What Do Radio Operators Do?
Local and state governments depend on radio operators to transmit and receive communication signals using the proper equipment. This task must be carried out according to government regulations, and these professionals may also be responsible for fixing equipment in the event that it breaks down. Jobs for radio operators can only be found in a few states, so there is really not expected to be any growth or decline in the next several years. In fact, only 30 job openings are projected to be created each year. There is still good work to be found for this line of work, but you need to look for it.
Radio Operators Skills and Abilities
Naturally, you are going to need to know your way around various telecommunications and broadcasting machinery. That includes being familiar with computers and having an in-depth understanding of circuit boards and computer software. The ability to monitor yourself, those around you and the tools you are using is crucial since anything going wrong will need to be discovered and remedied quickly. Problem sensitivity is vital because it will allow you to know when something is off and needs to be corrected. You will need to communicate with all kinds of people on a daily basis, so you need to be capable of writing and talking in a clear, cohesive manner.
Radio Operators Duties
Distress calls are sent to radio operators, who are expected to dispatch the appropriate personnel to help whoever is in trouble. Even if you are not receiving any worrisome calls, you should always remain in constant contact with oil rigs, aircraft and ships. You will be expected to remain up-to-date on any dangerous weather patterns or other hazards that could pose a threat to a particular operation. These responsibilities are crucial for ensuring good men and women are kept safe, so you will be tasked with performing routine maintenance to your equipment. This ensures that it will work properly when you need it the most. You may also be accountable for installing newer, more efficient pieces of broadcasting equipment, and you may also need to record certain transmissions so that they can be used for future use. Other duties expected of radio operators include:
- Reporting events to the general public.
- Maintaining detailed logs of all activities.
- Staying current on new laws and regulations.
- Repairing equipment as soon as it breaks.
Radio Operators Tools and Technology
Two way radio systems are prevalent in the industry, and you need to know how to communicate through this device in an effective manner. Additionally, you will be responsible for using pliers in order to access certain pieces when they require maintenance. Other tools you will need to learn how to use efficiently include radio frequency transmitters, antenna analyzers and battery testers.
Education and Training for Radio Operators
All you really need to obtain a position as a radio operator is a high school diploma, but some professionals choose to go for a Bachelor’s degree. Taking instructional programs in repair technology and communication systems can make you stand out as a potential candidate. No matter what level of education you are entering with, you will still need to complete a specified amount of on-the-job training.
Radio Operators Salary
The median hourly wage across the country for radio operators is $22.30. Some individuals make less, and the low end of the scale tends to be around $9.00/hour. However, plenty of operators make much more than the median salary, and some make as much as $71,000 a year.
Radio Operators Jobs by Geography
Only a few states have radio operator openings, and the states with the highest levels are Massachusetts, Minnesota and the District of Columbia. Make sure you live in a state that requires radio operators before pursuing this valuable career.