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You Need To Learn About How Much Money Does A Radio Host Make? [Updated-2022]

Have you always wanted to know how financially attractive the radio industry is or find an answer to the popular question, “how much money does a radio host make?”

In case you have a perfect voice for radio.

Especially if you are highly motivated by top radio personalities in your country, and you are thinking of building a career in radio or becoming a radio personality someday.

Asides from the love for the profession and the fame that comes with it. Money is a huge motivation.

As you read along, you will find out the average salary that radio hosts make in the United States of America and other developed regions or countries across the globe.

How Much Money Does A Radio Host Make on Average?

This section will look at the amount of money you can earn as a radio personality in developed countries like the United States of America.

This includes tips, extra pay for overtime, and other work-related bonuses.

These details will extend across the various experience levels.

Entry-Level (Less Than A Year)

If you are just starting your career as a radio host (entry-level or work experience that is not up to a year).

On average, you can look forward to earning about $3,100 monthly. This is approximately $38,000 yearly.

Early Career (1-4 Years)

If you have between one (1) and four (4) years of work experience as a radio host/personality.

You can earn as much as $3,200 per month on average. This is about $38,800 per annum.

Mid-Career (5-9 Years)

If you have been in the entertainment industry for about five (5) years and not more than nine (9) years working as a radio host.

You can make about $3,700 monthly on average.

When you spread this figure over 12 months. That is approximately $45,000 per annum.

Experienced Level (Over 10 Years)

An individual who has built a name as a radio host, extending over ten (10) years, is grouped/categorized under the experienced class.

On average, the monthly salary for an experienced radio host sits around $4,700.

When you sum it up or spread it over the year. This gives about $57,000.

Reference To Popular Sites

  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Radio_Show_Host/Salary
  • https://careertrend.com/info-7841585-average-salary-radio-personality.html
  • https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/radio-personality-salary

How Much Do Top Radio Hosts Make?

While the industry’s salaries (for radio hosts) are relatively low.

Some top radio personalities go home with mouth-watering paychecks at the end of every month or yearly.

Some of the factors that contribute to the high amount of money they make per annum include their individual ratings (the skills they possess, popularity & show rating, education, years of experience, and certifications), the companies or radio stations they work for, or/and gigs.

Let’s look at the income of some of the notable radio hosts across the world (before taxes).

Howard Stern ($90 Million)

Howard Stern regards himself as the “King of All Media,” and he is popularly known and regarded with this title.

The title is well-deserved, considering his remarkable/outstanding achievements over the years.

In 2018, he earned about ninety million ($90,000,000) working for Sirius XM radio.

Rush Limbaugh ($84.5 Million)

He owns the popular and top-rated radio talk show (Talk Stream Live) in the United States of America.

In the early part of 2018, Rush Limbaugh launched a mobile app, which extended his reach further in the digital space.

The launch became an instant success.

He experienced a massive boost in the subscription rate on his digital platform, accounting for the bulk of the $84.5 million he earned.

Ryan Seacrest ($74 Million)

Coming third (3rd) on this list is Ryan Seacrest. He is a popular radio host who works at iHeartMedia.

In 2018, he made a combined $74 million working as a radio host and co-host of American Idol.

Average Radio Host Earnings Based on Different Roles

As a radio host, you may be expected to take up various responsibilities/duties.

However, these duties depend on the radio station you are employed in and the role you are hired for.

For instance, you may be required to present news across various areas of interest such as:

  • Sports
  • Weather
  • Politics
  • Music, and many more

In addition, you may have to interview guests in various fields/industries, which may require you to handle discussions across a wide range of topics.

In most cases, the amount you earn (low or high) as a radio host depends on the station you work at and the market size.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The reported median wage that a radio hosts earn is $29,120.

The median salary reported by payscale.com is around $46,000.

When you interpret the median wage report, it means about 50% of radio hosts in the United States of America make below $29,120 (U.S. Department of Labor) or $46,000 (payscale.com).

The remaining 50% make above these figures.

Radio Host Salary Ranked in Different Cities

As discussed earlier, the size of the market and the station where you work or practice as a radio host play a significant role in how much you earn.

If you work in a bigger market or city like California.

You will earn more than a radio host in smaller markets or regions like Jackson.

1. Working As A Radio Host in A Small City/Market With Reference To Jackson (A City in Mississippi)

Let’s refer to a report by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

If you work as a news reporter or radio host in a small city or market like Jackson. The median salary is about $31,000.

2. Working As A Radio Host in A Large City/Market With Reference To California (A City in San Francisco)

Still on the Radio Television Digital News Association’s report.

As a radio host or news reporter working in a large market or city like California.

The median salary is about $36,500.

Which Radio Stations Pay The Highest?

Top/popular radio stations are known to earn significant revenue every year.

You can agree that the bigger the radio station, the better the pay.

This section will discuss some of the highly-rated and most popular radio stations that radio hosts can apply to or work at to improve their earnings.

1. WTOP in Washington, D.C.

WTOP is one of the top radio stations in the United States of America.

