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Details for Radio Operators


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


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


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

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


  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Related Careers

  • Broadcast Technicians
  • Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
  • Radio Mechanics
  • Sound Engineering Technicians
  • Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers
  • Telecommunications Line Installers and Repairers
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