How To Become a Radio Operator

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

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


What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

We did a survey to ask other Radio Operators what degree they had when they became a Radio Operator. Here are the results.
High School Diploma

a Post-Secondary Certificate

College Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Radio Operators or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Radio Operators what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Communications Systems Installation and Repair Technology

You do not need a degree to become a radio operator. The majority of radio operators started their career with a high school diploma. However taking a related course like radio operation will improve your chances of getting a job and a job advancement.

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How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Radio Operator. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required


2 to 4 years

1 to 2 years

Job training
3 to 6 months

3 to 6 months

6 months to 1 year

1 to 3 months

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Requirements varies by job tasks

Radio operators who work on ships with more than 6 passengers or uses high frequencies, aircrafts and those who repair ship and aircraft radios are required to obtain a commercial license by the Commerical Operator License Examination Managers (COLEM) of the FCC.

Skills required

We asked other Radio Operators if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Speaking what does this mean
2. Active Listening what does this mean
3. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
4. Writing what does this mean
5. Monitoring what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Radio Operators are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
2. Public Safety and Security what does this mean
3. Computers and Electronics what does this mean
4. Telecommunications what does this mean
5. English Language what does this mean

Learn more about Radio Operators

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