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Radio Operator

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What Does it Take to Be a Radio Operator?

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

Radio Operator Responsibilities

  • Turn controls or throw switches to activate power, adjust voice volume and modulation, and set transmitters on specified frequencies.
  • Conduct periodic equipment inspections and routine tests to ensure that operations standards are met.
  • Set up antennas and mobile communication units during military field exercises.
  • Coordinate radio-related aspects of locating and contacting airplanes and ships that are missing or in distress.
  • Operate radio equipment to communicate with ships, aircraft, mining crews, offshore oil rigs, logging camps and other remote operations.
  • Monitor emergency frequencies to detect distress calls and respond by dispatching emergency equipment.

Qualities of 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.

  • Radio Officer
  • Airline Operations Agent
  • Radio Operator
  • Flight Follower
  • Radio Communication Coordinator

Job 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.


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.

Average Radio Operators Salary

The average yearly salary of a Radio Operator ranges 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 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?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Radio Operators may use on a daily basis:

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

Becoming a Radio Operator

Learn what Radio Operator education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Radio Operator?


Radio Operators Sector


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



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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