RF Engineer

Design, install and repair radio transmission systems and equipment.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$54,000 – $129,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do RF Engineers do?

Short for Radio Frequency Engineer, an RF Engineer deals with all forms of technology and electronics that utilize radio waves to work. Cell phone networks and radio stations are just a few of the technologies that take advantage of the radio waves constantly flying unseen through the air. As an RF Engineer, you design, install, and repair transmission systems and the equipment that uses them.

Many RF Engineers choose a specialty, though most have some experience in multiple fields. You’ll choose whether you want to specialize in the design area to create faster and better systems, or in the installation and maintenance of existing systems and devices.

For RF devices to work, they need to feature certain parts, like an antenna, that can pick up and translate radio waves. Those in the manufacturing and design field use trial and error to produce cell phones that can pick up signals from miles away or convert wired devices into wireless ones.

Of course, without the towers that transmit these signals, the devices would have nothing to pick up in the first place. If your work focuses on the system design part of development, you map out and install new towers and other transmitters and receivers.

It takes a thorough understanding of math and physics, along with years of training in the engineering field, to understand how to design a circuit board or configure an antenna. In many ways, you’re an Artist, taking the abstract and unseen concept of radio frequency and molding it into a productive force.

Should I be a RF Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Cable Engineer, Circuits Engineer, Division Engineer, Grounding Engineer, Laser Engineer, Lighting Engineer See More

    How to become a RF Engineer

    Most RF Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aak9ed&chl=||associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%286%25%29|doctorate+%284%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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