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Become a Radio Producer: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a radio producer. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in the field of mass communication.

Should I Become a Radio Producer?

Radio producers select and prepare audio content for broadcast on radio shows. Some of their job duties include operating the broadcast soundboard, recording and editing interviews, and writing broadcast scripts. The job includes a good deal of tight deadlines, time constraints and stress. Irregular work hours are common. Radio producers can work for news programs, documentaries or music shows.

Career Requirements
Required Education Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in mass communication, journalism or media arts
Key Skills Detail-oriented and multi-tasking ability; creativity; research and interviewing skills
Technical Skills Ability to operate various pieces of equipment, such as soundboards and radio software editing programs needed for media production
Salary (2012) $71,350 (BLS Median salary for Producers and Directors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree programs in the audio arts may be offered through a school's college of communication arts and mass communication. These 4-year programs teach about media law, electronic media performance, radio and audio production, audio engineering and writing for the media arts.

Step 2: Establish Industry Contacts

Seek out opportunities to work in radio production as early and as often as possible. Most jobs in the field require prior production experience, and the best way to gain it is through internships.

Step 3: Create a Portfolio of Work

Create as many radio programs as possible, focusing on a specific area of interest i.e. news, documentaries or music. Some school programs may allow students to create radio projects using state-of-the-art computer programs. Most public radio stations offer public access radio shows and are a good production resource for portfolio growth. These portfolios can later be shown to potential employers.

Career Advancement

There can be strong competition for radio producing jobs as they offer close proximity to the entertainment industry and offer creative opportunity. Most radio producers start their careers as interns or through apprentice programs. Interns may learn skills such as researching, voicing, interviewing and audio editing. Networking and producing consistent high-quality work is key to career advancement for radio producers. The size of the station and market may affect an individual's career-entry job opportunities. The growth of podcasting and online radio has expanded career opportunities for radio producers.

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