Radio Operator Training and Education Program Information

Read about radio operator training program options here. See the topics of study along with popular career choices and career statistics for radio operators.

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Essential Information

Radio operators can work for a variety of employers, including the maritime industry, airlines or the United States Army. Jobs as radio operators require minimal formal education, with most companies offering on-the-job training. Radio operators prepare for emergencies by maintaining transmission equipment, repairing systems and performing preventative maintenance.

Some organizations provide self-study materials to prospective radio operators. Informal courses, run by radio clubs, prepare students to obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license as a ham or commercial radio operator. Courses take as little as one day to complete; there are no prerequisites required.

Program Coursework

Radio operators periodically inspect and test equipment to ensure that the machines are in working order. Additionally, operators set transmitters, keep records and relay distress calls to emergency response professionals. On-the-job training might include the study of:

  • Broadcast preservation and recording
  • Electrical principles
  • Interpretation of coded messages
  • Maintenance of station logs
  • Radio equipment repair
  • Transmission instruction exchange

Popular Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2012, there were 1,280 radio operators employed (www.bls.gov). The state or local government employed most of these professionals. The BLS stated that the yearly median wage for radio operators was $42,080 in 2012. Here are some typical jobs for which radio operators may be eligible:

  • Flight communications specialist
  • Radio electronics technician
  • Telecommunication operator

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Radio operators who are required to have a commercial license work on certain ships, aircraft or in international fixed public radio communications. For example, radio operators working on ships larger than 300 gross tons or carrying more than six passengers for hire are required to obtain commercial licensure. Professionals working on aircraft radio stations that deal with international travel are also required to obtain commercial licensure.

Commercial operator license exams include both written and telegraphy elements. The majority of commercial radio operator licenses are issued for the lifetime of the license-holder and, therefore, do not need to be renewed.

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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Towson University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New England Institute of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
      • Public Relations and Advertising

Popular Schools

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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