Radio Frequency Engineer
As a Radio Frequency Engineer, you will be responsible for the design and production of telecommunication systems.
Also known as
- RF Engineer
As a Radio Frequency Engineer, you will be responsible for the design and production of telecommunication systems. These include:
- mobile and landline phones
- wireless internet
- computer networks
- fibre optic devices
You will test these devices for any problems and fix them if they do not pass any inspections. You might have to visit people’s homes, offices and businesses to test any problems or issues. This could be a technical problem or a fault in the design of the communication system.
You might have to write weekly reports on the systems you attend to. This would include any maintenance plans, faults and ongoing issues that will need to be fixed.
Some Radio Frequency Engineers also assist in the design of these systems, and work with Designers and Technicians throughout the project to completion.
You might also help to discover new ways and techniques to develop the systems. This might include:
- the way it is designed
- how to make the system faster and easier to use
As a Radio Frequency Engineer, you must always ensure that you follow safe working practices.
Your other duties may include:
- assisting in the drawing up of manufacturing specifications and testing of new systems
- supporting any customers who need help by visiting them or talking to them on the phone
- any administrative duties that might be required
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Radio Frequency Engineer, you will need:
- great organisational skills to plan and co-ordinate resources
- good communication skills for writing technical reports and liaising with other staff and customers
- to have technical ability and good computer skills
- IT skills
- an analytical and logical mind to help with solving problems
- to be able to work as part of a team
- to be willing to keep up to date with any advances in technology
- an understanding of electrical health and safety regulations
- experience in the industry
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £33,500 - £36,000
- With experience: £36,000 - £43,000
Hours of work
Most Radio Frequency Engineers work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, early starts, late finishes and some weekend work may be required.
Where could I work?
Employers are firms in a variety of industries, including :
- engineering manufacturing
- electricity generation and distribution
- marine and offshore industries
- the public sector
- the armed forces
- computer manufacturers
Opportunities for Radio Frequency Engineers occur throughout the UK.
This career could involve working for an
Some Radio Frequency Engineers work as self-employed, independent consultants.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
Entry Routes and Training
A degree in radio frequency, microwave engineering or a similar field will help you to enter this career.
Many Radio Frequency Engineers have backgrounds in electronic engineering and telecommunications engineering, although entrants may also be graduates in other engineering disciplines.
It's essential to check university websites very carefully to make sure the course you choose is relevant to the branch of Engineering you want to follow.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
Some graduates join graduate training schemes, which offer structured training and learning.
To become a Radio Frequency Engineer, you could gain status from Chartered Engineer or Incorporated Engineer professions. This could help you to really stand out from the crowd!
To register as a Chartered Engineer or an Incorporated Engineer, you must join a professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council. You will have to demonstrate commitment and competence to the course to register.
Routes to Chartered Engineering status include completing:
- an accredited honours degree in engineering or technology, plus either an appropriate Masters degree or engineering Doctorate accredited by a professional Engineering institution, or appropriate further learning to Masters level
- or, an accredited integrated MEng degree
Routes to Incorporated Engineering status include completing:
- an accredited Bachelors or honours degree in engineering or technology
- or, a HNC, HND or foundation degree in engineering or technology, plus appropriate further learning to degree level
- or, a NVQ level 4, which has been approved by a licensed Engineering institution
Depending on your qualifications and experience, you can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of Engineering projects and teams of Engineers.
Some Radio Frequency Engineers choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.
Previous experience working in the engineering industry (mechanical, telecommunications, chemical or electrical) would be really useful for this career.
The entry requirements for a degree in radio frequency or microwave engineering might include:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
- a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
- maths and a science or technology subject, eg, physics or electronics, are normally required at A level
- English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above
Check college/university websites carefully.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies
Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT
Tel: 0845 6439001
Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP
Tel: 01923 260000
Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX
Tel: 020 3206 0500
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Address: Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY
Tel: 01438 313311