Education and Training Requirements
Writing skills are valuable in any profession, but especially in radio. Take composition and literature courses, and other courses that require essays and term papers. Journalism courses will not only help you develop your writing skills, but they will also teach you about the nature and history of media. You'll learn about deadlines and how to put a complete project (such as a newspaper or yearbook) together. Speech courses are also necessary for on-air experience.
Business courses and clubs frequently require students to put together projects; starting any business is similar to producing your own radio show. Use such a project as an opportunity to become familiar with the market research, interviewing, and writing that are all part of a radio producer's job. For both the future radio producer and the future disc jockey, a theater department offers great learning opportunities. Drama or theater classes, which are frequently involved in productions, may provide opportunities for learning about funding, advertising, casting, and other fundamentals similar to a radio production.
If your school has a radio station, get involved with it in any way you can. Also check with your local radio stations; some may offer part-time jobs to high school students interested in becoming producers and disc jockeys.
Most journalism and communications schools at universities offer programs in broadcasting. Radio producers and announcers often start their training in journalism schools, and they receive hands-on instruction at campus radio stations. These broadcasting programs are generally news-centered, providing great opportunities for students interested in producing news programs, daily newscasts, and documentaries. News directors and program managers of radio stations generally want to hire people who have a good, well-rounded education with a grounding of history, geography, political science, and literature.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There are no certification or licensing requirements for radio producers.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Aspiring radio producers can gain excellent experience by working on their high school, college, or community radio station as disc jockeys, assistant producers, producers, or in other positions.
In order to be a successful radio producer, you should be well versed in the English language (or the language in which you broadcast) and be a creative thinker who can combine several elements into one project. The ability to understand technical equipment and coordinate it with on-air events is also necessary.
A healthy curiosity about people and the world will help radio producers find new topics for news shows, new guests for call-ins, and new ideas for music formats. There are no physical requirements to be a radio producer, although those starting as disc jockeys need a strong, clear voice to be heard over the airwaves.