Radio Host Salary Guide and Career Outlook

In the United States, radio hosts earn a mean pay of $48,170. The mean stands at C$40,477 ($31,921 USD) in Canada, £28,000 ($37,721 USD) in the United Kingdom, and AU$50,359 ($38,369 USD) in Australia.

For radio hosts in New Zealand, mean earnings amount to NZD$65,000 ($44,767 USD). Radio hosts earn on a mean basis INR4,20,440 (INR420,440 in Western form) ($6,512 USD) in India and R158,032 ($11,532 USD) in South Africa.

radio host salary

How Much Does a Radio Host Make per Year by State?

Radio Host Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $23.16 C$19.46 £13.46 AU$24.22 NZD$31.24 INR202 R75.98
Annual Pay $48,170 C$40,477 £28,000 AU$50,359 NZD$65,000 INR4,20,440 R158,032

Radio Host Salary Influencing Factors

The diversity of the radio broadcasting industry makes it difficult to peg one primary factor in shaping a host’s salary. Generally, though, location, the size of the station, the experience of the host, talent and ability to draw large audiences can all influence earnings.

1. Location

Location can significantly shape earnings for radio hosts. In particular, areas with large populations can yield potential listeners and substantial advertising revenues for broadcasters.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Portland, Oregon area ranks first for “Radio and Television Announcers” at $86,920, followed by New York City at $82,770. Los Angeles comes in third at $78,530. Radio hosts in Anchorage, Alaska, earn $71,240, good enough to place that market in the top ten.

PayScale reports that radio hosts in Toronto make 52 percent above the mean pay for Canada. In South Africa, pay for radio hosts runs 45 percent above the mean in Johannesburg, but 20 percent below in Cape Town.

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in the US?

Radio Host Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $24,866 $11.95
Maximum $91,033 $43.77
Bonus $487 to $19,991 $0.23 to $9.61
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay $24,866 to $111,024

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in Canada?

Radio Host Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$28,229 C$13.57
Maximum C$77,608 C$37.31
Bonus C$5,500 C$2.64
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay C$28,229 to C$77,608

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in the UK?

Radio Host Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum £12,913 £6.21
Maximum £81,429 £8.86
Bonus No additional pay No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay £12,913 to £81,429

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in Australia?

Radio Host Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$40,056 AU$19.26
Maximum AU$80,811 AU$38.85
Bonus No additional pay No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay AU$40,056 to AU$80,811

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in New Zealand?

Radio Host Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZD$30,784 NZD$14.80
Maximum NZD$150,000 NZD$72.12
Bonus No additional pay No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay NZD$30,784 to NZD$150,000

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in India?

Radio Host Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum INR3,11,408 INR149.72
Maximum INR5,23,457 INR251.66
Bonus INR9,544 INR4.59
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay INR3,11,408 to INR5,33,001

How Much Does a Radio Host Make in South Africa?

Radio Host Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R18,460 R8.88
Maximum R358,862 R172.53
Bonus R6,750 R3.25
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay R41,426 to R2,023,370

2. Experience

According to Pay Scale, radio hosts with less than five years experience average $31,000. For those with five years in the field, the mean stands at $42,000. Pay at the ten to 20-year level has a mean figure of $50,000. Those with more than 20 years of experience see a mean pay of $64,000.

For entry-level radio hosts in Canada, the mean registers at C$35,000. Those who achieve five to ten years earn C$41,000, while the mean salary at the ten to 20-year stage is C$45,000. Radio hosts with more than 20 years of experience reach earnings of C$55,000.

For New Zealand radio presenters, the entry-level compensation runs from minimum wage (NZD$14.80 per hour, of NZD$30,784 on a full-time basis) to NZD$55,000. The salary range for presenters with one to five years of experience starts at NZD$55,000 and ends at NZD$75,000. With five to ten years, pay climbs to NZD$75,000 to NZD$95,000.

In India, a new radio host earns on average INR3,11,408 and those with eight or more years average INR5,23,357.

3. Industry

The radio broadcast industry features an extremely diverse menu of radio stations. Popular, mass-appeal music, sports and other talk radio, religious, classical music and college campus stations constitute a part of the industry. The variety of broadcasters, their resources and audience size create potentially wide ranges of earnings.

Depending on the broadcasting outlet’s size and market, a radio host’s talent and popularity can generate top-level earnings. In New Zealand, popular morning-time hosts can expect as much as NZD$150,000. B&T Magazine reports that, in Australia, a shortage of talent may allow presently established hosts to command valuable compensation packages.

Schedule & Working Hours

Numerous radio stations operate 24 hours per day, but that does not necessarily mean all or a vast majority of announcers work live late nights or weekends. Some stations prerecord or rely on distributed programming to air during these periods with sparse audiences. Smaller, low-powered AM stations in the United States may even “sign off” during non day-light periods.

Generally, radio hosts work on a full-time basis, but a fair percentage work part-time.In Canada, approximately 65 percent of “Announcers and Other Broadcasters” log full-time hours.

Not all of a radio hosts’ duties emanates from studios. The job schedule may include appearances at concerts or other public events and remote broadcasts. Hosts may also lend their voices to advertisements and promotions for local businesses or organizations.

Bonuses & Benefits

According to PayScale, radio hosts in many countries participate in profit sharing. In South Africa, the mean benefits from profit-sharing registers at R124,360. Radio hosts in the United States have a mean of $5,000 in profit-sharing compensation.

To degrees that vary by country, radio hosts have some form of employer-provided health benefits. PayScale says that 69 percent of U.S. radio hosts benefit from medical insurance, 52 percent have employer-furnished dental care, and four out of ten receive vision coverage.

Approximately two out of three radio hosts in Canada have medical coverage and 60 percent get dental coverage. Vision benefits are afforded to 47 percent of radio hosts. Among radio hosts in the United Kingdom, only 27 percent reported to Pay Scale having medical coverage, with none receiving dental or vision coverage. In South Africa, nearly eight out of ten had no health benefits. Four percent of radio hosts in the country had dental and vision coverage; 21 percent enjoyed medical coverage.

Career Outlook

To land spots, especially lucrative ones, aspiring radio hosts must accumulate experience and attention of broadcasting executives. These factors and competition for jobs spell many obstacles for finding work as a host. Those seeking a career in radio hosting often start a small outlets or volunteer on college or even secondary school-run stations.

Citing the competition for limited spots, Careers New Zealand rates as “poor” employment prospects for radio hosts. In fact, the profession lost 144 jobs between 2006 and 2013.

The acquisition of multiple stations by particular owners may further limit employment opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, such consolidation should produce an 11 percent decline in the employment of “Radio and Television Announcers” by 2026. This means 4,500 fewer positions for announcers by that time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also attributes the drop to technology that allows stations to feed content remotely and reliance on syndicated programming.

Job Bank Canada predicts that, by 2024, Canada will have only 2,200 job openings in the “Announcers and Other Broadcasters” field for 2,900 job seekers.

Conclusion

Radio personalities can notch higher earnings with experience, popularity and landing in large-market commercial radio stations or even on syndicated programs. However, advancing in the radio host field requires navigating competition and accumulating broadcast time that notices executives and listeners.

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