Find out how to become a radio frequency engineer. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in engineering.
- Complete your bachelor’s degree. Most RF engineers hold a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, although some pursue a similar subject like computer engineering or computer science.
- Take the state licensing exams. …
- Earn certifications. …
- Continue your education.
Day in the Life of a Shentel RF Engineer
What does an RF engineer do?
Here are some of the most common job duties that an RF engineer can have:
What is an RF engineer?
An RF engineer, or radiofrequency engineer, is a specialist who can design and take care of electronic devices and systems. Working as an RF engineer typically requires having expertise in information technology and engineering principles, as this prepares professionals to work with complex computer systems and electrical components, like wiring and radio wave transmission.
Knowing about computers can also help RF engineers to identify potential areas for improvement in devices that use radio waves, like televisions, radios and communication devices. This can lead to enhancements in existing products, such as updates or new versions, as well as the development of entirely new devices.
Work environment for an RF engineer
An RF engineer can work in many environments, such as research centers, broadcast stations and companies that specialize in telecommunications. Many RF engineers also find work at offices and government agencies, like military offices. These engineers typically engage in frequent collaboration with other engineers and technicians, so they complete much of their work in team settings. RF engineers also usually work full-time hours, sometimes completing overtime or overnight shifts to meet strict deadlines.
How to become an RF engineer
Here are some steps you can use to start your own career as an RF engineer:
1. Earn a bachelors degree
The first step in becoming an RF engineer is usually to earn a bachelors degree. Most aspiring RF engineers pursue undergraduate degrees in engineer or computer engineering, as these programs can offer education and training in the engineering practices they might use in their careers. Some other common choices of majors for RF engineers are computer science and information technology, as they also typically need to know about complex concepts that can help them work on computer systems and electronic devices.
2. Consider a masters degree
While having a masters degree is usually optional for an RF engineer, many candidates pursue one anyway to gain more practice and education in computers and engineering. Because engineering degrees and computer science degrees can both benefit RF engineers, it can be common for these candidates to complete an undergraduate degree in one discipline and then obtain a graduate degree in the other subject. Earning a masters degree can also provide the opportunity to specialize further in a particular area of RF engineering, such as choosing a major in network technologies or another specific technological subject.
3. Gain professional experience
After graduating from college, it can be beneficial to earn some experience in the field. This can help you qualify for certifications and licensure and allow you to experience a few different work environments, especially if you take jobs at multiple companies. One common way to earn professional experience is to complete an internship with an established engineer, as you can learn from professionals on the job.
4. Obtain a license
One of the most important steps in becoming an RF engineer is to earn a Professional Engineer (PE) license. This is because most states require engineers to have this credential before they can start taking jobs in the field. The place where an RF engineer receives their PE license can vary depending on the state where they live, but many candidates receive licensure from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). To obtain a PE license from the NCEES, candidates typically need to fulfill the following requirements:
5. Pursue certification
Certification is often voluntary for RF engineers. However, there are many certifications available that can benefit RF engineers in their careers by offering them a credential that verifies their expertise. Having at least one certification might also increase your chances of being hired, as employers might be more interested in candidates with certification. Here are a few of the most common certifications that RF engineers can pursue:
6. Apply for jobs as an RF engineer
Once you secure a license and receive any certifications youre interested in, you can start looking for jobs as an RF engineer. Because RF engineers can work in a variety of work environments, it can be helpful to research the options and apply to positions in places where you think you might fit in best. For example, if you thrive in an office environment, you might apply to jobs at research centers or government agencies. You can also find employment opportunities online using job search websites or search engines.
Salary and job outlook for an RF engineer
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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