The necessary qualifications to become a radio technician, whose work involves maintaining and fixing radio communications equipment, include completion of a certificate, associate or bachelor's degree and licensure from the Federal Communications Commission. Some employers require relevant certifications from the Telecommunications Industry Association or similar organizations.
Employers generally prefer applicants who complete postsecondary education in electronics, computer networking, information technology or similar areas. Students undergo training in the Enhanced Digital Access Communication System when taking up relevant certificate or associate degree programs. They also learn about electronics technology, radio frequency and communications, components and circuit theory.
Students who take up bachelor's degree programs related to radio technology also study engineering theories. Through on-the-job training, they gain hands-on experience in maintaining radio communications and repairing mobile radios, digital microwaves and two-way radios. Equipment manufacturing companies and other related businesses also provide technical training.
When hiring radio technicians for entry-level positions, employers typically require a license and related certifications. Some of the topics covered in licensing tests include FCC regulations, maintenance practices and radio laws.
In addition to installing, maintaining and repairing radio systems, microwave systems and networks such as towers, radio technicians sometimes design plans for installing and expanding radio communications. They also create recommendations for clients. Radio technicians often deal with agencies and suppliers, which is why good communication skills are essential.