaming, vlogging, and the like).
Upskilling is one way to earn relevant skills, or if you have the time and resources, why not set up your radio station, albeit online? Once you’ve invested in yourself, you’ll power up your credentials.
3. Be an Intern
If you’re new to broadcasting but eager to work at a radio station, consider an internship, whether paid or not, depending on your arrangement with the company. Whatever the case, being an intern helps you have that experience while expanding your network.
Volunteering at small community stations is another option, as they often welcome helping hands. When you intern or volunteer, expect to be assigned simple tasks at first, like writing scripts, taking calls, liaising, or entertaining guests.
If you’re in a station where hosts are friendly, you can even banter with them on-air, which you can consider your first taste in a broadcaster career. If you have proven your talent, they might even allow you to navigate the panel by playing songs and, later on, a little hosting.
Another powerful way to score radio host jobs is by networking. To do so, attend events related to broadcasting, be it expositions, conventions, marketing campaigns, and fan activities. If you know someone who knows someone in the industry, ask for referrals.
Networking opens a door of opportunities if you are determined. Whether you’re targeting entry-level radio station jobs or a hosting stint, patience will work wonders.
The competition might be disheartening at first, but if you’re determined to learn how to get into radio broadcasting, you’ll grasp your dream.
Broadcasting, whether in a small community station or a popular one, offers a fulfilling career for those who want to entertain or inform audiences. If you have a heart for public service, it’s also the job for you, albeit the radio broadcaster salary is not that enticing in some areas.
Whatever your motivation, take note that broadcasting is a powerful communication tool, so you must be ethical and responsible. Happy hosting!
Hello! I am Hart, the content writer and editor here at G0HWC. I used to be in the same local radio club with Howe, and he convinced me to join him in spreading my love for the radio with others. With a background in radio studies, I spend every day crafting accurate, easy to read content on various topics related to owning and using radios. I hope that my content can help you confidently venture in your radio journey!