How to Become a Radio Disc Jockey

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How to Become a Radio Disc Jockey. You need a pleasant speaking voice and excellent verbal skills for this job. On the air, you may introduce music, conduct interviews, and read commercials and even the weather forecast.

Take speech, drama and English courses in high school and college. Make tapes of your speaking voice and ask your speech and drama teachers for their opinion of your vocal projection.

Consider working part-time while you are in high school as a mobile disc jockey at parties. Observe experienced mobile DJs and you'll learn what's good vs. what's unprofessional. Find out from them what equipment you need. If you're really good, you can eventually advance to more formal affairs, such as weddings. The experience will be priceless.

Ask your guidance counselor for a list of colleges and universities that specialize in broadcasting.

Apply to several schools that offer a broadcasting degree with a radio emphasis. Although it's not always necessary for a DJ to have a degree, it will give you a major advantage within the broadcasting industry.

Gain experience at your college radio station by doing any work that will teach you about radio broadcasting, a station's equipment and the problems associated with airtime. Offer to be the DJ or radio announcer at the station during unusual hours. Then make a tape of the show and include the experience on your résumé.

Get an internship of any kind at a local radio station while you're in college. It can sometimes lead to a permanent position. Realize that you will most likely be doing office work initially, not talking into a microphone or running the board. But you need this experience.

Consult your broadcasting adviser about the availability of entry-level radio jobs through the college.

Consider a radio job at a small community station after graduation if the opportunity presents itself. You'll probably begin with an entry-level position to learn the ropes, but your chances of speaking on the air in the near future will be far greater than in a larger market. The large markets want you to have had several years of on-air experience.

Tip

Become an expert on a variety of interesting topics. Prepare demo tapes that demonstrate your knowledge and your excellent speaking voice. Time management during a show and the ability to connect with your audience are key skills to have in this field.

Warning

Be prepared for the possibility of unusual working hours if you become a DJ.

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