Imagine a career that music fanatics everywhere would love to have. Imagine sitting in a sound room all day, talking calls from listeners and playing the music of one’s choice. Imagine interviewing your favorite musicians, and afterwards attending their concerts, including a tour backstage. The job being described is the one of a radio disc jockey. As a disc jockey, one communicates through music to an audience from around the surrounding areas, therefore must know what they are doing, and what the people want to hear. In this paper, one will see what it takes to become a disc jockey, and how to keep that career going for a long time.
Today in the music industry, many jobs are being formed daily. Especially in the broadcasting industry, as stated by Dick Robinson. “The broadcasting industry is exploding, new stations are being formed, and more jobs are always being created”(Robinson). Having a job as a radio DJ offers a wide variety of benefits and pluses. Some of those special benefits include interviewing famous bands, going backstage, plus receiving free tickets and promotional items for almost every band of your choice (Carter). Even when a disc jockey is new to the station and just starting out, many opportunities are available, which include those listed above, plus many more.
The best way to start out in this field is to work at a college or local radio station, either being a disc jockey or just an intern(Robinson). Aside from having their own daily show, one will also learn how to put a show together, what it’s like to be on-air, and knowledge of working for a station will be gained. To go about finding a job as a radio broadcaster, one may call up different radio stations in their area asking if there are any open positions, but if that fails, then asking if they do know of any stations that are hiring new talents is a great thing to do. As for a college degree, it is not necessary, but to make a greater salary than just minimum wage, it is best to have a college education, one specifically in the music or broadcasting field(Staff 24). While on the topic of money, disc jockeys usually earn between 20,000 and 70,000 dollars per year, but experienced and well known broadcasters may make over 150,000 dollars per year if they have the right personality and amount of skills(Coleman 3).
As far as physical requirements go, the only thing that a DJ must have is a clear voice, along with expressive speech. The professional DJ is a talker a performer, and on-air entertainer who is capable of communicating a wide variety of thoughts, emotions, plus ideas to the listener. “Choosing ones on-air identity can have a strong influence in the size and type of audience that one attracts”(Staff 25). So with that, one can see that personality and identity plays a very big part when one becomes a disc jockey. Being able to deal with people who one meets that may have different personalities than oneself is a trait that a disc jockey should definitely have. “People call in who may be either complimentary or abusive, but you’ve got to be polite to them because they are the audience. The idea is to keep people listening to the station”(Coleman 4). Aside from having a polished personality and announcing skills, the disc jockey is also a producer and needs to develop expert production skills, taking time and pride in the creation of promotions, commercials, contests and public service announcements while in the studio(Feldman 9).
“Go into the station to have the time of your life”, is the motto that Jim Ravshan lives by (Ravshan). Everyday that one spends inside the station should be just as fun and exciting as your first day on the job. While working in the studio, one will be doing more than just hitting a button to play a selected song. One will need to learn how to use equipment such as microphones, broadcasting desk, compact disc and record players, digital audiotapes and tape recorders (Coleman 3). The time one will spend per day as their job as a disc jockey at a station is approximately four hours, or as long as their shift lasts. Since disc jockeys work shifts, one must be able to work irregular hours, and also early in the morning or late at night (Staff 14). Basic daily assignments include selecting and cueing music, timing music selections, keeping track of traffic reports along with news, taking request phone calls and much more (Coleman 2). Since everyday in the studio is different from the one before, skills will always be gained. For the first few months of work, things throughout the studio may be hard to operate at first, but one is usually under the direction of a senior director, so everything should run nice and smoothly.
Now after reading this research paper, one knows how to go about finding a job as a radio disc jockey. As a listener, one just hears the music being played and whatever the disc jockey says in between songs. But after finding out how a show is really put together, one realizes that the job of a disc jockey is very fun, but also a ton of work. So in all, if one finds that they have a love for music that is so great that they want to enter the broadcasting field, have knowledge about using studio equipment, can work various hours, and has a personality fit for being on-air, then being a radio broadcasting disc jockey just may be the right job for oneself.