How to Be a Radio Board Operator

A radio board operator is an entry-level position at most radio stations. The job entails playing commercials and announcements at predetermined times, checking transmitter readings, preparing logs, and airing programs or music. Extensive training is not required to become a radio board operator, but it does take some knowledge and practice. Use these tips to learn how to be a radio board operator.


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    Obtain your high school diploma. You can learn many things during your high school years that will be beneficial to you as a radio board operator. Math classes help you calculate time measurements. Computer classes help you become skilled with new computer programs and software. Speech classes prepare you to speak on air, if given the opportunity.
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    Practice operating various pieces of electronic equipment. A radio board has many buttons, switches and slides that control different functions, such as volume, playback, microphones and other aspects of radio. By learning to efficiently operate buttons on stereos, mp3 players, digital recording devices and other electronic equipment, you can become proficient in managing several devices at once. That will be part of your job while you are operating the board.
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    Volunteer at your local radio station. Speak to the general manager or the program director and offer your services. Many small radio stations are looking for volunteers to help out with odd shifts. Even if the station isn't looking for a volunteer, you may choose to ask for a tour and a demonstration. This will help you learn about that particular station's board and what happens behind the scenes.
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    Attend broadcasting school. Most broadcasting education programs take between 18 months and 2 years to complete. You learn to run a board, speak on air, create logs and master other duties related to radio broadcasting. A diploma from a broadcasting school shows a future employer that you are dedicated and have some radio board knowledge.
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    Understand that a board operator job is not glamorous. Often, board operators perform mundane tasks, such as preparing logs for the next day, tracking transmitter readings and taking out the garbage. Board operators rarely get to hear their own voices on the air, nor do they participate in programming choices or ad spot creation. They may take phone calls and perform secretarial duties when needed.

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