If you're taking (or considering taking) broadcasting training for TV or radio, you are no doubt thinking ahead to how you'll land that first job after college.
Broadcasting is a competitive field, so getting your foot in the door can be quite challenging. However, if you're willing to work hard—and aren't overly selective about what roles you'll take starting out—there are a number of reliable ways to break into the broadcasting business, and build a successful career.
In this post we look at two typical entry-level jobs for both radio and television. We break down what each role entails, most important required skills, and paths for advancement. Read on to get started.
Entry Level Radio Job #1: Promotions Assistant
Interested in becoming an on-air host, board operator, copywriter, or producer? One of the best ways to break into creative radio jobs is by starting as a promotions assistant.
Promotions assistants do a little bit of everything. They answer phones, assist talent, connect with fans at live events, help coordinate on-site appearances and promotions, represent the station at local events, help with audio editing, and more.
What skills will you draw upon while working in promotions? Typical requirements for this role include:
- excellent people skills (outgoing, friendly, good at networking, etc.)
- comfortable working with social media platforms and posting content to websites
- knowledge of Adobe editing software
- strong writing skills
- creative thinking/problem-solving
Proving your skills as a promotions assistant can lead to more advanced positions in radio. Station managers are far more likely to hire from within for roles like promotions manager, board operator, brand manager, programming director—or even on-air talent.
Entry Level Radio Job #2: Sales Assistant
Interested in pursuing an executive (managerial) radio career path? Excelled in the sales and marketing component of your college broadcasting program? Your best entry-level option for radio would be a sales assistant position.
Sales is all about connecting with advertisers, and developing ways to meet their goals using the radio station's products. As a sales assistant, your role would be to help find new leads for the account executives, brainstorm ideas with the sales team, help prepare promotions and advertising proposals, and learn how to maintain and service existing accounts.
Important skills for this role include:
- market research and writing
- public speaking (for pitching ideas and making presentations to the sales team)
- team work (the entire sales team works together toward the same goals)
- understanding and analyzing clients' business goals
- excellent communication skills for approaching potential new leads
Sales assistants often move on to more senior roles as account executives, account managers, director of sales—even local, regional, or general manager positions.
Entry Level TV Job #1: Production Assistant
Breaking into television as a production assistant (PA) is quite similar to working in radio as a promotions assistant. Like in radio, the television PA role covers a wide range of general tasks, offering new grads the chance to experience different aspects of the business.
PAs generally handle everything higher ranking producers don't have time for, such as:
- making script copies
- shuttling crew members and equipment from point A to point B
- sending emails and booking appointments
- booking studios, production equipment, performance and production staff
- overseeing cues, timings and continuity during recording
- clearing copyrights
- getting coffee/snacks
A number of recent broadcasting grads work as freelance PAs, dividing their time between different film or TV production companies. Some of the most important skills you'll need to stand out as a PA, and lay the groundwork for career advancement, include:
- excellent communication and administrative abilities
- strong organization and people-management
- comfortable working with computers (IT skills)
- able to work under pressure, within tight deadlines
- enthusiasm, energy, and reliability
Entry Level TV Job #2: Paid/Unpaid Internships
If you can't get your foot in the door as a PA, you might consider investigating internship opportunities with television networks or studios.
Some internships are paid positions with up to 40 hours a week of work, while others are part-time volunteer roles. Either way, you earn valuable experience—a fundamental criteria for most television broadcasting jobs, and the toughest thing to get straight out of college.
Keep an eye out for internships listed on job search sites, or on the "Careers" section of network websites. Here's an example of a paid internship listing on the APTN network site (in Winnipeg, Manitoba). Just click on "Paid Internship" for more details.
Internships may focus on any number of areas, such as writing, directing, programming, and production. This can be an ideal way to begin applying what you learned at broadcasting college, and explore which areas of television interest you most.
Want to learn more about launching a broadcasting career in television or radio? Looking for a comprehensive and reliable broadcasting training program in Winnipeg?
Consider Herzing College's Radio and Television Broadcasting Program, delivered at the Winnipeg campus. Visit the program page for a complete list of courses, admission information, career paths, and to chat live with a friendly advisor.
Or, just fill out the Request Info form at the top right of this page for fast, free information. We're here to help!