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Radio Producer Job Description, Career as a Radio Producer, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training:— No specific academic requirements, but a college degree is beneficial.

Salary: Median— $43,030 annually

Employment Outlook:— Fair

Radio producers are primarily responsible for creating a radio show. They are involved in the entire process, right from the conceptualization to the final distribution. Radio producers generate ideas, research and develop the content, select the audio, and also contact potential contributors and interviewees. In addition, they are in charge of designing the schedule, handling the recording and editing, and also managing budgets.

Radio producers interact with a lot of people and work to get the resources and necessary equipment. They may be required to use technology for the purposes of editing and production. The job role also involves various other duties like maintaining the show time and format, arranging for guests, as well as screening or briefing callers.

Radio producers work for both national and independent radio stations. They collaborate with presenters, broadcasting assistants, engineers, IT staff, and DJs. They take care of the entire commercial and business aspects of a program, and also make sure that safety and health standards are maintained.

Education and Training Requirements

A high school education is the minimum requirement for radio producers. However, most of the employers prefer candidates with a college or university degree in radio and television arts, mass communication, or broadcast journalism. It is also advisable to study subjects like English, media studies, drama, or music at the secondary level.

There are a large number of colleges that offer programs in related fields. One can also opt for a 6-month course from a trade school. These training programs focus on the aspects of writing, radio announcing, and production.

Training plays an important role in this profession. Skills are mostly picked up while on the job. Professional radio stations often provide internships to beginners. This hands-on training is invaluable when it comes to looking for better opportunities. Experience in film, theater, television, journalism, or research also proves useful in later years.

Getting the Job

Radio jobs are advertised in job portals on the Internet, in local newspapers, and well as in specific magazines that publish news related to the industry. However, radio producers usually start out as writers, broadcasters, assistant producers, or researchers, and then gradually work their way to radio production. For beginners, it might be a good idea to contact community or student radio stations and look for entry level positions. This kind of work experience is very necessary for those who wish to eventually become radio producers.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

The most obvious path of advancement in this profession is moving to a national station or a high profile program. Radio producers with substantial experience are likely to be promoted to the position of an editor or senior producer. Those with managerial abilities can also take on roles in station management. In addition, one can shift focus to hosting shows. However, it is extremely crucial to maintain connections with potential investors and other radio stations in order to progress as a radio producer.

Employment opportunities in the traditional radio industry have been on the decline in last few years. However, with the advent of digital radio, new avenues of employment have opened up. In addition to national radio stations, a large number of independent production companies have begun recruiting radio producers.

Working Conditions

Radio producers spend a lot of their time in control rooms. When programs are aired live, producers need to make sure that everything proceeds in perfect order. This may cause a significant amount of stress. Works hours, too, are often long and unpredictable. In order to meet deadlines, radio producers are often required to work in the evenings and during weekends. Shift work is also not uncommon. In the case of outside broadcasts, radio producers may have to travel to the respective locations.

Where to Go for More Information

The Association of Independents in Radio
P.O. Box 220400
Boston, MA 02122

International Association of Women in Radio and Television

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

The salaries of radio producers depend on the kind of programs they produce. Those with less than 4 years of experience report annual salaries in the range of $25,264 to $40,528. Radio producers having close to 10 years of experience earn between $31,835 and $50,766, while the annual salary range of those with around 20 years of experience is between $38,710 and $71,197.

Radio producers enjoy regular benefits like sick leaves and paid vacations. Some organizations may also offer insurance coverage and pension plans.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts