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Starting Salaries for Radio Jobs

Being an authoritative reporter of the news or celebrated disc jockey spinning tunes in a radio station seems like a glamorous jobs; a dream come true to most people. What many do not know is that just like any other job out there, radio broadcasting employees have to work their way up from the low paying jobs so as to earn a decent salary. Rome was not built in a day and making your way to the top will definitely not happen overnight. It is not a smooth sailing as most people picture it to be. To worsen the situation, the radio broadcasters are competing for the top paying jobs in an ever-contracting industry. However, the few that succeed to the top positions ultimately receive hefty salaries and bonuses that make the journey worth it. (image from flickr)


Hundreds of students fresh from college, well groomed for the job market in radio broadcasting are always puzzled on how much their starting salaries will be if they land such jobs. Before we come to learn of the salaries and benefits, we have to take a look at which types of jobs are available in this industry for inexperienced beginners. The radio broadcasting industry offers a wide range of jobs including, the news gatherers and reporters, the announcers who we normally hear reading prepared news pieces, disk jockeys (DJs) and the technical support which mostly comprises of engineers. One you have worked your way through one of them, you can then come to the higher-level jobs like the programs and news producers. In this list, we should also include the station managers since they are the ones charged with the responsibility of routine office work or accounting. Smaller radio stations are characterized with an overwhelmed staff that are usually required to handle multiple jobs. A recent study carried out in America by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that approximately 38 percent of the employers in the radio broadcasting industry have less than 5 employees in total.

Radio broadcasting employees in small stations receive wages that are below the median. This makes it imperative for them to work their way up from such stations. As of November 2010, PayScale stated that a starting employee in the post of production assistant can get paid just a little more than 20,000 dollars per year .Entry-level radio announcers earn between 18,500 and 28,000 dollars per year. New operators earn as little as 16,500 dollars per year in smaller stations. However, the cost of living in smaller markets is much smaller in comparison with the urban areas.

Starting salaries of radio employees are not that much higher than their television counterparts. Another study carried out recently by the Radio Television Digital News Association found out that in the United States, radio news reporters got a starting salary of an average of 25,100 dollars in a year. The ones who report on general news which are human-interest oriented in a year earned between 25,200dollars and 100 dollars more than those in news per year.