Radio Mechanics Overview
Radio mechanics will have an increased amount of job opportunities. Postsecondary electronics training and computer skills are important for those looking for employment. Nights, weekends, and holiday work may be involved for radio mechanics as well as being on-call for emergencies.
Nature of the Work for Radio Mechanics
The work of a radio mechanic involves installing and maintaining radio transmitting and receiving equipment. Whether it’s stationary equipment or mobile equipment, radio mechanics work on equipment such as transmission towers or two-way radio communication systems in a taxi. New radio equipment with self-monitoring capabilities can alert radio mechanics when problems and malfunctions occur. Radio mechanics monitoring signal strength, transmission capacity or interference may use electrical measuring instruments or hand tools.
Equipment that is dependent on transmitting communications is telephones, computers, and radios.
The work environment of a radio mechanic may include working on transmission towers, airplanes and ships, as well as tall buildings or on mountains.
Lifting, reaching, stooping, and crouching can also be apart of the job for a radio mechanic. Falling, receiving minor burns or electrical shocks can also sometimes occur. Though most radio mechanics can work regular business hours, those working for 24 repair services may work irregular hours on the job. Shifts for radio mechanics can include nights, weekends, and holidays.
Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Radio Mechanics
Entry level radio mechanics will usually receive some training from the employer that hires them. This training can include classroom training, software training, or hands-on training and assistance. Radio mechanics working for larger companies may be sent to outside training sessions to learn about equipment and procedures.
Licensure is required from the Federal Communications Commission for aviation and marine radio mechanics.
Being able to solve problems, familiarity with computers and being mechanically inclined are important qualifications for radio mechanics. Being in good physical shape as well as being able to distinguish coloring and wiring is also important for radio mechanics. Radio mechanics assigned to work alone must work well without supervision.
Due to rapidly changing technology, radio mechanics must always be aware of technological trends and changes.
Radio mechanics with experience can become troubleshooters or specialists. Experienced radio mechanics can also become supervisors or managers and even become wholesalers or open their own repair service shops.
Top 10 Most Popular Electrical/Electronics Equipment Installation and Repair Schools
1. Mt San Antonio College (Walnut, California)
2. South Florida Institute of Technology (Miami, Florida)
3. Wichita Technical Institute, Wichita (Main) (Wichita, Kansas)
4. Lincoln Tech, Columbia (Columbia, Maryland)
5. New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich (Warwick, Rhode Island)
6. Industrial Management Training Institute (Waterbury, Connecticut)
7. East Los Angeles College (Monterey Park, California)
8. Contra Costa College (San Pablo, California)
9. Harper College (Palatine, Illinois)
10. Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Shelbyville (Shelbyville, Tennessee)
Employment and Job Outlook for Radio Mechanics
Number of People in Profession
Changing Employment (2008-2018)
Employment is projected to little or no change (decrease or increase by 2%).
The industries in which radio mechanics work include electronics and appliance stores, government, the telecommunications industry, or the electronic and precision equipment and maintenance industry. Radio mechanics with postsecondary training in electronics and good computer skills will have good job prospects.
Due to new equipment such as video-on-demand and added television stations, maintenance won’t be as necessary due to their newness and reliability. As radio equipment becomes more reliable and self-monitoring systems are used, jobs will lessen for radio mechanics. Wireless applications will create jobs for radio mechanics, on the other hand, even with the addition of these new technologies.
The best job prospects for radio mechanics will be for those who have a background in electronics and those that can work independently. Due to the inadequate number of qualified radio mechanics, those who are qualified will have better luck finding work.
Earnings and Salary for Radio Mechanics
Median annual wages of radio mechanics are $41,060. The middle 50 percent earn between $31,770 and $51,050. The bottoms 10 percent earn less than $25,780, whereas the top 10 percent earn more than $61,950.
Hourly Wage for Radio Mechanics
On average, Radio Mechanics earn $19.74 per hour.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook