Radio Technology Degrees and Courses

Radio technology experts work all over the country at colleges and universities or at private or public radio stations. You can gain training in this field through certificate and degree programs in radio technology. Learn more about the curricula for these programs, and explore common course topics. Get info on starting your career in radio technology. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Knowledge in radio technology prepares you for a career working in radio, television, or recording studios. The best way to learn radio technology is through hands-on experience.

Colleges Choose a college with a communications department
Degrees Associate's or bachelor's degree; certificates available
Courses Radio production, sound engineering, digital recording, management, media history, communication law, math, science, etc.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Radio Technology Courses and Degrees Are There?

Radio technology can be studied at the certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree levels. Many of these are radio production degree programs offered through communications departments. If you wish to pursue part of your education online, look for schools with online general education and communications courses. Due to the technical nature of the radio technology field, major or concentration courses will probably have to be done in-person, to facilitate hands-on learning.

Several schools offer both broadcast radio programs and radio, or audio production programs - the latter are what apply to you if you are most interested in learning all the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of running a radio station. Individual courses in radio are available at some community colleges and universities. You may take one or two as a special or non-matriculated student without earning credit, as a way of determining whether you want to invest in a graded program.

What Types of Courses Will I Take?

Certificate programs may include anywhere from 15-30 credit hours. All courses will be in radio production topics such as sound engineering, digital recording and radio station operation and management.

Degree programs require general education credits in subjects such as English, math, science and history. These classes may be taken online or in-person, and may take up one quarter to one half of your total credit hours.

Next, there are communications courses. These may expand beyond radio technology, to encompass television, Internet and visual media topics.

Finally, you will take a series of radio-related courses, and possibly complete an internship at a radio station. Some typical radio production course topics are:

  • Field recording
  • Studio recording
  • Media history
  • Radio programming
  • Digital recording
  • Communication law

By the time you enter the job market in this field, you should be adept at setting up and operating the equipment used in radio stations. You should also be able to mix and engineer audio recordings and understand the basic principles of business and law involved in running a radio station.

How Can I Begin My Career?

Radio careers often begin with internships, or experience working in college radio stations. When you are evaluating schools, look for those with modern facilities, a student-run radio station, and a developed internship program. Part-time assistant jobs often serve as a stepping-stone for people working in radio. You may also offer to volunteer at a station until a paying job opens up. This is a way to gain hands-on experience and build your professional network.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in small cities and rural areas will probably be more plentiful than big city radio work in the next few years ( You may look for programs in areas with several radio stations, or with strong alumni networks.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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