How to Become a DJ

Become a DJ

In our review of different careers, we take a look at how to become a DJ, what a DJ does and what skills and attributes are required to become a DJ.

What Does a DJ Do?

A DJ  you might play music to listeners either on the radio l(hospital  radio, local, regional or national  radio staions) or at live events, including night clubs, weddings, parties etc. Ultimatley you would select the music that is played. 

As a DJ, your day to day job might include planning a playlist for an event, setting up technical equipment before an event, playing live in front of an audience, gauging the reaction of an audience and adjusting the performance if necessary, operating lighting and visual effects, creating your own tracks my mixing music together and interacting with the audience.  If you work as a radio DJ you might interact with the audience through phone-ins, interview studio guests, operate the studio equipment and assist in planning the shows with the producer.

As a DJ, your working hours can vary.  If you work in radio then your hours will depend on when your show is aired.  If you play at live venues then you will usually be working evenings and weekends, often until the early hours of the morning.

Is Becoming a DJ Right For Me?

To become a DJ you will need the following skills and attributes:

  • An excellent knowledge of music and musical artists
  • Confidence
  • Good timing
  • The ability to ad-lib
  • The ability to multi-task
  • Natural rhythm
  • Objectivity

How Much Can a DJ Earn?

The amount you will earn as a DJ varies widely depending on your skills and experience.  You will usually be self-employed and if you a known to be good you could charge up to £300 a night.  However, some DJ's initially work for free just to gain experience.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a DJ?

There are no formal qualifications required to become a DJ, but experience will help you to land a job.  As a live venue DJ, you would work for yourself and just need to buy your equipment.  To work as a radio DJ you will need experience.  There are many local radio stations that are run by volunteers and so gaining experience shouldn't be difficult.