Your broadcasting career starts in your favorite Chicago radio station
Here’s a quick summary of what’s on this page:
- The two things you need to break into Chicago radio.
- How, under BMG’s unique mentor-apprentice program, you are trained by a working broadcaster in an actual radio station in your local area.
- Why BMG’s program is superior to brick and mortar radio broadcasting schools in Chicago.
- Why BMG costs so much less than traditional schools.
- How to get a free radio career consultation, with no obligation.
Since you are searching for radio broadcasting schools in Chicago, you’ve come to the right place. Chicago may be called the “Second City,” but it’s second to none in radio broadcasting. The Chicagoland area hosts some 161 radio stations.
Two Things You Need to Succeed in Chicago Radio
All this makes Chicago a great place to break into radio broadcasting, as a DJ, news or talk host, or sportscaster. But to stand a chance of being hired, you’re going to need two things:
Radio Skills. These are vocal and presentation training, and understanding of station procedures and the equipment you’re going to use.
Insider Contacts. These are professionals already in radio who know you and who are willing to recommend you when there’s a job opening.
Two Kinds of Training Resources in Chicago
Radio skills training in Chicago is easy to find. There are two types of programs that supply it.
Brick and mortar broadcasting schools. You may have seen these advertised. They are housed in their own buildings, sometimes on a college campus. You learn by attending classes, sitting through lectures, taking notes and passing tests. You practice broadcasting, but often it’s on a simulated station not really on the air, and on older equipment donated by a local station that no longer needs it.
You will learn skills but there are challenges. These schools are often in center city areas so if you don’t live in one, you’ll likely have to commute or move. You also have to follow rigid class and semester schedules which may conflict with a present job or otherwise change your life. And the cost can be up to $50,000 when the training is part of a college degree program.
But there’s another kind of training that overcomes all these challenges.
Radio apprenticeship training, as offered by Broadcasters Mentoring Group (BMG). We’ve taken a classic way to learn a trade, by being taught by a working professional right in the workplace, and we’ve adapted it to broadcasting training.
Here’s a brief look at how BMG’s program works:
- When you apply, you are linked with a working broadcaster (your mentor) in a radio station you select right in your area. No need to travel or relocate.
- The broadcaster is in your chosen specialty: DJ, sportscaster, newscaster, or talk show host, so no time or money is spent learning specialties which don’t interest you.
- You meet with your mentor weekly, on a schedule that fits your availability. No need to quit a present job while you learn. And you can start whenever you wish. There are no set semesters.
- Your meetings are right in the real radio station, and you practice on the same equipment the broadcasters there use every day.
- You follow a carefully thought-out curriculum, including producing and hosting your own radio show.
- Over time, with your mentor’s feedback and encouragement, your skills grow and grow.
- You can choose either a three or six month program. At completion, BMG certifies you as being ready to go on-air. And we operate a lifetime job placement program to help you keep your dream going long after training is completed.
Contacts: The Make or Break Factor for Breaking In to Chicago Radio
You’re not the only one seeking a radio career in Chicago. Far from it! Expect a horde of applicants for every job you try to land. So you need an advantage the others don’t have.
You’ll have one with apprenticeship training. It will be your insider contacts. But how do you make those contacts?
Apprenticeships Build Contacts Automatically
In an apprentice program, you learn in an actual radio station. You’re side-by-side with the working professionals. You and they get to know each other. More importantly, they get to watch your skills grow. Work hard in your training and you earn their respect and more: They become willing to recommend you when they hear of a job opening, perhaps through their own contacts. Other applicants may complain how hard it is to get a foot in radio’s door. But you’re already inside that door.
Industry studies say this is how most broadcasting jobs are filled; More than six of every 10 new hires happen through contacts.
Brick and mortar schools exist separate from the world of day-to-day radio. They can’t build current contacts the same way.
No wonder California radio host Jona Denz Hamilton recommends the apprenticeship route. “Mentoring will put you on the fast track into radio,” she says. That’s because it’s also the inside track.
Best Program, Lowest Cost
BMG apprenticeships have another advantage: We don’t pay for buildings and full-time staff as brick and mortar schools do, so we can pass those savings to you. BMG training costs up to 20 times less than traditional schools, when in a college degree program.
So what’s likely the most effective path to getting a job is also the most affordable.
Make Your Move in the Windy City
None of these advantages can work for you unless you let them. The first step is easy and it’s free. Read the rest of this website and especially the FAQ page. Or even easier, click on the radio specialty that interests you below or fill out the contact form on this page. Or simply call BMG at (818) 879-0858.
A BMG counselor will get back to you with more information and a free career consultation. And there’s never a cost or obligation to learn more.
Chicago is nicknamed the “Windy City.” Let some of that breeze propel your dream of on-air broadcasting in Chicago. Contact BMG today!