How to Become a Radio Mechanic
Radio Mechanic Careers & Degrees

Radio Mechanic professionals can specialize in the installation, maintenance and repairing of radio transmitting and receiving equipment.

These professionals can work in the aviation, marine or transportation industries and are able to install this type of equipment on a variety of structures or transportation vehicles.

Radio Mechanics are typically required to travel to an installation or repair site and are likely to commute to many locations.

Candidates wanting to enter this field should be able to work well with their hands and not be afraid of heights as some installation and repair sites are located in inaccessible areas such as rooftops.

Some of the sites Radio Mechanics are required to visit in order to install, diagnose and repair radio equipment include the following: Transmission towers that may be located atop mountains or tall buildings, Rooftops, Telephone poles, Attics, Taxis, or Emergency vehicles.

In addition, Radio Mechanics working in the aviation or marine industries may perform installations on airplanes or ships.

These professionals should have knowledge regarding electronic equipment and computer systems that are commonly used to diagnose communication switching equipment.

If you want to learn how to become a Radio Mechanic , read below for more information about: educational requirements, a typical job description, salary and wages and the future job outlook for this career.

Education Requirements to Become a Radio Mechanic

The frequent advancements in technology have required employers to look for candidates with higher education or related training and experience.

Candidates who want to become a Radio Mechanic are expected to complete a program in electronics or computer technology.

Candidates with knowledge and experience using computers are more likely to be hired.

Candidates who want to become a Radio Mechanic can join a program that offers certification, an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics or a related subject area.

Students can join an educational institution that offers 2 or 4 year programs in Communications Technology or Electronics.

In addition, candidates can gain experience in a military branch, at a trade school or manufacturing companies that offer these programs.

Radio Mechanics working in the aviation or the marine industries are required to seek licensure from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before beginning work in the field.

Visit the FCC’s website for specific information regarding Radio Mechanic Licensure: FCC Licenses.

Radio Mechanic Job Description

Radio Mechanics are typically required to visit individual repair sites in order to perform installation, maintenance and repairs for radio transmitters and receiving gear.

For jobs that require repairs, Radio Mechanics will perform diagnostics on radio equipment using electronic and computerized equipment to determine the severity and type of problem the radio equipment is having.

They will use the information they gathered from the computerized diagnosis in order to determine the type of repairs the radio equipment will require.

Some computerized equipment can also alert a Radio Mechanic that there may be faulty components that need examination.

Radio Mechanics will look for any damaged parts and either fix, replace or perform a software adjustment.

Some types of repairs Radio Mechanics may need to perform include replacing wiring or fixing faulty radio parts.

For maintenance work, they will examine the radio signal strength by using an electrical measuring device.

Electrical devices are also helpful in determining transmission abilities, any interference problems or delays with signal readings.

They can use their hand tools to perform quick and basic maintenance repairs to these components as well as replacing any old or defective parts.

Radio Mechanics can be quite active while performing their maintenance and repair services and may have to stoop, bend, crawl, crouch or climb ladders in order to reach radio equipment.

Following safety protocol is a must in order to avoid dangerous situations such as falls or electrical shocking.

Radio Mechanic Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this profession is not expected to change through the year 2018.

However, candidates who have a background in computer systems and have continued their education have more opportunities available to them.

The national median wage for Radio Mechanics in 2008 was approximately $ 40,260 per year.

The annual salary range for this profession during the same year was $24,600 to $63,600.

Benefits for these professionals vary by the type of company they work for.

Radio Mechanics can find employment for a small electronics company or for a government entity.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$57,820
$32K
$41K
$57K
$73K
$91K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$40,450
Alaska$78,110
Arizona$57,640
Arkansas$51,220
California$68,830
Colorado$53,520
Connecticut$73,060
Delaware$47,640
Florida$55,820
Georgia$60,490
Hawaii$62,160
Idaho$41,050
Illinois$54,350
Indiana$55,960
Iowa$45,710
Kansas$61,270
Kentucky$54,370
Louisiana$50,640
Maine$38,270
Maryland$67,290
Massachusetts$59,770
Michigan$56,450
Minnesota$68,350
Missouri$44,030
Montana$55,780
Nebraska$57,670
Nevada$54,880
New Hampshire$51,940
New Jersey$56,810
New Mexico$56,650
New York$61,560
North Carolina$53,320
Ohio$62,710
Oklahoma$51,120
Oregon$55,790
Pennsylvania$71,330
South Carolina$45,070
South Dakota$55,210
Tennessee$72,040
Texas$51,340
Utah$65,590
Vermont$59,960
Virginia$56,840
Washington$65,030
West Virginia$88,080
Wisconsin$64,310
Wyoming$63,460
Puerto Rico$29,240

The top earning state in the field is West Virginia, where the average salary is $88,080.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

West Virginia - $88,080
Alaska - $78,110
Connecticut - $73,060
Tennessee - $72,040
Pennsylvania - $71,330
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers, OCC Code 49-2021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a radio mechanic do?

Radio mechanics are responsible for testing, maintaining and repairing radio equipment.

Their exact job duties depend on the employer and the field of employment and may include inspecting the signal strength, performing equipment inspections and replacing worn-out components.

If you’re passionate about circuit boards, computer hardware, and electronics and you possess good problem-solving skills and dexterity, then a career as a radio mechanic may be the right path for you.

As a radio mechanic, you can find employment in the public sector to repair radios in vehicles that serve the local government or public schools but you can also be hired by an electronic or appliance store or in the maintenance service field.

QuestionHow much does a radio mechanic make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairers was $54,890 as of May 2018.

Salaries vary depending on many factors and, as a radio mechanic, you can make anywhere between less than $32,000 and more than $85,000 a year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a radio mechanic?

If you want to become a radio mechanic you will need some training beyond high school.

There are many post-secondary programs that can prepare you for this career and costs vary widely depending on the school and the program itself.

For example, an Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Technology program will cost you, on average, somewhere in the range of $15,000-$20,000.

Programs of this type are designed to prepare the student to work with advanced communications technology.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering can give you better job prospects and good advancement perspectives.

A four-year program will cost you, on average, around $160,000-$170,000.

There are also other paths that can help you become a radio mechanic; for example, having experience in the military may equip you with the skills needed to start a career in this field.

QuestionWhat is the demand for radio mechanics?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairers is expected to grow by about 5 percent in the next decade.

Employment opportunities vary by region and those who have an associate’s degree in the field or some military experience should have better job prospects.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a radio mechanic?

Radio technicians typically hold an associate’s degree in applied science, electronics or a related field or have some experience in the military.

An associate’s degree can usually be earned after 2 years of post-secondary studies.

During this training period, students learn about soldering technology, direct current circuits and safety procedures, among other things.

If you want to improve your job prospects, you can choose to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in electronics engineering or a related field.

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