Career Development

How To Become an On Air Personality: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as an on air personality, including education, skills, salary and more.

An on air personality (OAP) is a radio or television presenter who hosts and produces shows. OAPs are often the face of a station or network, and they play an important role in engaging and entertaining audiences. If you have a strong personality and are interested in a career in broadcasting, becoming an on air personality may be the right path for you. In this article, we discuss what an on air personality does and how to become one.

What Does an On Air Personality Do?

An on air personality is the public face of a radio or television station, often hosting shows and providing commentary. They are also known as broadcasters. On air personalities typically have a deep knowledge in their field of interest, whether it be sports, music, news or entertainment, and they share this information with listeners or viewers in an engaging way.

Other duties of an on air personality may include:

  • Introducing and playing music
  • Hosting talk shows and interviews
  • Reading the news
  • Reporting on current events
  • Giving weather reports
  • Sharing traffic updates
  • Promoting upcoming events
  • Taking phone calls from listeners
  • Engaging with listeners or viewers on social media

On Air Personality Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for an on air personality is $68,495. This figure can vary based on the level of experience, education, industry and geographical location of the analyst.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for on air personalities to increase at an average rate over the next decade. This is due in part to the continued popularity of radio as a medium. Additionally, as more people move to streaming services, there may be an increased demand for on air personalities who can help curate content and keep listeners engaged.

How to Become an On Air Personality

Here are several steps you should take to become an on air personality.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, communications or a related field

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement for most on-air personality positions. Some employers prefer candidates who have earned a degree in broadcasting or communications, but others will accept degrees in other fields as long as they include coursework in media and public relations.

While you are in school, take advantage of any opportunities to gain experience in radio or television. You can also volunteer at your local radio station to get hands-on experience.

2. Complete an internship at a radio station or other media outlet

Internships are a great way to gain experience and build your network in the broadcasting industry. They can also help you develop your on-air personality, as you will be able to practice reading scripts and delivering information in front of a microphone or camera.

When choosing an internship, look for opportunities that allow you to work with multiple departments at a media company. This will give you more exposure to different aspects of the industry and make you more attractive to employers.

3. Develop your on-air personality

As you work at radio stations, develop your on-air personality by researching other broadcasters and learning what makes them successful. Consider the type of voice, tone and content they use when reading their scripts and how they engage with their audiences to understand what works well.

You may also want to practice speaking in front of a mirror or video yourself to see how you appear to others. This can help you identify areas for improvement and make changes as needed.

4. Create a demo reel of your work

A demo reel is a compilation of your best work that you can use to apply for jobs or demonstrate your on-air skills. You may want to create a demo reel with voiceover acting, where you read scripts alone in front of a microphone, or you may prefer to include video clips of yourself hosting live events.

You can include clips from internships and freelance work as well as any auditions you’ve received. Make sure the content on your demo reel reflects the type of position you’re applying for.

5. Apply for on-air positions at radio stations or other media outlets

Once you have experience and a demo reel, apply for on-air positions at radio stations or other media outlets. You can find job listings online or through your college’s career services office.

When applying for jobs, make sure to highlight the skills and experiences you gained in your internship and education. List any relevant skills from the “Develop your on-air personality” section of the article outline as well.

6. Network with people in the industry

Networking is an important part of the job search process for on air personalities. You can use your personal and professional networks to find opportunities, build your resume and create connections that could help you advance your career. For example, if you’re looking for a position at a particular radio station, you might ask your personal or professional network for introductions to people who work there.

You can also use networking to get feedback on your demo reel and improve your on-air performance. Additionally, it’s helpful to have mentors in the industry who can provide guidance as you develop your skills.

7. Stay up to date on trends in the industry

As a on air personality, you should always be aware of the latest trends in your industry. This will help you stay relevant and attract listeners to your programs. You can do this by reading articles about the radio or television business and following companies and individuals in the industry on social media.


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