While attending college or broadcasting school you may be able to sign up for an internship, which will help you learn how to become a DJ. Ask your school about paid and unpaid internship opportunities. You could be closer to becoming a DJ with a radio internship on your resume.
Also, consider working part time at local parties as a DJ to provide you with more opportunities to practice working in front of people instead of in a radio broadcast booth. Becoming a DJ is hard work and you will have to be resilient if you find that radio stations do not accept you as an intern or if the internship is not exactly what you expected. There is always an opportunity to learn if you keep an open mind.
Learning how to become a DJ is not only about introducing music. You must also be able to read commercials, give news reports including weather and traffic, and conduct interviews. So speaking to people and in front of groups will help improve your speaking abilities. This is where all those speech classes will come in handy. In addition to taking classes, you can also record radio programs and then practice repeating the spoken parts to advance your speaking abilities. Do this many times until you can read the entire segment without oral inconsistencies or long pauses. Perform in front of friends and family, and also try to get small gigs at local weddings, house parties, small bars, and other holiday related events.
Another great tip on how to become a DJ is to go where radio personalities are making public appearances such as a grand opening of a new store, a charity drive or any other local event. Be an observer and hang out by the radio personality’s tent or broadcasting station, and when he is not on the air ask the DJ a few questions about how he became a DJ. Ask if you can shadow him sometime, or just sit next to him and watch and listen while he is at that event. Carry a business card or other paperwork with your contact information as well. You may be surprised when you get a phone call or email inviting you to tour the radio station and talk to the radio DJs while they are working live on the air.
Whatever you do to learn how to become a DJ, be persistent, learn as much as you can and then keep on learning, be passionate about it, and of course, become a student at a local accredited broadcasting school to ensure a future of success.
Tim White, director for the Ohio and Illinois Centers for Broadcasting and manager of several national bands and artists, is FCC licensed and owns a 25 year old Indie record label. Learn more about how to become a dj