Skills in radio

Jobs in Radio

The Radio industry has a large variety of roles that can be broadly split into five areas. Broadcasting and production is the creation of the on-air programming, as well as content scheduling and playlist management. Journalists write the stories for news segments, compiling the bulletins for world, local and traffic news and rewriting them for radio. The engineering department supports technical roles in maintaining and creating systems to broadcast the station, as well as making sure the recording equipment, and DJ equipment if needed, is all working in proper condition.

Outside of those traditional radio roles, there is also Marketing, which would be responsible for promoting the station as a brand, as well as a Sales department for selling air-time for adverts. Whichever personality type you are, there would be a role for you somewhere in the Radio industry.

Getting Into Radio

Radio is a role that traditionally does not require any degrees or academic qualifications, and over half of those currently employed in the industry were recruited direct from education. Employers will be keen for people who have technical or presentation skills already, ideally with hands-on experience.

Radio is quickly becoming more involved with the digital and social media landscape, meaning that there are jobs outside of the broadcast area that may require a diverse set of skills, such as live-streaming radio presenters in the studio, or managing a social media channel.

The main hub for radio in the UK is London, however, due to the nature of the service there are actually opportunities throughout the country.

Less than a fifth of the radio workforce is freelance, with broadcast journalists, voice over artists and audio producers being among the most common freelance roles. The more Radio becomes involved with digital, the more social media rules will naturally open up as well.

If you’re interested in reading more about going freelance, consult our Freelance Toolkit.

A recruiter might read hundreds of applications, so when applying you’ll need to make sure your CV is as close to perfect as possible. We have a great guide for writing a CV, but for Radio you will want to prioritise experience with audio and technology. If you hold a degree or qualification, it’s worth pushing the practical sides of your studies.

When making an application, it’s often recommended that you “show passion”. But how does that translate into a job application? Quite simply, it’s anything that can prove how much you love Radio and the work that goes into producing it. If you’ve spent three years studying it at University level, that shows you have passion. Or if you’ve got a portfolio of personal projects you’ve created to practice your craft, it shows you have passion.

When a production studio hires you, they’re trusting that you carry a love for the craft that will show up positively in your work. Sometimes, the best way is simply to show them via a trainee or internship scheme.

Have a look at Trainee Finder on Hiive to see what kind of placements are available.

Working in Radio

As the industry grows and continues to adapt, workers in Radio will need to stay updated to all the latest news, trends and technology. This can be easily achieved by attending industry workshops and seminars, and following blogs and websites.

Radio workers will need to have an idea about etiquette in the industry. For example, making loud noises or interrupting a live studio is absolutely forbidden, as is messing around with equipment you’re not responsible for.

It’s always wise to know where to turn to if you need legal counsel or aid, and BECTU represents people in the radio industry.


Sign up to our email newsletter for all the latest news and updates from across the screen-based creative industries to help your career, project or company.

Sign up