Becoming a Radio Announcer
It's a great gig!
If you’ve ever wanted to get into Show Business radio could be a great place to start. After all, your job as a radio announcer, is to either entertain or inform, or both and landing your own radio show is a lot easier than landing your own sitcom.
And although the pay cheque might be less than that of a TV Star, being a radio announcer definitely has its perks. Meeting celebrities, attending special parties and events and free beer is all part of the gig. Oh and I can’t forget the food! I haven’t met a radio announcer yet who would turn down any free food. Aside from all of that great stuff, radio announcers also get to become a huge part of their community. They meet people from all walks of life and in some cases make a real difference in the lives of others.
Sounds like a pretty good career doesn’t it? Believe it or not a career that is this much fun can be obtained by anyone with a great personality and the desire to be good at what they do.
How to Get Into the Business
The great thing about working in radio is there is at least one station in just about every city and town around the world and most places have several. This gives anyone looking to become a radio announcer the opportunity to really start listening to how it’s done.
Like any skill or job there certain things that need to be done with basic ways of doing them. Have you ever noticed that every time a radio announcer talks they usually start with the time? That is an announcing fundamental that every announcer has to do. These are the things you should begin listening for if you want to pursue this career.
Getting in to radio is just like getting into any other industry, you need to get educated. There are a number of colleges and universities that offer broadcasting programs. The facilities at these schools usually consist of former broadcasters who know the business inside and out and make for really great teachers.
Broadcasting schools usually combine all forms of traditional media like broadcast and print journalism along with radio broadcasting to give students a full scope of the industry their entering. This really comes in handy when you get out into the real broadcasting world.
In some cases, people get become radio announcers by starting at the bottom. In smaller markets, stations are likely to have fewer staff members, but are more likely to help someone interested in getting their foot in the door. Whether they're looking for a regular receptionist or promotional staff, these are low ranking positions that could lead to much bigger jobs in radio and possibly TV and film. Larry King started as a janitor at a radio station before he made it big in broadcasting!
The Next Step
Once you get some experience, whether it’s through a broadcasting school or doing a part-time job at a station, you need to be willing to take that next step. Internships or low-level promotion jobs out of school are a great way to get in and see how everything works, but you don’t want to stay in those positions forever.
If you want to be a radio announcer ask the boss if you can try going on-air during the overnight hours when not as many people will hear you make mistakes. Or if you’re young and single with nothing holding you back, look for small market announcer positions and get your feet wet. These types of jobs are great because it is in the smaller towns that radio stations usually have the biggest impact and you can learn firsthand how much a radio announcer can contribute to the community.
Once you feel like your skills have improved, move to a bigger city, then a bigger one and so on. Before you know it, you could be the next morning show sensation in a city like New York, Dallas or Los Angeles. Or you might find that being a big fish in a small radio pond is exactly what you were looking for.