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Radio Operator

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What Do Radio Operator Do?

Example of Radio Operator Job Receive and transmit communications using radiotelephone equipment in accordance with government regulations. May repair equipment.

Life As a Radio Operator

  • Conduct periodic equipment inspections and routine tests to ensure that operations standards are met.
  • Examine and operate new equipment prior to installation to ensure that it performs properly.
  • Operate radio equipment to communicate with ships, aircraft, mining crews, offshore oil rigs, logging camps and other remote operations.
  • Broadcast weather reports and warnings.
  • Set up antennas and mobile communication units during military field exercises.
  • Monitor emergency frequencies to detect distress calls and respond by dispatching emergency equipment.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Radio Operator?

Radio Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Field Radio Operator
  • Radiotelegrapher
  • Radio Recorder
  • Aircraft Dispatcher
  • Flight Follower

Is There Going to be Demand for Radio Operators?

In the United States, there were 900 jobs for Radio Operator in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Radio Operator. There will be an estimated 100 positions for Radio Operator per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Radio Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Radio Operator are Minnesota, Illinois, and Louisiana. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Ohio, or Louisiana. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Radio Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Radio Operator ranges between $21,850 and $71,470.

Salary Ranges for Radio Operators

Radio Operators who work in Missouri, Florida, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Radio Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Florida $52,930
Louisiana $35,210
Minnesota $53,080
Missouri $66,270
Ohio $42,280
Texas $36,620

What Tools do Radio Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Radio Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Database software

How do I Become a Radio Operator?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Radio Operator?

Radio Operator Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Radio Operator?

Radio Operator Work Experience

Where do Radio Operators Work?

Radio Operator Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Radio Operators employed by various industries.

Radio Operator Industries


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty, 49th Wing Public Affairs via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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