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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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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.