If choosing songs, talking about music, mash-ups, and sounds systems add up to your idea of a great time, then you should consider becoming a disc jockey (DJ)! There are broadly two types of disc jockeys: radio and entertainment (club and party). Radio disc jockeys are in charge of broadcasting music over radio stations – broadcasts may be live or scripted. They must conduct the program smoothly, ensuring commentary, interviews, contests, and commercials running as per schedule. This entails working with other staff members such as editors, technicians, and directors. A clear voice and distinct personality are highly desirable in this job. Occasionally, radio jockeys participate in live and promotional events, such. Entertainment disc jockeys, on the other hand, are in charge of music at clubs and party venues. They compile extensive playlists to get the crowd dancing and transition from one song to the next. Such disc jockeys may also lend their services at restaurants, weddings, and other events. Those who work independently need great people skills and self-promotion abilities.
Becoming a disc jockey takes a great deal of passion, hard work, and perseverance. Depending on your personal goals and dreams, you can chart an educational path for yourself. If you want to work in radio broadcasting, completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in communications, radio broadcasting, or journalism is a good first step. Some programs will give you a chance to get internships at local stations, providing valuable work experience and helping to hone your skills. The topics you might study include reporting, voice training, sound engineering, and computer training. To gain work experience, you can also take up relevant part-time jobs at your college or university.
If you want to be a disc jockey in the entertainment field, you can take a different route. Extensive formal training and educational qualifications are not be absolutely necessary for this job, although they can be advantageous. You could consider an apprenticeship with an established disc jockey or teach yourself the skills you need, either through work experience or online tutorials. Getting the equipment you need can be a challenge – disc jockeying setups are quite expensive.
Enrolling at the right university or college could give you the chance to work with cutting-edge tools. Some schools offer courses focused on key disc jockeying skills such as audio production, working with software, and sound engineering. You can also learn how to work with the latest playing and mixing styles and have the opportunity to learn from reputed disc jockeys. Classes can be expensive, though, and every disc jockey eventually needs his or her own gear. Schools do offer giveaways and discounts on occasion, so be sure to check with them. To be a professional club or party disc jockey, you may need to apply for a license in some states.
The US offers a number of acclaimed programs for aspiring disc jockeys. Dubspot and Scratch DJ Academy are famous disc jockey schools. The Grand Canyon University and University of Phoenix offers bachelor’s degree programs in communication, with the latter also providing a second program with a focus in journalism. Some of these courses are also available online. Other options include the Full Sail University, Los Angeles Film School, and F.I.R.S.T. College.
Becoming a successful disc jockey, whether in broadcasting or entertainment, is no quick and easy feat. Even after your acquire the skills and knowledge you need, you will spend a considerable amount of time gaining experience in entry-level jobs, at odd hours, or through small-scale gigs. Building a reputation takes time, sometimes several years. However, once you establish a name for yourself, you could be doing what you love on a daily basis – and making good money as well.