At the last couple meetups I had several people ask me what the process is to get licensed and how difficult it is to get licensed. This post should help you navigate this minefield and get you on a short easy path to a license.
What are the Amateur License levels?
- Technician (VHF UHF and very limited HF access)
- General (VHF UHF Good HF Access)
- Extra (VHF UHF and all HF bands / Frequencies allocated to Amateur Radio by the FCC)
This article will focus on the Technician license as it is the easiest and will be useful for most emergency situations.
Popular license misconceptions :
- The test is super hard and technical (35 questions and 74% is passing)
- The test and license is expensive ($35 for a 10yr license)
So what does a license grant you?
- The ability to transmit on frequencies aligned to the license level you successfully test for.
- The ability to use repeaters and infrastructure reserved for licensed operators
What are the steps for obtaining a license?
- Study for the test by taking practice tests online (see the link below)
- When you are confident enough schedule your self for in person testing at one of the facilities listed below.
- Arrive on time, pay your money and take your test. If successful you will receive your license in about 10 days.