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Radio Operator

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What Do Radio Operator Do?

Position Description Receive and transmit communications using radiotelephone equipment in accordance with government regulations. May repair equipment.

What Do Radio Operators Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Examine and operate new equipment prior to installation to ensure that it performs properly.
  • Repair radio equipment as necessary, using electronic testing equipment, hand tools, and power tools.
  • Maintain station logs of messages transmitted and received for activities such as flight testing and fire locations.
  • Operate sound-recording equipment to record signals and preserve broadcasts for purposes such as analysis by intelligence personnel.
  • Review applicable regulations regarding radio communications, and report violations.
  • Conduct periodic equipment inspections and routine tests to ensure that operations standards are met.

Radio Operator Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Radio Operators say are important on the job.

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.

  • Radio Operator
  • Flight Follower
  • Communications Technician
  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Police Communications Operator

Job Outlook 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.


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.

Radio Operator Salary

The typical yearly salary for Radio Operators is somewhere between $21,850 and $71,470.


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

How much do Radio Operators make in different U.S. states?

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Radio Operators

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

Becoming a Radio Operator

Education needed to be a Radio Operator:


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


Where Radio Operators Are Employed


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