How to become a radio presenter: Swarzy's story

Meet Swarzy, 25, and discover what it's like to be a radio presenter. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Do not compare yourself to other people, because there is so much freedom in just being yourself. Believe in who you are.

  • Swarzy works for Kiss FM. She provides links for songs on her show and talks about the songs, artists, and music news. She works on the breakfast show, which starts at six o'clock in the morning

  • She didn't have training on the studio equipment before she started, so she is learning on the job to use equipment like faders to operate the microphone

  • At school she enjoyed English Literature and Drama and learnt about storytelling. These are all skills that have been useful in her job

  • Swarzy loves being in a job that celebrates music and allows her to express herself.

What to expect if you want to become a radio presenter

  • Radio presenter salary: Variable. You may be self-employed/freelance
  • Radio presenter working hours: 45 to 47 hours per week. You may work evenings and weekends

What qualifications do you need to be a radio presenter?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into radio presenting through a college course, by volunteering, applying directly, or through specialist training courses. You could attend college to learn skills in using sampling equipment, mixers, digital controllers, and decks. Courses include Level 2 Certificate in Music Technology, Level 2 Certificate in Radio, Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media. You may need two or more GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a Level 2 course or four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course.
    You can get experience and build contacts by working on student, community or hospital radio stations, working as a DJ on an internet radio station. You can also find work experience placements through the BBC Work Experience Scheme, or by contacting broadcasters to ask about opportunities. The Radiocentre can help you find commercial radio stations.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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