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How to Become a Radio Producer in the US

radio on the air sign

Without radio producers, many of our favorite radio programs would not hit the airwaves. These are the professionals who work behind the scenes, selecting and preparing audio content for broadcasting. If you are a radio enthusiast who understands the important role radio plays in entertaining and educating the public, this is a career you could enjoy.

What Do Radio Producers Do?

The duties of radio producers include:


  • Managing the production of live and recorded programs
  • Generating creative and original ideas for programs
  • Booking program guests or contributors
  • Editing audio for pre-recorded content
  • Managing program budgets
  • Selecting the kind of content to be aired
  • Analyzing listeners’ feedback
  • Supervising presenters, technicians and other radio personnel
  • Serving as a bridge between the top management and junior radio personnel.

Work Environment

Radio producers typically work, long and irregular hours. In fact, those who work at large stations work on a shift basis.

While at work, these producers spend their time in an office or recording studio environment.

Salary

What is the average annual salary for radio producers? Find out below:

Job Title

Annual Average Wage

Radio producer

$46,000

Source: Indeed

Entry Requirements

Although a degree is not a must have for radio producers, many of them are indeed graduates. As such, pursuing an undergraduate degree in any of the following fields will give you the best preparation for the job:

20 percent discount
20 percent discount
  • Radio/audio production
  • Media studies
  • Film and media production
  • Journalism and communication

Here is a list of some of the institutions offering these programs:

Beyond the degree, it takes some years of radio experience to get this job. As a result, you will typically start in an entry-level position, such as broadcast assistant or disc jockey and work your way up.

Important Qualities

To be a competent radio producer, you need:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • The ability to tell a story
  • Creative thinking skills for generating program ideas
  • Good teamwork skills
  • Decision-making skills for exercising editorial judgment
  • A passion for radio
  • Knowledge of music copyright laws
  • Good practical and technical skills for operating broadcast equipment
  • Good computer and internet skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good scriptwriting skills
  • Good business acumen.

Career Development

Early in your career as a radio producer, you will certainly begin by finding employment in small stations with a small audience reach. To enhance your chances of getting hired by large stations, you should:

  • Gain several years of production experience
  • Secure membership in the National Association of Broadcasters to network and stay abreast of issues in the radio industry
  • Pursue a master’s degree in radio/audio production

Job Opportunities

The employers of radio producers include:

  • Community radios
  • College radios
  • Large/national radios
  • Radio content producers

With vast radio production experience, you will not only find employment in large stations, but also enhance your chances of rising to a senior post, such as director of programing. You can also move into television or film production, as long as the college course you pursued had TV/film production coursework.

Finally, the Federal Communication Authority recently opened up the airwaves, making it easy for more people to establish radio stations. This, according to the Princeton Review is likely to increase the demand for radio producers in the coming years.

So, if you find yourself listening to radio more than you are watching TV, then maybe you are destined to become a radio producer!