How to become a broadcast assistant: Molly's story
Meet Molly. She's 22 and grew up in Sheffield. Find out about her job as a broadcast assistant for BBC 5 Live in Salford. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.
What is your job?
My job is basically what it says on the tin: I assist with broadcasts on the radio.
I work with the on-air team to make sure everything is running smoothly. I also work with the planning team and find contributors to the shows. Day-to-day I use a lot of different software and databases to find contributors, get in touch with them, write up and edit content.
Although I work in radio, I also edit videos and digital content for social media.
Can you explain what skills you need to do your job?
First, you need good communication skills. I have to work with the public, guests and the on-air team.
We're a close team so good teamwork skills help us to make sure the broadcast runs as it's supposed to.
Time management is also really, really important in my job – if your programme runs over there are repercussions for the following programmes.
What subjects do you draw on in your job as a broadcast assistant?
At secondary school I loved English Language and Literature. English has really helped me in this job because being able to write and speak effectively is so important.
I took History at GCSE and it taught me how to build an argument, which is a key skill you need as a journalist.
I came to MediaCity, which is where I work now, on a school trip when I was 13. From that day I knew this job was for me!
- Get experience. At university, I volunteered at my local radio station and then I got a job there so I could learn about the industry
- Be creative. Think about social media as an online CV – use it to show off your skills
- Be determined. If you want a career in the media, don't let anything put you off. If you want it, you can do it!
What to expect if you want to be a radio broadcast assistant
- Radio broadcast assistant salary: £18,000 to £29,000 per year
- Radio broadcast assistant working hours: 39 to 41 hours per week (working patterns can be irregular)
- Typical entry requirements: You can get this job through a university course, a college course, an apprenticeship, or volunteering. For example, you could do a higher national diploma or degree in Radio or Media Production at university or courses such as a Level 2 Certificate in Radio or Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production at college. An advanced apprenticeship is another possible route. Each employer will set their own entry requirements for apprenticeships. As in Molly's case, volunteering can be a good way to show your enthusiasm for broadcasting. Community, hospital, or student radio can be great places to volunteer and start building up practical experience.
This information is a guide (sources: National Careers Service)