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Career as Radio Jockey

Career as a Radio Jockey

About Radio Jockey

A Radio Jockey, popularly known as a RJ, is a person who hosts a talk show on the radio. In simple words, Radio Jockey is the 'sutradhaar' of an assigned show on radio. The role of Radio Jockeys or RJ's is to entertain the callers in the chat show, which is evidently broadcast by the radio and communicate with the caller through telephone or email and online chat. The Radio Jockey must be able to engage the audience/viewers with their voice and selection of words and how they present the content before the audience/viewers also matter.

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising and extremely challenging career for music lovers. If you are really interested in a radio jockey career, then it is very important for you to have spontaneous, pleasant, friendly personality. If you want to pursue a career in this field, a strong command over the language and good voice is always a good thing. Apart from this, in order to become a good radio jockey, you shall also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later develop your own with practice.

Eligibility to become Radio Jockey

One can enter into the field of radio jockey after completing class 12. There are no entrance exams available in order to enroll in a course for becoming a radio jockey. Candidates can also do short-term certificate and diploma courses in this field. What matters most in this career path is, of course, your voice. Your diction and pronunciation should also be clear.

Subject Combination - There is no specific subject combination required in Class 12 or graduation level to become a radio jockey.

In order to become a successful Radio Jockey, candidates may have to undergo one or more of the following Radio Jockey programmes:

Diploma in Radio Programming and Broadcast Management (DRPM): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.

Diploma in Radio Production and Radio Jockeying (DRJ): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.

Post Graduation Diploma in Radio and Broadcast Management (PGDRBM): Candidates should have passed a bachelor's degree in any subject from a recognised university/institute.

Certificate Course in Radio Jockeying (CRJ): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.

Note: Those who have participated in media-related internships have a better chance of landing an entry level Radio Jockey job.

Types of Job Roles Radio Jockey

Apart from the required qualification, a radio jockey needs certain skills. After attaining the required educational qualification and skills, a radio jockey can fit into various roles and positions that match their skills. The job of a Radio Jockey is of a diversifying nature. The different roles that radio jockey can take up are listed below.

FM/AM Radio Jockeys: The role of FM/AM radio jockeys is to interact with the audience, play a music or talk or both. They usually work on public radio stations.

Talk Radio Jockeys: The role of talk radio jockeys is to only talk for the entire time period of the show, and to discuss different social and political issues. They also interact with the audience and viewers of the show. 

Sports Talk Radio Jockeys: The Sports Talk Radio Jockey is required to interact with viewers to discuss different types of sports news and happenings. The Sports Talk Radio Jockeys have to be either a former athlete, a television anchor or sportswriter.

Satellite Radio Jockeys: The role of a Satellite Radio Jockeys is similar to FM/AM radio jockeys. They usually talk or play explicit content without considering the sensitivity of the issue. They are not regulated by any board.

Employment Opportunities for Radio Jockey

There is a good scope for a Radio Jockey to get employment opportunities in the government sector. However, there is good scope for the career in the private sector too. The candidates are recruited on the basis of their abilities such as voice modulation, clear diction, accurate pronunciation and command over the language and vocabulary. The following are some of the organisations in which a radio jockey can take up jobs:

Government Sector: Radio Jockeys can find work in government organisations like AIR (All India Radio), state-wise radio stations and other radio stations. In the government sector, there are many opportunities to work and the salary packages are also high. Apart from annual salary, Radio Jockeys are provided various health benefits, retirement pension etc. Government sector employees have job security, as well as the benefits of allowances, perquisites, and retirement like gratuity, pension, superannuation fund, etc. which are absent in the case of the private sector.

Private Sector: In the private sector, there is a lot of scope for job opportunities in companies such as Radio Mirchi, Big FM, Red FM, Radio Mid-day, Radio Wani, Times FM, Radio Star and many other independent radio stations. In the private sector, radio jockeys get good salary package, competitive environment, incentives etc. The working environment in the private sector is quite competitive which is missing in the government sector because they are not established to fulfill business objectives.

Note: Over time, a jockey can also apply for voice-over for commercials, television shows and movies.

Top Recruiting Radio Agencies /FM Stations for Radio Jockey

Most popular Radio Agencies/ FM stations in the country are:

  • AIR (All India Radio)
  • Times FM
  • Radio Mid-day
  • Radio Star
  • Radio Wani
  • Big F.M 92.7
  • Radio Mirchi 98.3
  • Radio Mango 91.9
  • Club FM 94.3
  • Red FM 93.5
  • 104 Fever FM
  • Other independent radio stations

Planning to choose Radio Jockey as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Radio Jockey

Due to private radio waves in this area, demand for Radio Jockeys is increasing. As a fresher in the field, you can expect to earn about between Rs 7,000/- and Rs 15,000/- per month. The pay scale will definitely increase with time and experience. An experienced RJ can make up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs to Rs. 2 lakhs per month. With experience and time, RJs can earn Rs. 2,500 - Rs. 3,000 per show.

As a radio jockey, besides earning the contracted good money, one can earn by advertising ads. You can earn more by voice-over for television and radio ads.

Books & Study Material to Become Radio Jockey

Here's a list of some of the top books to increase your skills and knowledge in the Radio Jockey field:

  • Romance the Microphone: Be a Radio Jockey by Swaty Gupta
  • Encyclopaedia of Journalism And Mass Communication by OM Gupta
  • How to Become a Radio DJ: A Guide to Breaking and Entering by Mike Staff
  • Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting by John Hasling
  • The Radio Jockey Hand Book by Simran Kohli

Pros of becoming a Radio Jockey

  • Radio Jockey is a fun loving career. You can get a chance to connect with people holding diverse interests.
  • The working hours are mostly flexible.
  • Innovative work environment that nourishes creativity.
  • This career has a great scope to incorporate multiple disciplines.

Cons of becoming a Radio Jockey

  • In the beginning, you may have to host the show in the morning or midnight - hence weird working hours.
  • The job of a Radio Jockey sometimes requires consistent hard work.
  • Sometimes you can feel alone because you have to work from a small sound-proof room with studio equipment as your partner.
  • As a Radio Jockey, it is very stressful and demanding profession.
  • Starting salaries are low compared to other fields.

Paths for Being Radio Jockey

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