So you stood in long queues for giving your audition for RJ but did not get selected? Well, big deal. Even Amitabh Bachchan was not short-listed by All India Radio. Consider yourself in good company and get into a radio station through some other door!

Yes, in all the hype and hoopla surrounding the job of an RJ, we tend to forget the a career with radio is much more than merely being an RJ. Though, one must confess, RJ-ing rocks! 🙂

A career in radio can see you in any of the following – marketing (hardcore sales to strategy planning), content development (writing scripts for Rjs to creating radio jingles),  engineering (from sound engineering to computer networking) and of course, presentation and announcing (RJ-in). With more than 300 new licenses being awarded to mor than 30 private broadcasters in 91 cities all over India, radio is all set to provide more options than there ever were in the field.

Figure this one out: If the around 300 new radio stations require an average of about 5,000 content hours per radio station per year, there would be a demand of content for 15 Lakh content hours per year by the radio industry! Where is it going to come from? From thousands of creative persons – writers, thinkers, planners, singers, recordists etc – that would need to be hired by the industry.

15 lakh content hours per year would need to be sold to people and advertisers. That would require MBAs and sales whiz-kids.

According to industry estimates, a typical RJ gets a starting pay of Rs 20,000 p.m. – though it depends on the city. A Mumbai RJ would get more than an RJ in Ahmedabad, who in turn would get slightly more than that of Vadodara. Later on, the popular and experienced RJs get around Rs 70,000 to 1 lakh a month in big cities. RJs of smaller cities get around 25-30% less than that.

Similarly, freshers in the production department start at around Rs 20,000 p.m. But if you manage to rise your way up to being the ‘Station Head’, you can hope to earn anywhere between 1 to 3 lakhs – subject of course to experience and performance! 1 to 3 lakhs, whoa!

The base of listeners grew from virtually 0 to about 70% today. Since the listener base is directly correlated to the advertising revenues of radio stations, advertisers are eager to tap this local audience base.
Radio companies, in turn, are hoping to grow from niche-advertising revenues.

As compared to television commercials, radio commercials are relatively economical to produce. Owing to this, advertisers are able to make several creative ads catering to different cities, different day-parts and different brand objectives – and still manage cost-effectiveness.

Most of your current radio heart-throbs probably came without any formal training. But today, there are institutes coming up to train you for a career in radio.

RadioActive Pvt. Ltd, a venture by radio veterans Brian Tellis and Erica D’Souza, offers certificate courses Radio Management-Programming, and Radio Presentation and Announcing. The venture is in collaboration with Xaviers Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai.

The syllabus and content has been designed by RadioActive, while XIC will provide the necessary infrastructure and resources. The total duration for each course is 150 hours, distributed over 3-hour lectures, thrice a week and the fees is Rs. 50,000. (Please check the institute for latest figures. League is a mere messenger of information.)

But the other major player – and arguably a much bigger setup – in the field of training for radio is Roshan Abbas’ EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management.

It offers a one-year Post Graduate Diploma in Radio Management (PGDRM) (Rs. 40,000), and a three-month part time Certificate in Radio Jockeying (CRJ) (Rs. 30,000).

Want to find out more about them? We’re giving you the contact details of the two here:

Radioactive Pvt. Ltd. (In collaboration with XIC):
Tel: (022) 22621366 / 22621369

EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management:
Tel: (022) 26550808 / 26427171

However, as in falling over each other to get a certificate in computer  or design courses, the risk lies in the fact that in human intensive industries (where the talent of human beings means more than the ability of machines) like entertainment industry, certificates might not lead you anywhere if you don’t have inherent talent for the job in radio.

For becoming a RJ, of course, a certificate might not do absolutely anything – except teach you about things like distance between your mouth and the mike or the working of the sound console.

So there, take your call. You can become RJ later on too. For the moment, you can try production.


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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