Radio Operators
SOC: 27-4013.00


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
1,200 employed

Projected (2024):
1,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Aircraft Dispatcher
  • Airline Operations Agent
  • Airline Radio Operator
  • Avionics Supervisor
  • Centrex Radio Operator
  • Communications Specialist
  • Communications Technician
  • Continuous Wave Operator (CW Operator)
  • Dispatcher
  • Electronic Intelligence Operations Specialist
  • Field Radio Operator
  • Flight Communications Specialist
  • Flight Follower
  • Photoradio Operator
  • Police Communications Operator
  • Radio Communication Coordinator
  • Radio Division Officer
  • Radio Electronics Officer (REO)
  • Radio Electronics Technician (RET)
  • Radio Intelligence Operator
  • Radio Officer
  • Radio Operator
  • Radio Recorder
  • Radio Station Operator
  • Radiophone Operator
  • Radiotelegraph Operator
  • Radiotelegrapher
  • Radiotelephone Operator
  • Receiver
  • Signals Analyst
  • Telecommunication Operator

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Monitor emergency frequencies to detect distress calls and respond by dispatching emergency equipment.
  • Communicate with receiving operators to exchange transmission instructions.
  • Operate radio equipment to communicate with ships, aircraft, mining crews, offshore oil rigs, logging camps and other remote operations.
  • Broadcast weather reports and warnings.
  • Maintain station logs of messages transmitted and received for activities such as flight testing and fire locations.
  • Conduct periodic equipment inspections and routine tests to ensure that operations standards are met.
  • Turn controls or throw switches to activate power, adjust voice volume and modulation, and set transmitters on specified frequencies.
  • Operate sound-recording equipment to record signals and preserve broadcasts for purposes such as analysis by intelligence personnel.
  • Send, receive, and interpret coded messages.
  • Repair radio equipment as necessary, using electronic testing equipment, hand tools, and power tools.
  • Coordinate radio-related aspects of locating and contacting airplanes and ships that are missing or in distress.
  • Determine and obtain bearings of sources from which signals originate, using direction-finding procedures and equipment.
  • Examine and operate new equipment prior to installation to ensure that it performs properly.
  • Review applicable regulations regarding radio communications, and report violations.
  • Set up antennas and mobile communication units during military field exercises.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Antenna analyzers
  • Battery test tools
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital multimeters
  • Dummy antennas
  • Electric soldering irons
  • Global positioning system GPS devices
  • Handheld microphones
  • High frequency HF radios
  • Ignition pliers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Measuring tapes
  • Mobile radios
  • Multipurpose knives
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Portable power generators
  • Portable radio antennas
  • Radio direction finders RDF
  • Radio function testers
  • Radiotelegraphs
  • Radiotelephones
  • Satellite telephones
  • Single channel radios
  • Socket wrench sets
  • Sound recording equipment
  • Standing wave ratio SWR meters
  • Straight blade screwdrivers
  • Tablet computers
  • Very high frequency VHF radios
  • Vise grip pliers
  • Wire cutting tools
  • Database software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software

  • arts design entertainment sports and media

    industry stats

    SOC: 27-0000

    Total Employed: 1,843,600

    Average Annual Salary: $56,980