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Radio Presenter: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a radio presenter. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and experience required to find out if this is the career for you.

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A radio presenter acts as a scriptwriter, announcer, and interviewer. Good speaking skills and a likable persona are important, as well as bachelor's degree. Radio presenters at small stations may be required to handle technical duties.

Essential Information

Radio presenters, also known as announcers, may write and deliver sports, news and weather reports. They are also responsible for presenting and interviewing special guests as well as acting as moderators for discussions. A bachelor's degree in broadcasting supplemented with experience will most likely serve as an aspiring radio presenter's strongest tools to help them start a career.

Required Education Bachelor's degree generally required
Other Requirements Internship or experience usually necessary
Projected Job Growth (2014-2014)* -14% for radio and television announcers
Mean Annual Salary (2015)* $46,410 for radio and television announcers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

A radio presenter may be responsible for preparing a script, so good writing skills can prove useful. Since they are also radio personalities, they may be called on to either host or make an appearance at charitable events and other public functions. Presenters who operate in smaller radio stations may have more technical duties, such as working the control board, selling time slots to advertisers and keeping accurate logs. Radio presenters may have to remember scripts or ad lib, so improvisational skills and a good memory are qualities that employers may look for.

Job Duties

Some radio presenters attend press conferences so they can present up-to-date and accurate information to listeners. They coordinate with producers to develop program material while taking into consideration the type of show they are creating and requests from the audience. Presenters who work in public radio may also participate in fundraising efforts for the station.

Radio presenters who work mainly with music are called disc jockeys (DJs). At times they may comment on certain songs while taking requests from listeners, though DJs don't typically select most of the songs that are played. Some DJs choose to offer their services outside of radio broadcasting in events such as clubs, weddings and dances. Show hosts are presenters who specialize in politics, sports and personal finance. They may interview guests, talk with the audience and help with preparing content for the program.

Educational Requirements

In most cases, earning a bachelor's degree in radio broadcasting will be one of the main educational requirements for a radio presenter. Programs may teach students the fundamentals of how to promote products and services, marketing, elocution and writing for the radio.

An associate's degree program may teach students how to construct their unique radio personality and give them the education necessary for an entry-level position. Colleges and universities that have their own radio facilities can offer students internships and experience to prepare them for their first professional job.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the radio and television broadcasting industry employed the highest number of announcers in 2015, paying an average annual wage of $44,260. From 2014-2024, the BLS projected a 14% job decline for radio and television announcers.

Radio presenters may be involved in all the aspects of radio broadcasting, including operating machinery, commentating and interviewing guests. Bachelor's or associate's degree programs can provide them with the skills they need, and since this is a competitive field with a declining number of jobs, the ones with education and internship experience will be better equipped to secure work.

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