How to become a radio presenter: Chris' story

Meet Chris, 29, from Gateshead, who works as a radio presenter and producer for Metro Radio in Newcastle. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"When you've got a portfolio of work, send it to radio stations, get noticed, put yourself out there. You can do stuff so easily these days online."

  • From a young age, listening to the radio in the car on the way to and from school, all Chris ever dreamt of was being a radio presenter

  • He got into his job with Metro Radio by gathering as much experience as possible. He constantly emailed people to ask to work with them, and made himself as useful as possible, learning as he went along. He worked in community radio, hospital and student radio to build a portfolio of work to send to radio stations to make himself known

  • He enjoys the mix of presenting and producing his shows. He finds stories, gathers information and suggests ideas for shows and competitions and present information live on news and traffic and travel items

  • He's really excited to be living his boyhood dream and would love to do this job forever.

What to expect if you want to be 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 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 (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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