Disc Jockey

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

What is this job like?

Disc jockeys, sometimes called "deejays," put music on the radio. They also talk about the news, sports, and weather. Sometimes, they make commercials, talk with guests, and tell what's going on in the community.

Disc jockeys work for radio stations. Usually, they work in small rooms called studios. These rooms are air-conditioned and soundproof. But it can be lonely. Full-time disc jockeys talk on the radio 5 or 6 days a week for about 4 hours at a time.

Most disc jockeys need to be able to ad-lib, which means talk without notes. They also need to keep track of time so that they can fit music, talk, and commercials into a strict schedule.

But the job is more than talking on the radio. Every day, disc jockeys must prepare for the radio show. Many disc jockeys write or edit the scripts that they read on air. Sometimes they write commercials too. Some disc jockeys find people to interview. And some make public appearances at schools and parties.

Disc jockeys at small radio stations often work with equipment to play music and adjust sound.

Because many radio stations are on air 24 hours a day, disc jockeys usually don't work regular hours. They often start early or work late.

How do you get ready?

It is very hard to get a job as a disc jockey. Classes in broadcast journalism at a college or technical school can help. Classes in English, public speaking, and drama are also good. Radio stations want to hire people with good speaking voices, correct grammar, and strong writing skills. Learning about music is also useful.

Experience is very important. Students can get experience at school radio stations. Beginners often start out in another radio job. They might record interviews or work with equipment.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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