To begin your career in radio, these are your two primary options
What’s on this page:
- The two very different types of radio broadcasting schools in Virginia.
- Two little-known things you need to break into Virginia 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 mentoring program is superior to brick and mortar broadcasting schools.
- Why BMG costs so much less than traditional schools.
If you’re looking at various radio broadcasting schools or other radio training to start your career in radio in Virginia, you’ve picked a place with lots of opportunity.
That’s because Virginia has more than a thousand radio stations (720 FM and 300 AM) you could work for. But wherever you apply, the hiring manager will be looking for two things in your background:
Radio skills, including your vocal and presentation training, and your familiarity with station rules and equipment.
Insider Contacts. These are recommendations from professionals already in the industry who know you and your abilities. More on this below:
Two different types of radio broadcasting schools in Virginia
Here’s a question we often hear: “What is the best radio broadcasting school in the state?” It’s a normal question, since everyone wants to go to the best school, if possible.
The answer is simple but not so clear-cut. “It depends upon what type of learner YOU are.” Here are your two options:
Brick and Mortar Broadcasting Schools. These are housed in traditional classroom settings, and they teach in the traditional way. You attend classes on a set schedule, listen to lectures and take notes and tests. The teachers may be retired broadcasters or former broadcasting business executives. You also practice broadcasting, but it’s in the school’s simulated radio station, often on older equipment.
Such schools are usually located in large cities like Richmond or Norfolk, so if you live in a smaller community, you may have to commute or even relocate. Class schedules and semester start dates are also usually rigid. You may have to quit a present job to attend. Still, if you are the type of learner that does best in large group settings with note-taking, lectures, and traditional tests, then a traditional broadcasting school may be right for you.
Radio Apprenticeship Programs. Apprenticeships are a time-honored way to learn a business or trade by working under a professional already in it. Broadcasters Mentoring Group (BMG) has adapted this very effective one-on-one technique for radio broadcasting training.
If your learning style is suited for one-on-one training in a hands-on environment, then BMG’s training model is a better fit for you and should be considered the best broadcasting school for you.
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 right in your area. No need to travel or relocate.
- The broadcaster is in your chosen specialty: DJ, sportscaster, newscaster or talk show host.
- 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 month 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.
No brick and mortar school can match this flexibility and ease of getting a broadcasting education without turning your life inside out. And there’s another big advantage:
Contacts: The make or break factor in breaking into Virginia radio
There’s no need to mince words – you’ve got lots of competitors for any radio job opening. After all, many dream of getting paid to spin music or talk on their favorite subjects.
What will make a hiring manager pick you instead of the others?
Often, it’s a recommendation from an insider contact already in radio who knows you and is willing to help advance your career.
Apprenticeships build contacts automatically
You’re training side-by-side with working professionals in an actual radio station. Of course, they’re going to notice you there, but more importantly, they’re going to watch your skills develop.
Over time, if you do well in your training, you’ll win more than their respect. You’ll also get leads to openings they’ve heard about from their network of contacts, and recommendations which put you at the head of the line for consideration. They may even hire you themselves.
Brick and mortar schools operate outside the day-to-day world of working radio, so it’s much harder, if not impossible, to make current industry contacts. This is simply because these programs are not structured to naturally place you alongside industry contacts, on a regular basis.
The six out of 10 advantage
How often do contacts help land a job? An industry study showed that more than six of every 10 new broadcasting hires happened through contacts. No wonder California radio host Jona Denz Hamilton recommends the apprenticeship route. “Mentoring will put you on the fast track into radio,” she says.
She could have added that it’s also the inside track.
Best program, lowest cost
There’s another advantage to BMG apprenticeships: Because we don’t pay the costs of buildings and staff that brick and mortar schools do, big savings can be passed to you. BMG apprenticeship training can cost up to 20 times less than a university communications degree and thousands less than a stand-alone brick and mortar school.
So the most effective program for breaking in is also likely the most affordable one.
Help in deciding is free
If you continue to dream of being an on-air DJ, sportscaster, newscaster or talk show host in Virginia, or anywhere else, you have decisions to make: The first is what type of training best suits your learning style.
If one-on-one instruction in a hands-on environment is the way you learn best, then BMG’s mentor apprentice model is the right fit for you. If classroom learning with note-taking and lectures is the environment in which you learn best, then a brick-and-mortar broadcasting school would be better for you.
If an apprenticeship is your choice, do this: 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.
One of our counselors will then give you answer all your questions and provide a free radio career consultation. There’s absolutely no cost or obligation to learn more.
Start making your dream of broadcasting in Virginia happen. Contact BMG today!