How To Become A Radio DJ

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So, you’re thinking of becoming a radio DJ? It’s surely one of the coolest jobs ever, right?

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of being the voice of the station? Being widely recognized and praised for bringing entertainment to millions of listeners every day and every week. 

How To Become A Radio DJ

Problem is – how do you even become a radio DJ? Is there a school for this? So little information out there to fulfil your dream and it’s infuriating!

Not to worry. We’ve gone through it and found the information that you need to get you started in the DJ world. 

So, get a drink in hand and settle in. Let’s find out how to become a radio DJ. 

Career Overview 

Radio DJs are the heart and soul of the radio station. They’re the continuity to the show and the voice that you hear in between songs, news and commercials. 

They may be hired to bring their own personality to the table and share their views on things throughout the show like politics or sport. They are the coordinator of the show and may cover games, giveaways and other fun spots. 

Requirements And What To Do 

This is a tough gig to break through to. Let’s make it a little easier with a step-by-step guide.

Education

As with most careers, you’ll need to get yourself a college degree to at least a Bachelor’s standard. Normally, the field will be in communications or broadcast journalism.

If you’re in High School, you’ll want to lean towards this field and try to graduate at the highest standard that you can. It’s also worth joining any activities that are journalism or media related like the school paper, school radio news show etc.

You could set up your own podcast if these activities are scarce just to get some experience in the bag. 

When it comes to college – make sure you do your research on the employability level and likelihoods of the colleges you’re looking at. It’s worth speaking with an advisor at your High School about your chosen career path and getting some independent advice. 

Before you graduate college, it’s advisable to speak with potential employers and see if there are vacancies or volunteer opportunities. Any way to get your foot in the door is worth consideration.

Employers are likely to consider you if you have taken part in journalistic activities at your college and if you’re prepared to work on a voluntary basis to begin with. Employers normally value experience more than education, but getting both is essential. 

Experience 

Speaking of getting some experience – this is critical in breaking through to any field, but perhaps more so when it comes to a field that is incredibly saturated with hopefuls.

College is a great place to get this experience as you can join your college’s radio station and maybe speak with people who have connections in the community. This can lead to opportunities with internships – they’re golden opportunities which cannot be passed up. 

If you get experience on the air with a college station and at an internship, you’re well set to break through in the field and start applying for the full time roles. 

The great thing about doing a degree in the field as well as getting experience is that you’ll learn the crucial information that will help you professionally such as FCC rules and broadcasting laws and regulations. 

Extras To Prove Your Mettle 

The more you do to further your knowledge and experience in the field will benefit you in the long run. One thing you can do is set up your own blog, website and channels on things such as YouTube and Soundcloud.

The more exposure you have, the greater your chances are of being noticed – not to mention it’s great practice. 

Put together a reel and portfolio ready for potential interviews or speculative applications. It’s crucial to have editing skills as a radio DJ, so the better your package – the better your chances. 

Creating a regular show on YouTube is a good way to bolster your broadcasting skills and editing skills. Once again, it’s more experience and a further way to get exposure. 

Creating a regular podcast like a weekly show is a fantastic way to train for your chosen job. You can treat it like a radio show if you like, and add some tunes into it.

Remember copyright law though! It’s probably a good idea to allow college friends who want to be music producers to get their sound on your show. Best for both parties right? 

Getting a blog going will give potential employers and fans the opportunity to get to know you a bit better and provide contact information – that can be crucial in getting jobs that aren’t being advertised. 

All of these things will be developing your skills, experience and building your “voice.” In essence, your personality will be shining through in your work! 

It’s also important to get on most social media platforms. TikTok is a great one for budding broadcasters. Remember, all platforms that you’re on should be linked to your other work – even if it’s just a note saying what your handles are in the bio. 

The Major Points 

Breaking through in this career is very hard but not impossible. If it’s your dream, then make sure you keep chasing it! 

The best things you can do are above – getting the relevant education, experience and contacts are the absolute musts. Building connections in the field can be critical and that is why more exposure is more opportunity. 

Consider speaking with your local radio stations or local DJs by finding their contact details online, or simply going down and speaking to them. Mostly, they will understand the difficulty in getting in the door with this career – and might be more than willing to help you. 

Don’t be surprised or put off if the initial experience is unpaid. It is always going to be worth it in the long run. Good luck!