Wondering how to become a DJ, also known as a disc jockey or radio disc jockey? First of all, you'll need to develop a few essential skills before applying for a job. While a college degree is not required to become a DJ, some educational background in broadcasting or communications can help you land a better position. However, keep in mind that prospective employers in this field almost always look for candidates with industry experience over those with education. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the steps you'll take on your road to becoming a DJ.
Step 1: Getting a Degree
Although you don't technically need a college degree to become a DJ, it can help you learn many of the skills required to do the job well. A degree in communications, broadcasting or even public speaking can increase your communication skills, which are very important to the radio disc jockey. Radio broadcasting degrees, for example, give students with knowledge of the radio equipment and computer applications they'll be using, and will enhance their performing skills. If you're serious about becoming a DJ, this degree is perhaps the best option, although any type of communications education will help.
Step 2: Developing Skills
Getting involved in activities that will help you develop the necessary skills to be a DJ as soon as possible is an important step on your path to joining this career. Radio disc jockey's must present an entertaining program, and speak clearly and articulately. They must have a style that is both individual, compelling and appealing to their chosen audience. Understanding how the music industry works, as well as how to properly use studio equipment is also important, and a charismatic personality certainly doesn't hurt. Writing for your college (or high school) paper, hosting a school radio program or taking part in school/community theater are all good activities to help build the required skills.
Step 3: Gaining Experience
Don't expect to become a DJ if you've never set foot in a studio before. You'll need at least some experience to get your foot in the door, so to speak. Employers rarely hire a DJ that doesn't have any experience at all. Although it may seem difficult to break into this field, you can do it if you're determined. The best ways to get the required experience are participating in a school or college radio station, or interning at a local station (which means you won't be paid). You can also begin by working at the station in another position and work your way up to DJ if you get the opportunity.
Step 4: Finding Employment
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that competition for disc jockey positions is quite fierce, but smaller radio stations typically offer the best opportunities for the new or inexperienced DJ. This position may see a decline in job openings in the future simply because radio stations have begun to use more and more syndicated programs and new radio stations aren't launched as often as they once were. To advance in this career, you'll need charisma and the ability to gain recognition and support from your listeners.