How to become a radio and podcast presenter: Nick Bright's story

Meet Nick and find out about his life as a radio and podcast presenter. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I love the fact that I can change somebody's mood - whether it's by saying a goofy joke or playing a song they like.

  • Nick Bright is a radio presenter for BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 5 live, incidentally combining his two passions, music and football

  • Whilst at college, Nick decided he wanted to do something in Radio. After some deliberation, he decided to go to university and did a course in radio production. In his last year at university, he applied for jobs at the BBC and was successful. Since then, he has held various posts at the BBC, gaining experience and continually challenging himself

  • "There are so many challenges in media... You hear 'no' a lot." Nick confides. His top tip is to "try and grow a thick skin", you'll have knock-backs but just keep going

  • Getting into a career as a presenter is highly competitive. Nick's advice is to get as much industry experience as possible. Volunteering at your local community, university or hospital radio station is a good way to build examples of work that you can show potential employers.

What to expect if you want to be 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 be required to work evenings and weekends
  • 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 a Level 2 Certificate in Music Technology, Level 2 Certificate in Radio or 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 for a Level 3 course.
     
    You can get experience and build contacts, by working on student, community or hospital radio stations, or 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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