It's amazing how since the advent of television, computers, and the internet, the radio still an impressively wide presence has in our culture. Whether we're listening to it in our cars, our works, our parties, or our homes, radio consistently demonstrates two facts: first, communication and entertainment still happen very well through sound, not just visuals. Second, an industry that is ready to adapt to its environment and progressive trends in culture is an industry that will continuously survive and thrive. But when we push that button that says "Radio" and hear the music and voices coming through, how are those sounds produced and published out onto the air waves?
What team is behind the scenes making sure that the DJs, commentators, advertisements, sound effects, and other elements of broadcast are seamlessly integrated into a flawless listening experience? If you've ever wondered how you can be a part of this, then you can turn your wondering into an affirmative yes when you hear this: obtaining your Associate's Degree in radio production allows you to pull back the curtain and joining that world of radio that gives us the listening experiences we have.
The first step in any educational program for radio production is acquiring an understanding of the radio industry in total. Even though many of us frequently listen to the radio, we rarely have access to the components the people and equipment that make it all possible. There is a great deal of technological advancements that have radically changed the way radio is produced and broadcasted, including hardware and software. There are also a wide variety of broadcasts, entertainment, and formatting methods. An Associate's Degree first allows students to truly see the art and science behind this industry. You can also research corporate communication schools that offer a wide variety of programs.
The skills an individual will acquire in preparation for a career in radio production include a fundamental understanding of audio production, public speaking, writing for radio, station management, and radio production and application software. Since there's much more to radio than the voices and music we hear, when you begin your Associate's Degree program, you'll discover that there are a wide variety of careers as well. The most popular career individuals strive after is the disc jockey or program host. Here, individuals are responsible for introducing songs, transitioning to segments, interviewing guests, talking phone calls, and generally being the voice that hosts the show. In addition to this role are the broadcast production assistants and the radio technicians. Other opportunities in radio include being a newscaster, traffic, or weather announcer, a promotions coordinator, a script writer or editor, or even a production manager.
There are a surprising number of responsibilities and careers in radio, from sound mixing to program planning to station managing, and everything in between. Specialists are required to work with the hardware, the software, and taking on the more abstract strategizing to make sure that listeners ultimate receive the information and entertainment they are searching for. Radio, like all other industries, is competing for your attention, and will certainly value a talented, educated individual who can capably apply their degree's knowledge.
Radio is an amazing, and relatively old, communications industry that relies on creative individuals to keep giving audiences what they crave. Once you complete your degree in radio production, you will possess a fundamental understanding of all of radio's critical components, and you will be working towards producing, managing, and planning all of the amazing things listeners will enjoy. You will be granted unique access into the back door of radio, where you won't only hear it, but see it living and breathing right in front of you. So don't delay, but earn your degree and see what radio production is truly all about.
During your 60 credit hours of training you’ll encounter some of the below courses. These courses will range from communications to advanced audio and visual.
Advanced Audio – Learn about audio components and how they affect the sound and signal at a radio station. These types of courses are designed for those who wish to be working behind the scenes at a radio station.
Broadcasting – Intro to broadcasting courses are common and part of your 60 credit hour Associate’s degree in radio production. Some graduates decide to go into broadcast communication.
Communications and PR – Most schools will offer as part of your radio production degree courses in public relations and communications. We recommend taking these types of courses as often in radio production you might have to write press releases or give on-air statements. These are great skills that everyone in production should have regardless of your career path.
Interviewing Techniques – Learn how to give good interviews. Learn about proper sourcing and questioning including how to research your subject before the interview.
Station Management – Most radio stations have very few staff members however one position that every station has is that of the station manager. The station manager handles not only the on-air personalities but works with the advertising and promotions team at the station who deals with all of the advertisers.
Vocal Courses – Not every voice is perfect for the radio and often you can improve your on-air voice if you want to be the voice of the station. Also many graduates get their first jobs in being the voiceover for ads that run on the station. These ads have to be changed often and stations are always looking for a good voice. Learn during your course how to pronounciate certain words in order to have a bigger impact.
Writing & Grammar – Like with your English courses you’ll take in college, a writing or grammar course will help you in almost any position you take in the radio business.
Station Advertising – Learn how to get advertisers for your radio station. Most courses will cover the different types of advertising as well as budgeting and handling creative. You’ll learn to work with outside designers to get the ads done correctly for your advertisers.
DJ – Your Associate’s degree in radio production can get you well on your way to becoming a DJ at a radio station. DJ’s these days don’t just play music but act as on-air radio personalities.
Radio Technician – Be the one responsible for making sure the equipment is functioning properly at the radio station. As a radio technician you’ll be the one who sets-up and tests equipment as well as repair any equipment not working properly. This technical career is very rewarding and a must position that every station must hire for.
Newscaster – To become a newscaster you’ll need not only the education but the ability to sound good on radio or Television. Usually as a radio newscaster you’ll focus on a particular segment of the news including: sports, weather or local news. Usually radio personalities that anchor entire shows have been in the business for years and typically work with a partner on-air.
Radio Producer – As the producer of any radio show you’ll be responsible for coming up with daily schedules, hiring of staff and even managing the advertising sales team.
Advertising Manager or Director – No radio station could survive without their advertisers. Advertising for a station is big business and as an advertising director or manager you’ll be responsible for reaching goals and budgets.
Radio and Production
National Association of Broadcasters