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Disc Jockey

What is this job like?

Disc jockeys, sometimes called "deejays," play music on the radio. They also talk about the news, sports, and weather. Sometimes, they make commercials, talk with guests, and tell what's going on in the community.

Disc jockeys work for radio stations, often in small rooms called studios. These rooms are air-conditioned and soundproof. Full-time disc jockeys talk on the radio 5 or 6 days a week for about 4 hours at a time.

Most disc jockeys need to be able to ad-lib, which means talk without a script. They also need to keep track of time so that they can fit music, talk, and commercials into a strict schedule.

But the job is more than talking on the radio. Every day, disc jockeys must prepare for the radio show. Many disc jockeys write or edit the scripts that they read on air. Sometimes they write commercials too. Some disc jockeys find people to interview. And some make public appearances at schools and parties.

Disc jockeys at small radio stations often work with equipment to play music and adjust sound.

Because many radio stations are on air 24 hours a day, disc jockeys usually don't work regular hours. They often start early or work late.


How do you get ready?

It is very hard to get a job as a disc jockey. Classes in broadcast journalism at a college or technical school can help. Classes in English, public speaking, and drama are also useful. Radio stations want to hire people with good speaking voices, correct grammar, and strong writing skills. Learning about music is also helpful.

Experience is very important. Students can get experience at school radio stations. Beginners often start out in another radio job. They might record interviews or work with equipment.

How many jobs are there?

Radio and television announcers held about 55,100 jobs in 2008.What about the future?

There is a lot of competition for these jobs. It is easier to get jobs at small radio stations, especially if you finish an internship or work at a school's radio station.

The number of announcers is expected to decline moderately through the year 2018. This is partly because there aren't many new radio stations. Some stations are closing their studios because many different radio programs can now be recorded and sent out from one place.


How much does this job pay?

Earnings are higher in large cities than in small ones. In May 2008, the average hourly wages of radio and television announcersósome of whom were disc jockeysówere $19.43.

Are there other jobs like this?

Actors

Directors

Musicians

Public relations specialists

Reporters

Singers

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