Radio Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Radio Operators

Radio Operators receive and transmit communications using radiotelephone equipment in accordance with government regulations. May repair equipment.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Radio Operators receive and transmit communications using radiotelephone equipment in accordance with government regulations. May repair equipment.

  • Operate sound-recording equipment to record signals and preserve broadcasts for purposes such as analysis by intelligence personnel.
  • Monitor emergency frequencies to detect distress calls and respond by dispatching emergency equipment.
  • Send, receive, and interpret coded messages.
  • Communicate with receiving operators to exchange transmission instructions.
Read more about what does a Radio Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$44710 per year

Average hourly wage
$21 per hour

Radio Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $21850 and $29480 while the more experienced ones can earn over $57510 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
MO $32 $66,270
MN $26 $53,080
FL $25 $52,930
OH $20 $42,280
TX $18 $36,620

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Radio Operator is to move to a higher paying state like MO. Right now, the highest paying states for Radio Operators are MO, MN, FL, OH and TX.

However, a higher pay at MO doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MO might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Radio Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Radio Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Communications Systems Installation and Repair Technology
Read more about how to become a Radio Operator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Radio Operator.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average
Demand for this career is growing very slowly

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

68% of Radio Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Radio Operators

Summary (You are here)
Job Description

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