Radio Frequency Engineers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Radio frequency engineers must have a solid educational background. Take classes in algebra, trigonometry, calculus, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, and computer-aided design. Strong communication skills are needed for effective collaborations with other engineers on projects, so be sure to also take classes in business, English, speech, and social studies. Knowledge of a foreign language is helpful, and honors-level courses are also highly recommended for engineer students.

Postsecondary Training

Radio frequency engineers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in electronics, computer engineering, network technologies, telecommunications engineering, or other related fields. Many have a master's degree also. High school students are encouraged to apply to college engineering programs early due to the highly competitive admission process. Engineering programs usually have strict admission requirements and require students to have excellent academic records and top scores on national college-entrance examinations.

Radio frequency engineering courses may cover such topics as cellular technology concepts, radio propagation factors, and frequency reuse principles. Many states require engineers to be licensed, and graduation from an (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) ABET-accredited school is required for licensing. Find information about accredited schools at

Other Education or Training

Radio frequency engineers continue their education throughout their careers, to keep up with industry developments and new technologies. They may take continuing education classes and pursue professional development programs through groups such as the American Society for Engineering Education, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers, among many others.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification and Licensing

Radio frequency engineers may get voluntary certification through organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to improve their job prospects and show they have achieved a high level of skill and knowledge in their field. Find information at

Radio frequency engineers may be required to be licensed in the state in which they practice if their work affects the life, health, or safety of the public. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. General requirements include graduating from an accredited school, having four years of work experience, and passing the Fundamentals of Engineering and the Principles and Practice of Engineering exams. Some states allow students to take the Fundamentals exam shortly before college graduation from college or after students have received their bachelor’s degree. Students who pass this exam are designated as engineer-in-training. Those who meet all of the the licensure requirements receive the designation of professional engineer. Learn more about engineering licensure by visiting the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Web site,

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

At least five years of experience is required for radio frequency engineering work. Most engineers have gained initial exposure to the field through a radio frequency engineering internship while in college. A background in general electronics, physics, and math is needed to design and improve wireless networks. Radio frequency engineers must also have strong communication skills as the work involves collaborating with others on projects. Clear writing and speaking skills are essential for preparing reports and making presentations.

Radio frequency engineers are problem solvers, able to analyze, identify, and solve issues. They must also be continually learning throughout their careers, to keep up with the latest technologies, systems, devices, and other developments in their field.