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Radio presenter

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Summary of occupation

Radio presenters are the public voice of commercial, public and community radio stations. They compile and present radio programs to the public on a range of topics and with a specific musical or topical focus that may vary according to the type of station for which they work or their particular skills or areas of interest. Their on-air presentation may focus more on a particular style of music, on interviewing and talkback, or on a specific topic like sports, cooking, current affairs or gardening.

ANZSCO description: Prepares and presents news, sports or other  information, conducts interviews, and introduces music, performances  and special events on radio. This occupation requires high levels of  creative talent or personal commitment and interest as well as, or in  place of, formal qualifications and experience.
Alternative names: Disk Jockey, Radio Announcer, Radio Broadcaster
Specialisations: Disc Jockey (Radio), Newsreader, Political Commentator, Sports Commentator, Talkback Announcer, Talkback Host, Tourism Radio Presenter
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Radio presenters need:

  • a strong on-air personality
  • confidence
  • a suitable voice for radio
  • good communication and public speaking skills
  • research and interviewing skills
  • the ability to work under pressure
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Working conditions

Radio presenters usually work for a specific radio station, which may be located either in the same location as their broadcasting facility, or somewhere completely different. Most radio stations are located in cities and major towns, although some may be located in smaller, regional areas. Because radio is a 24-hour phenomenon, some radio presenters may be required to work outside standard business hours. For example, they may present a breakfast program or a late-night program. However, many radio stations also pre-record programs that are broadcast late at night.

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Salary details

On average, radio presenters, classified under artistic directors, and media producers and presenters, can expect to earn $1 993 per week ($103 626 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a radio presenter develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Radio presenters need to be familiar with a radio broadcasting mixing desk and the equipment that accompanies it, such as CD or vinyl record players, external phone lines, and computers. They need to be aware of on-air broadcasting techniques, and may also need to be familiar with digital or analogue recording and sound editing techniques, such as those used when compiling news stories or other radio presentations

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Education and training/entrance requirements

It may be possible to become a radio presenter without any formal qualifications, as many radio presenters are employed by broadcasters because they may have a high profile in a field related to the area in which they present, such as the sporting or popular music industries. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a formal qualification in broadcasting or a related area.

The Certificate III in Media, Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio) and the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio Broadcasting) are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Most universities offer relevant courses in broadcasting, media, and communications. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

You can also complete a traineeship. The community radio program maker/presenter or radio producer/presenter traineeships usually take 12 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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