It has gained wide popularity amongst news lovers, making it a one-stop news channel for many people across the country.

If you are still considering how big this radio station is, their earnings are a great area to look at.

In 2018, the radio station reported around sixty-nine million ($69,000,000) in annual earnings.

2. KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, California

This radio station has been around for several years.

Owned by the popular iHeartMedia, the radio station has retained its crown as the number one hit music radio station in the U.S. among music lovers.

Most especially among listeners above twenty years of age.

One of the popular figures or radio hosts the station boasts of is Ryan Seacrest.

In 2018, they made around sixty-one million ($61,000,000) in annual earnings.

3. KBIG-FM in Los Angeles, California

KBIG-FM is another big radio station owned and managed by the popular iHeartMedia.

It is popular among listeners in the United States of America for its hot adult contemporary music.

In 2018, the radio station reported about forty-six million ($46,000,000) in earnings.

4. WFAN-FM in New York

WFAN-FM is a brainchild of Entercom.

Over the years, it has gained massive popularity among sports fans for its undiluted and rich sports content (news & talks), broadcasted around the clock.

In 2018, the station reported its annual earnings of about forty-one million ($41,000,000).

Which Type of Radio Show Does Pay The Hosts More?

You can anchor or host various shows or programs as a radio personality.

This section will discuss some of the most popular shows in a radio station that may pave the way for bigger pay.

1. Music

While anchoring or hosting a music show, a radio presenter or host is expected to introduce & play various selections of songs/records that align with the concept of the show.

2. News

This could be sport, weather, politics, music, finance, and many more.

This involves broadcasting current happenings in any of these areas, thereby keeping listeners up-to-date in the process.

3. Talk Show

A talk show is also known or regarded as a chat show.

As a host or presenter, you are expected to research and suggest topics that your listeners will find appealing or connect with on your show.

This means staying up-to-date on events happening in your specific area of broadcast.

This way, you will be able to answer the questions asked by the members of the public and make appropriate comments when listeners express outrage on the chosen topic or subject.

Interviewing Guests

Also, you may invite a celebrity or a popular guest to your show where you ask them questions about themselves.

Most importantly, things your audience would want to know, which are possibly not available in the media.


This involves being actively involved in the production of adverts.

Which Skills Make A Difference in The Average Income of A Radio Host?

If you want to earn above the average salary a radio host or personality earns in the United States of America (about $46,114 in 2021, according to salary.com).

There are some vital/significant factors you need to put into consideration.

The radio industry evolves every now and then. Considering the highly competitive nature of this industry.

Radio stations must provide suitable and balanced content to listeners at all times.

Hence, radio station owners are willing to pay more to radio hosts that can provide a vast range of broadcasts.

Having a blend of communications, entertainment, technical, business, and journalism skills makes you an ideal candidate, putting you ahead of many other presenters in the process.

The General FAQs of How Much Money Does A Radio Host Make?

1. Who is A Radio Host/Personality?

An individual who anchors on-air programs, ranging from news, music, or commentary, is regarded as a radio host or radio personality.

2. What Educational Requirements Do An Individual Need To Become A Radio Host?

If you are aspiring to become a radio personality or host.

First, you need to know that there are no specific formal education requirements to kick-start your career.

However, having a degree in relevant courses such as radio broadcasting, journalism, communications, or music can be a career-defining asset.

3. What Are The Advantages of Obtaining A Certificate Or Degree in Radio Broadcasting Or Other Related Fields?

When you have a degree in radio broadcasting or other related courses such as journalism, communications, or music.

It tells/shows prospective employers that you possess the relevant skills, knowledge, and experience that can aid or contribute to your success in the industry.

Also, it may provide you with relevant connections that will be supportive while searching for a job.

4. What Are The Essential Tips That Aspiring Radio Hosts Can Consider?

If you are aspiring to build a name/career in the entertainment industry as a radio host.

Volunteering at any local radio station in your region can be of great help.

Also, you can start a podcast talking about topics of interest to enhance/perfect your skills.

5. How Competitive is The Radio Industry?

The radio industry is highly competitive and evolves very fast.

Hence, you need to gain relevant knowledge and upgrade your skills from time to time to keep up with the pace.

6. How Can A Radio Host Supplement Their Income?

Do you want to expand your financial capabilities/earnings as a radio host?

You can teach aspiring radio personalities for a specific price or do voice-overs for brands or companies at a particular rate.

7. What is The Nature Of The Work Environment in The Radio Industry?

Generally, radio hosts may be on the air for long hours.

When they are not anchoring a program, they are always busy researching and putting their thoughts together as they prepare for their next shows.

Since radio stations broadcast non-stop or without any break in transmission unless there is a technical glitch.

A radio host may work at any point in time, irrespective of the time of the day, even on holidays.


Now that you have a more precise answer to the question of “how much money does a radio host make.”

It is important to note that the figures indicated in this article are not final.

This means that with the right skills (in-demand) and an increase in years of experience, you can become as big as the top hosts we mentioned.

If you are starting your career at any of the smaller markets or cities.

After a few years, you can improve your earning by moving to a larger market.

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